Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 389.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of my correspondence with the American consul-general at Hankow regarding the adoption by an American of a Chinese baby girl. My opinion is asked as to whether the child may, through adoption, become an American citizen, and be taken to the United States and brought up as any ordinary adopted child of American extraction.

I have expressed my belief that under the present laws a Chinese infant can not thus become an American citizen, but that possibly the child could be taken to the United States and there educated under the privileges pertaining to the exempt classes of Chinese persons.

I have the honor to beg that the department will express its opinion as to my course of action.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Martin to Mr. Rockhill.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herein the copy of a letter just received from Miss Carrie M. Ericksen, together with a copy of my answer thereto.

Will you be so kind as to express your opinion on the subject, through me, to her, that she may be the better satisfied.

Wm. Martin.
[Subinclosure 1.]

Miss Ericksen to Mr. Martin.

Dear Mr. Martin: I am writing these few lines to ask a favor of you. We have under our care a Chinese baby girl who was thrown out to die by her parents and we want to know if it is possible to take her with us to the United States next spring. If so, under what conditions. I wish to adopt her and have her brought up in my home as an American citizen. Will you let me hear from you at your earliest convenience, and oblige,

Carrie M. Ericksen.
[Page 289]
[Subinclosure 2.]

Mr. Martin to Miss Ericksen.

Miss Carrie M. Ericksen,
Sin Tsai Hsien, Honan:

I am in receipt of your letter dated August 15, 1906, and in reply would say, that as to your asking whether you can take a baby Chinese girl into the United States, you having adopted her, as far as I know it would not be permitted. I will, however, communicate with the American minister at Peking on the subject, and on receiving his answer will forward it to you.

William Martin.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Rockhill to Mr. Martin.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 218 of August 21, inclosing copies of your correspondence with Miss Carrie M. Ericksen regarding her proposed adoption of a Chinese baby girl as an American citizen and asking my opinion on the subject.

In reply I beg to say that I can find no record in this legation of a similar case, but I am of the opinion that under the present laws the child could not be declared a citizen of the United States through adoption. It might be possible, however, for her to be brought to America for the purpose of education under the laws governing persons of exempt classes, but that is not the point upon which Miss Ericksen desires information.

I have submitted the case to the Department of State, and on receiving a reply therefrom will immediately inform you of its contents.

W. W. Rockhill.