...and other misconceptions I made 07-8-23
2007 Aug 23
May 16th 2007

Posted by D under adoption-process

It’s an interesting concept. I went to the German consulate in San Francisco today in order to get German passports for H2 and S2.

Well, not so fast. First you report their birth to the German government (“Geburtsanzeige”). Once you do that and receive their German birth certificates you can take those and then get German passports. To get there you fill out a form and give them lots of documents. They ask about birth parents. Birth location. Time of birth. Birth order. Sorry – don’t know any of that. I can offer a country of birth. And nationality at birth. I can make an educated guess about the nationality of the birth parents. And I can give you lots of pretty official documents about the nationalities of the parents.

So it turns out that these Chinese-born girls became US citizens the moment we entered the US. But at that point they had already been German citizens – that happened the moment I adopted them in China. What I am doing right now is simply (Ha!) documenting that fact.

So what does it take to do that? Here’s a list:

  • German passport of the parent through whom they obtained German citizenship
  • Passport of the other parent (ideally showing the same last name as all other documents)
  • ID document of the child (in this case: US passport)
  • Marriage certificate (certified copy)
  • Chinese adoption documents (original)
  • Notarized English translation of those documents (original)
  • Notarized German translation of the English translation of those documents (original)
  • US readoption paperwork (not strictly necessary but very useful) (original)
  • Notarized German translation (original)
  • US birth certificate (not strictly necessary but highly recommended) (original)
  • and of course a completed “Geburtsanzeige” – the four page form with lots of fun questions I don’t have answers for

If you make an appointment at the consulate you can bring all the originals and normal copies and they will certify all the copies and return the originals right away. There’s no way I’d do anything else.

Now we wait. The guess of the very nice and helpful (!) official at the consulate: might take a year – maybe a little longer.

So even though the girls have been German citizens for close to 21 months it will take another year or so until they get their German birth certificates which we can then use to get them German passports. Nationality – and interesting concept.


7 Responses to “Nationality”

  1. Figlet on 16 May 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Maybe not quite as insane but close – I need to do same for LSP so she can get her Irish passport. I dragged my feet about getting passport for husband and he’s no longer entitled as the rules have changed. Doh. But I like the idea of our girls going wild in the EU. Have you taught your girls to correctly identify German vehicles? That’s a good trick in our house.

  2. Jenny on 16 May 2007 at 6:18 pm #

    Crap…the girls have to get their irish passports. I wonder if it will be the same BS for us. Conor is hesitant to start until the US side of things is done. Like Figlet, I dragged my feet and didn’t get my irish passport!!!! But we want the girls to have the EU at their fingertips.

  3. Spacemom on 17 May 2007 at 7:59 am #

    Yikes! And I thought the US passports were bad (Both girls had US passports before they were 1)

  4. k2 on 17 May 2007 at 9:59 am #

    Figlet & Jenny – Friends from our adoption trip are US/Irish citizens. I’d be happy to ask them what they had to do to get their girls’ Irish passports. We’ll be seeing them in a few weeks.

  5. Jenny on 17 May 2007 at 11:02 am #

    That would be wonderful!!! I would love to know what to do. Even though C is suppose to figure it out, any help would be great!

    Thanks for letting me know D!

  6. Jutta on 17 May 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    D, vielen Dank fuer die Info. Hatte vor Jahren mich schon einmal erkundigt, aber damals wollte der zustaendige Konsulatsbeamte Rechtsvermerke der Deutschen Botschaft in Peking auf den chinesischen Originalurkunden. Die wollte ich aber nicht nach Peking schicken. Also liess ich die ganze Geschichte brach liegen. Nun werde ich das Ganze aber noch mal ankurbeln – dank dir. Falls mir der Beamte in Atlanta andere Auskuenfte gibt, werde ich ihn an das Konsulat in San Francisco verweisen :)

  7. No More Work Than One… » Please welcome two new citizens on 09 Mar 2010 at 9:56 am #

    […] And naively I thought that it would be pretty straight forward to get them German citizenship. One of the many things I was so horribly wrong about. To be honest, I procrastinated and didn’t start the process until a year and a half later, when in May 2007 after collecting some documentation (based on suggestions from the German consulate and a few officials in Germany that I talked to) I went to San Francisco, thinking I could just apply for German passports for them. […]

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