...and other misconceptions I made 06-12-23
2006 Dec 23
March 9th 2010
Please welcome two new citizens

Posted by D under adoption-process & family

If you are a long time reader, the title of this post may sound familiar – I asked you to “Please welcome two new citizens” in September 2005, when H2 and S2 became US citizens when entering the US on our flight back home from the adoption trip to China.

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.

Turned out that this seemingly complicated process to establish the fact that they were already citizens didn’t work. The German government decided that contrary to what I was told by numerous officials along the way, they could not recognize the adoption in China (and the re-adoption in the US). Instead we had to petition the court in Germany to formally accept the adoption as valid based on German law.

When this became clear at the end of 2007 I finally decided to hire a lawyer in Germany and take this through the incredibly slow bureaucratic process.

Fast forward 26 (twenty-six!!!) months and this morning I found email from my lawyer in my inbox. The Amtgerichts Schöneberg has finally decided (after three rounds of finding, collecting and translating various documents that court kept asking for) that H2 and S2 are legally adopted, based on German law, by K2 and me and are therefore German citizens.

I almost had given up hope. And I couldn’t be happier now that it’s over. The process was painful and slow and filled with false hope and false starts and false information (much of which, btw, was given by German officials). But at the end what matters is that the adoption is now formally recognized in the three countries that matter, China, the US and Germany. So the girls are now German-American dual citizens.


8 Responses to “Please welcome two new citizens”

  1. steve on 09 Mar 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Congratulations! That’s great.

  2. Jenny on 09 Mar 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Awesome! we haven’t even started down the road for Irish yet…not looking forward to it.

  3. OmegaMom on 09 Mar 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Congrats! And what a pain in the butt to have to go through all that. Hopefully that info can now be used by others in your situation!

  4. D on 09 Mar 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    That’s a good point, OmegaMom – I think I need to document this better. Which documents did we provide, how did we do it.

    I’ll do another post about that.

  5. TubaDad on 09 Mar 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    That’s fantastic. The girls will have many options for where they want to go to school, where they can work, and where they live when they are older. It’s great that you went through the process and did that for them!

    Good luck with your conference. I’m traveling this week as well, currently on the east coast.


  6. Molly on 10 Mar 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Congrats! So exciting for them and for you. I have British citizenship through my dad and it’s nice to have. It will be good for the girls when they are older and might want to live in Germany, etc.

  7. florence on 10 Mar 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    it’s not a easy journey..congrats!!!

  8. Jutta on 11 Mar 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Yes, please post details about the process when you get a chance. I still need to follow that path for my three children. And time is ticking as my oldest one is almost fifteen.

    Herzlichen Glueckwunsch!!!

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