Adoptee Group Executive Director Jodi Gill and Korean adoptee Sasha Frugone celebrate citizenship for Frugone on March 14.

As a nonprofit leader of the Adoptee Group, it’s common to learn of adoptees adopted from other countries who do not have U.S. citizenship. This is due to a lack of post-adoption requirements for adoptive parents from adoption organizations. Some agencies required American parents to complete the naturalization process for their adoptive child, while others had no follow-up care.

Living in America as an adoptee with no citizenship causes high stress, yet the more challenging situation is the stress to thrive in a birth country where one can’t speak the language. There are a number of cases, including a recent movie, of adoptees having been deported back to their birth country. This action is triggered by an individual’s behavior or activity that the government did not approve of. The adoptee generally is not aware of their status when the life-changing event occurs. It’s a complex situation for a vulnerable population who struggle with their identity.

Jodi Gill is the executive director of the Adoptee Group, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization.