Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Immigration Corner | I gave my son up for adoption. Can he still file for me?

Published:Tuesday | February 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I have a son who is an American citizen, but he was adopted by one of my brothers. My son now lives in the United States (US).

Is it possible for him to file for me, his biological mother?

- CC

Dear CC,

Currently, any US citizen, 21 years of age or older, can petition for their biological parents to become lawful permanent residents of the US. I say currently because this ability for US citizens to petition for their parents is under attack by the Republican-controlled White House and Congress. There are several bills introduced in both houses of Congress that propose the elimination of this legal method for immigrants to migrate to the US. Whether any of these bills will garner enough support to pass and become law remains to be seen, but those who qualify should file for their parents to secure their place.

Unfortunately, when a person is legally adopted, the individual cuts all legal ties to his or her biological family. As such, your biological son is legally no longer your child. Neither of you is legally related to each other any longer once an adoption is final. This means that your biological son cannot file a US immigration petition for you to become a US resident. You also are not considered legal heirs of each other's estate and would not automatically inherit from each other without a duly executed will. If you should wish to be an heir of each other's estate, a will must be written to clearly state same.

If your brother is a US citizen, he can file a petition for you to reside in the States. That is a category that is also under attack by the Republicans, and your brother should act sooner rather than later if that is a path that you wish to take.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States, and family, criminal, international and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.