NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - A Noblesville mom is on a mission to keep her newly adopted son in the United States.
She says she and her husband have run into roadblocks because of her son’s age.
The adoption was finalized when he was 18, at the end of September.
Jonna Jordan says her biological son met his new brother when he came to Indiana as a German exchange student.
The two formed a strong friendship, he came back from Germany multiple times at Christmas and holidays, and soon Jordan and her husband say they realized they could give him something better here.
“Just the opportunity to provide him this two parent household, with siblings, this is his family,” explained Jordan.
Jordan’s adopted son is now doing well, as a senior in high school.
He didn’t want to share his name on television, but Jordan says she’ll do anything to find an answer, to keep her son in Noblesville.
The family finalized the adoption at the end of September, and Jordan says that’s when they learned – this.
“Then, there was a little thing said, at the very end of court,” said Jonna Jordan. “’You know, this doesn’t immediately change his citizenship.’ And I said, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll file the next papers. I’ll pay the money, whatever it takes."
She says she soon learned it’s not that easy.
While the state of Indiana now recognizes him as her son, federal immigration law states only children adopted under the age of 16 receive a pathway to citizenship.
Because her son’s adoption was finalized after that, when his visa runs out in just a few days, she says he’ll have to return to Germany.
“You bring somebody into your home, and do all the right things, you adopt them. This is my son. Then to put them on a plane and send them away. It’s not anything I ever imagined myself doing. I’m just heartsick, actually,” Jordan explained.
Jordan has been working since then, to find any way to keep her son here.
“24 hours a day, on the phone, email, text, who have I ever known, who have I ever talked to?” Jordan said. “I hope somebody hears this; somebody who has the ability to do something about it.”
Jordan says she has contacted an immigration lawyer. She also contacted Senator Dan Coats' office, and was told because of the government shutdown, they can’t take on new cases.
His press secretary told 24-Hour News 8 typically with cases like Jordan’s they advise the parent speak to the Department of State.
What Could Be Done?
Michele Jackson, of Harden Jackson Law, specializes in immigration law and adoption.
She told 24-Hour News 8, without knowing the specifics, there could potentially be some exceptions or waivers, but she adds, “traditionally, if the adoption is not completed, or immigration paperwork not filed by the age of 16, there’s no route to citizenship for the child.”
“There are some options, in which children can stay in the country on what are considered temporary, or non-immigrant visas. One of the best options would be a student visa. There are a couple types of student visas: One is through an approved exchange program and the other is through an approved school that hosts a child.”
"Everything takes time"
Jordan says she is looking into this, but it takes time to process, and it’s not a permanent solution.
It also won’t solve the problem by Sunday. Jordan has a plane ticket to Germany for her adopted son on Sunday. She says she just hopes he doesn’t have to use it.
“I’m not going to stop until something works out; it just has to work out.”
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