Posted: July 12, 2008 in Adoption
Tags: , , ,

That word best describes the situation involving the U.S. government, a family in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and their 15-year-old adopted daughter.

According to CNN, here’s what happened:

“Allie may be forced to leave the country because U.S. immigration officials are questioning the legitimacy of the Guatemala native’s adoption by her parents, Lori and Scott Mulvihill, in 1994.

When the Mulvihills brought their then 2-year-old daughter to their home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, they believed she would be granted citizenship.

But U.S. immigration officials questioned whether the woman who gave Allie up for adoption in Guatemala was really her biological mother.”  — From CNN, July 11, 2008

What has happened is that the U.S. government is demanding that the family find the biological mother of the child and prove she legitimately gave her up. The family says that this is impossible. Which makes perfect sense — it’s going to be hard for anyone to find her 15 years later.

Mulvihill Family

Without understanding the details of immigration law, common sense would dictate that the U.S. government had their chance to dispute the adoption when they brought the child home. What’s outrageous is the idea that the government will not allow a readoption of the child given these circumstances.

She has two loving adoptive parents who are U.S. citizens. She wants to stay and Guatemala is not disputing her adoption. Her birth mother cannot be found.

What possible good can come of deporting this child? There are so many people who blatantly violate U.S. immigration laws and nothing happens. In this case, the parents are attempting to comply with the laws and yet their child is facing possible deportation. This is unjust.


  1. anon says:

    Something is missing from this story. First of all, many third world (developing) countries do not issue birth certificates – there is no need.
    Secondly, all adoptive families were advised to obtain citizenship (US) for their adopted children after returning from the birth country.
    Having said this, while this would have been the case at the time of this adoption, there has been a change in US law – all international adoptees are granted citizenship at the time the adoption is finalized in the US.
    When the law changed, it was retroactive – all children of international (legal) adoption were granted citizenship, provided their parents had not already taken that step. (I don’t know exactly when the law changed, but I believe it was late 1990’s.)
    So I have to ask, what is NOT being mentioned in this article??

  2. R... says:

    It’s crazy, isn’t it?! It’s hard to believe deportation is even being considered given the information in this article. I can only assume that there is some very compelling evidence that is hanging up this case, because it seems like over all of these years someone would have picked up this case and made the commitment to get it resolved. I’m hoping this article will be the thing that gets it moving on to resolution. Finally!!

  3. Sara says:

    Wow, not fair, unjust, doesn’t even begin to cover how wrong it is to deport this child. I hope that something can be reached. I didn’t know we were in the business of breaking up families. If there were only a way to find the biological mother. =0(

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