The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

No. 209.]

Sir: In answer to your dispatch, No. 389, of September 6 last, asking whether a Chinese child adopted by an American citizen in China may be admitted to the United States for the purpose of being educated, I inclose herewith, for your information, a copy of a letter from the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor, stating that a child born of Chinese parents in China can not be permitted to enter the United States as an American citizen because of its adoption by a temporary resident of China who is a citizen of the United States, and that you are correct in holding that the persons interested in the child should adopt the usual procedure to insure its admission to this country, namely, the procurement of a certificate under the provisions of section 6 of the act of July 5, 1884.

I am, etc.,

Robert Bacon.
[Inclosure.]

The Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant, No. 1584, with which you inclose a copy of a dispatch from the American [Page 290]minister to China requesting advice whether a Chinese child adopted by an American citizen in China may be admitted to the United States for the purpose of being educated. The minister seeks specific instructions as to the correctness of an opinion expressed by him to the effect that the Chinese child mentioned can not be admitted as an American citizen merely because of its adoption by a lady who is a citizen of the United States.

So far as the department is aware, this particular question has never been raised, either before the executive branch of the government or in the courts. Upon careful reflection, however, it is constrained, in the light of the fact that it is impossible for a member of the Chinese race, under existing naturalization laws and decisions of the courts, to become a citizen of the United States by any other means than birth within its territory, to hold that a child born of Chinese parents in China can not be permitted to enter the United States as an American citizen because of its adoption by a temporary resident of the Empire of China who is a citizen of this country. The minister was correct in holding that the persons interested in the child should adopt the usual procedure to insure its admission to this country, viz, the procurement of a certificate under the provisions of section 6 of the act of July 5, 1884.

Respectfully,

Lawrence O. Murray.