How to get a birth certificate when born on a military base overseas

Written by laurie rappeport
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How to get a birth certificate when born on a military base overseas
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The U.S. military posts personnel on bases throughout the world. When service personnel travel with their families, they or their wives may give birth while living overseas. The children have U.S. citizenship by virtue of their parents' U.S. citizenship, but in order to acquire Social Security numbers, passports and other U.S. documents for the child, the parents first must register the child's birth and obtain a U.S. birth certificate. The State Department has specific procedures for reporting a foreign birth of a U.S. citizen and obtaining a birth certificate for that child.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Copy of official record of the child's foreign birth
  • Documented evidence of the parents' U.S. citizenship
  • Proof of the parents' residence or physical presence in the United States
  • Evidence of the parents' marriage, if applicable.
  • Divorce decree (if needed)
  • Paternity and support rulings (if needed)
  • Medical reports of blood compatibility (if relevant)
  • Fee of £42 (as of 2010)

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  1. 1

    Go to the closest U.S. Consulate or Embassy and ask for the consulate services section. Request that it issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America for your baby. The Vital Records Section refers to this document as a FS-240.

  2. 2

    Provide copies of the appropriate documents. Each document must have notarization by the registrar of the office where the document was issued that the documents are true copies of the originals. These records include the official record of the child's foreign birth (i.e., a birth report from the hospital where the mother gave birth); evidence of the parent(s)' U.S. citizenship (i.e., a current U.S. passport, a certified birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship or naturalisation); affidavits providing proof of the parent(s)' residence or physical presence in the United States; and evidence of the parents' marriage, if applicable. A child becomes a U.S. citizen even if only one parent has U.S. citizenship, so the documents that you submit must attest to the citizenship of the child's parent (or both parents, if applicable) that has U.S. citizenship. The names of the parent(s) under which you submit the application for a U.S. birth certificate must appear on the child's foreign birth certificate.

  3. 3

    Submit copies of affidavits of divorce decrees, paternity and support decrees, or medical reports of blood compatibility if the consulate requests these documents.

  4. 4

    Pay the service fee of £42, as of October 2010, with a bank draft payable to "Department of State."

  5. 5

    Provide a prepaid stamped self-addressed envelope if you wish the consulate or embassy to return the FS-240 by registered mail.

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