Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, heads to the chamber for votes, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

BANGOR, Maine — Maine’s Republican senator is joining a bipartisan group of colleagues that wants to close a loophole in U.S. citizenship rules to benefit internationally adopted children.

Sen. Susan Collins is among the supporters of the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021. The proposal would make changes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Collins and other lawmakers said the current citizenship rules only apply to adoptees who were under the age of 18 when the law took effect in February 2001. That denies citizenship to adoptees who were 18 or older in February 2001, even though they were legally adopted as children by U.S. citizens and raised in the U.S., the lawmakers said.

The proposed changes would make citizenship automatic for international adoptees who were legally adopted by U.S. citizens as children, regardless of their age when the citizenship act took effect, the lawmakers said.

Collins said it is “simply not right that international adoptees who were legally adopted in the United States are being denied citizenship due to a loophole in current law.”