Intercountry adoptees facing deportation following Presidential election?

First, a disclaimer is important. This post is not intended to praise or criticize any candidate currently seeking election. Nor is the purpose here to argue for or against a particular issue. With that said, however, the ongoing political debate regarding immigration in our country is having a direct impact on intercountry adoptees and their families. Have you been impacted? Odds are, your child is experiencing some form of reaction, confusion, and possibly fear in response to our national conversation.

profile of child next to an art composite with faces of world figures that merge with the American flag

At WACAP, we are hearing from families whose children, adopted internationally, are voicing fears that they will be deported after this November’s election. Sometimes such fears are founded solely on a child’s internal reaction to news coverage or well-intended classroom assignments or discussions. Other times, they are based on comments made by friends and classmates.

Can you believe it? Our children are afraid they will be forced to leave their families. How can an adoptive parent respond?

  1. First, make space for the conversation. You know your child best, so intentionally create some conversation starters to which he or she might respond. Usually, it’s best to have these conversations while in the car or engaged in an activity, like a walk or cooking dinner.
  2. Listen to your child. Focus on their opinions, feelings, and experience. Truly listen. Let’s face it, any political discussion can feel like an invitation to add your opinions to the mix. For now, though, just listen. It’s important to discover how this issue may, or may not, be affecting your child.
  3. Educate your child about citizenship and permanency. If you think it would be helpful, bring out the documents from your child’s adoption. Make a copy of their citizenship papers, passport, or other items and allow your child to keep it handy.
  4. Be mindful of your political conversations at other times, and with other people. If your children are in proximity, they will hear your statements and can interpret, and misinterpret, based on their own experience.
  5. Talk to your child’s teacher(s). Let them know that they have an immigrant in the classroom, and open a dialogue with them to help them pursue inclusive language and scenarios.
  6. Seek resources to help you and your child make sense of this issue. At WACAP, we suggest the following sources:
    • Ask to join WACAP’s Facebook parent support group, where other adoptive families and a WACAP social worker discuss this and other factors of life as an adoptive family
    • Seek information from this website about race:
    • Download this guide about transracial parenting and adoption.

WACAP CEO at orphanage in Africa, children gather smilingAbout WACAP’s CEO, Greg Eubanks: Greg joined WACAP as CEO in December 2014. Serving children and families has been the focus and passion of his 20-year career in nonprofit executive leadership and business administration. With an extensive background in international adoption and foster care, Greg is committed to bringing hope to the children living without a family … and helping them home.


WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is one of the largest and most experienced international nonprofit adoption and child assistance agencies in the United States. Since 1976, we’ve placed over 10,000 children with loving adoptive parents and provided food, medical care and education to more than 200,000 children around the world.
This entry was posted in Adoption, From the CEO, International Adoption, Staff/Board Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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