By elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy. -George Carlin
Question #40944 posted on 11/27/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
So, my random musings and thought tangents managed to come up with this question when I should have been paying attention in class.

Here it is: In the United States there are ways to obtain social security numbers and birth certificates for infants and children who are foundlings, for whom there is no identifying information. What if years later information was found indicating that a child who had been designated a foundling was in fact not born in the United States and was not the child of citizens who was born overseas. What would the citizenship status of the child be?


A: Dear Curious,

The Foundling Statute (INA § 301(f)) states that "a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to obtaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States," shall be a citizen of the United States at birth.

So, if the information indicating that the foundling was born elsewhere emerged after the child was 21, probably nothing would be done about it. If the information emerged before that time, the child's U.S. citizenship would face being revoked, and I'm sure we would see a bunch of lawyers jumping on the case. The child's citizenship status for their country of origin would depend on that country's laws of citizenship.

By the way, you may be interested in this article.


The Cleaning Lady