Deported, Not Forgotten

Due to gaps in the law, a child legally adopted by a US citizen can discover they are not an American citizen when they become an adult.  As a result, many adoptees have been unjustly deported, back to countries where they don't know anyone, speak the language, or understand the culture.  We are raising money to support deported adoptees in their daily lives.  Funds will go directly to deported adoptees and let them know they are not forgotten.  

Contribute to this meaningful cause which will go to 10 adoptees facing hardship due to lack of citizenship: 

Here's how your contributions make a difference:

$25.00 will pay for one month's phone or internet service.  Communicating with family, children, and friends left behind is the most valuable part of the day.  Services are also required for legal emails and connecting with the rest of the world.
$100.00 will go towards daily expenses such a transportation, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and much more.
$150.00 will pay for one month's food.  When money is low, meals are one of the first things to be cut, and nutritious food is more expensive than cheap processed food.
$250.00 will pay for one month's rent for a room.  Many deported adoptees have had to spend nights on a bench or park when they could not find housing.
$350.00 will purchase a new phone.  Many of the deported adoptees do not have phones that can handle video, so they cannot see their loved ones.  The phone is the lifeline to all communication, even moreso than in the US due to a lack of alternatives.
$900.00 will purchase a round-trip flight for a family member to visit.  The incredible joy when a loved one can visit is immeasurable.  The high cost of travel is a huge barrier for physically spending time together and reuniting in person.

Donations will be made via Adoptees United and are tax-deductible.  Adoptees United is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Minnesota.  Adoptees United is led by adoptees and is committed to a diverse board and organization that represents the interests of all adoptees, whether domestic, intercountry, transracial, or former foster youth.

About the Adoptee Citizenship Act 

In 2001, Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act and guaranteed citizenship to most international adoptees, but the law only applied to adoptees who were under the age of 18. Adoptees who were already 18 or over at that time were not included in the law and remained vulnerable to statelessness and deportation. 

The bipartisan Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 (HR1593/S967) fixes this loophole and allows all intercountry adoptees who entered the US on a valid visa and adopted by a US citizen to acquire citizenship and reenter the US if they were deported.  Learn more about the Adoptee Citizenship Act and how you can support it at

It's not hard to imagine what a shock it is to have the country where you grew up - where you have family and friends, always assumed you were part of, and in some cases served in the military to protect - suddenly abandon you.  There are also tremendous challenges finding work, suitable housing, and communicating in the new country.  Fighting off isolation and hopelessness is a daily struggle.

About the Event

All legally adopted by US citizens, these four participants have been deported back to Ethiopia, Jamaica, Korea, and Morocco after growing up as Americans. Hear their stories about being forced to leave the place they proudly pledged allegiance, and sent back to countries where they didn't know anyone, speak the language, or understand the culture. They left behind jobs, friends, homes, and in some cases spouses and children. These are profiles in strength and survival, along with heartbreak and frustration.

* Anissa Druesedow: adopted in 1976, deported back to Jamaica 30 years later, leaving behind her daughter.

* Joe Nugent: adopted in 1972, deported back to Morocco 49 years later.

* Mike Davis: adopted in 1976, deported back to Ethiopia 29 years later, leaving behind his wife to whom he is still married and 4 children.

* Monte Haines: adopted in 1978, deported back to Korea 31 years later.

This conversation is facilitated by Dr. Amanda Baden. Amanda Baden received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University and she is currently a Professor in the Counseling Program at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Dr. Baden was adopted from Hong Kong and raised in a transracially adoptive family. Her experiences both personally and professionally have led her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members and related issues.

Also Known As is an adoptee-led non-profit organization based in New York. The mission of Also-Known-As is to empower the voice of adult international adoptees, build cultural bridges, transform perceptions of race, and acknowledge the loss of the birth country, culture, language and biological family experienced by international adoptees.  Learn more at

About the Interviews

Each participant has a longer interview that allows them to present their story in greater detail.  Interviews were conducted with Joy Lieberthal Rho and will be posted on the Also Known As channel on YouTube . 

Joy Lieberthal Rho, LCSW-R is a social worker/counselor in private practice and also at the Juilliard School in NYC.  She has been involved with the international adoptee community for over 25 years, as a founding member and former president of Also-Known-As, policy analyst at Donaldson Adoption Institute, and staff at a private adoption agency in NYC. Joy worked as a clinical supervisor at the Korean American Family Service Center, a domestic violence service organization and co-directs Sejong Camp in NJ, a culture camp for Korean adoptees, children of adoptees and American born Korean children.  She is a Co-Founder of, an online mental health and wellness resource for the international adoptee community.  Joy is adopted from Korea, was found by her birthmother and has been in reunion with her for over 25 years.

Donations (58)

  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • emily flynn
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Hollee McGinnis
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Liz Seok Derfler
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Sarah Kim
    • $1,200 
    • 1 yr


Adoptee Advocacy
Minneapolis, MN
Adoptees United Inc
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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