My wife (a Taiwanese) and I are looking into the possibility of adoption. I have lived in Taiwan for nearly a decade, have permanent residence, and will spend (at least) a significant portion of the rest of my life here. However, as a foreigner , I am and always will be enjoined from adopting in Taiwan. We have, therefore, exploring several alternative possibilities, including the use of overseas (stateside) adoption agencies. However, few of them work with adoptive couples outside the states.
The other possibility is for my wife alone to adopt a child. However, in that case the child would legally belong to her alone, be registered under her name, and be considered a Taiwanese citizen. I would not be the legal father and would therefore be unable to make any legal decisions with respect to any child we raise. This is the particularly grievous issue for me – to give my love and devotion to a child but, legally speaking, be always treated as a non-person with respect to that child.
The other problem would come later when (if) we decide to relocate to the states. I enquired of the AIT about the possibility of obtaining US citizenship for any child we adopt, and received the following reply:
[quote]The adopted child may meet the " child" definition under U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Act either if he/she is adopted while under the age of sixteen years in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parents for at least two years, or a child, under the age of sixteen at the time a petition is filed in his/her behalf to accord a classification as an immediate relative, who is an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from both parents, or for whom the sole or surviving parent is incapable of providing the proper card and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption, and he/she has been adopted abroad by a United States citizen and spouse jointly. In other words, If none of the above conditions is met, the relationship between you can’t be defined as parents and child under US immigration law, and your child will be unable to be qualified as beneficiary of any immigrant visa application under immediate relative category or family base preference filed in her behalf. Certainly, she would not be able to obtain an U.S. citizenship from you.
To our understanding, Taiwan Law authorities would accept an international adoption application only if Article 18 and 29 of the Taiwan civil law concerning foreign affairs is applied. However, we would like to remind you that we can only provide the general information relating to the legal requirements of Taiwan. Hence, you are advised to consult the foreign legal counsel about questions involving interpretation of Taiwan laws. [/quote]
Not being versed in lawyer-speak, the above is not entirely intelligible to me. However, I do note the “jointly” in the first paragraph. My understanding is that since, as mentioned, Taiwanese law will not allow us to adopt jointly, any child we adopt will be unable to obtain US citizenship through me.
I’m looking for information and advice about how to approach this situation.