1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

US Citizen child born OUT of wedlock who's parents later married.

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by jlewis, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)


    This is my first post on this forum and really a last ditched effort to determine the legitimacy of my claim. I was hoping that someone on this forum with either experience in this realm of law, or past personal experience, could shed some light on my current situation.

    I was born to a US father and Canadian mother. I was born in Canada where my mother and father were not married, thus making me born out of wedlock. My father was using a nonlegal last name at the time and had altered is date of birth as far as what is shown on my birth certificate. My mother and father later married when i was 3 years old in Washington State (Marriage certificate shows my fathers legal last name and correct date of birth).

    My question is :

    In washington state the law is that if a couple marries and has a child previously born out of wedlock, their marriage legitimizes the child. This was set into date in 1992. If parents were married in 1986, does this child remain born out of wedlock, or will the law apply to dates previous of its creation?

    This is all very technical, but logically i would hope that child born prior to a new laws creation would have this same claim to legitimacy years later. One would think that laws are created to set things fair, and in doing so would hold no expiration or creation date stipulations.

    Thanks for taking the time to look at this, i hope someone can help me out.
  2. jayoa

    jayoa Registered Users (C)

    Citizenship is based on federal law, not state law. However I would expect a DNA test to prove that yous US citizen father is truly your father regardless what names he has on any document which we all know can be changed at will.I am unsure how to go about your case but you certainly need to speak with an attorney, first call is usually free consultation-take advantage of it.
    Read this, although it only speaks of mother, not father; http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Laws/Mem...anda/Archives 1998-2008/2003/polmemo98pub.pdf

    Here is what you actually need depending if your parent(s) registered your birth at a US embassy or not and if you are currently in the US or not (here is the actual website: http://www.foreignborn.com/visas_imm/start_here/4birth_abroad.htm;

    Request a Copy of a Consular Report of Birth
    If you were born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen parent or parents, and your parent registered your birth at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the form of a Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240), and you would like evidence of your birth and United States citizenship, you should submit a written request which includes the following five items:
    1.Your full name at birth, and date and country of birth.
    2.Parents' full names, including mother's maiden name, and their dates and places of birth and nationality.
    3.A daytime telephone number.
    4.You or your parents' notarized signature. A legal guardian's signature is acceptable only when accompanied by a certified copy of the guardianship papers or court order of adoption.
    5.A $30 fee (check or money order made payable to the Department of State).
    All requests should be mailed to:

    Passport Services
    Vital Records Section
    Suite 510
    1111 19th Street NW
    Washington, DC 20522-1705

    For detailed information on requesting Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, click here.

    Establishing US Citizenship Later
    If you were born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen parent or parents and your parent did not register your birth in the form of a Consular Report of Birth FS-240, you may apply to USCIS for a Certificate of Citizenship, or to a U.S. passport agency for a U.S. passport to document your U.S. citizenship.
    •If you are outside the U.S., contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for instructions.

    •If you are in the U.S. and you would like to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship, file USCIS Form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship) with your nearest USCIS office. If you would like to apply for a U.S. passport to establish your citizenship, click here for a list of the documentation needed -- you will need to apply in person to the nearest U.S. passport agency.
  3. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    Sorry i should have clarified more.

    - I am now 27 years old
    - My parents never registered my birth at a US embassy.
    - And the state law is in relations to whether or not my parents marriage legitimized my birth. This "legitimacy" claim falls under state law i believe?
  4. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)


    You were born before November 14, 1986, so your father would need to have lived for 10 years in the US at some point in his life before your birth, including 5 years after his 14th birthday.

    What is your current immigration status, as classified by your existing documents? Did your mother become a US citizen before you turned 18?
  5. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    Currently i have no status. I have lived in Canada since the age of 4-5 and my mother never gained American citizenship. I have only recently been made aware of my possible claim to citizenship.

    After a meeting at the US Embassy i was pretty much informed that what it comes down to is:

    - Proving fathers residence as noted above
    - Whether or not Washington state believes that marriage after my birth between my biological father and mother legitimizes my birth (married 3 years after my birth). The big problem is that Washington state passed a law in 1992 that allowed for this form of legitimacy. My BIG question is whether or not my parents marriage in 1986 falls under this law since they married 6 years prior to the laws creation and whether or not there was a time frame in which they had to wed post my birth.

    Also since my mother and father lived in Canada at the time of my birth, together, they fall under a common law relationship which would make me legitimate in Canada's eyes. Does this mean that i was born legitimate?

    Looking for anything that helps me, not really sure what my status is at this point, things are getting pretty technical. Thanks again for the replies i really appreciate all the help i can get at this point.
  6. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    to clarify my mother and father wed in Seattle, Washington where were lived together for just under a year.
  7. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    If they were still married in 1992 when the law was passed, I would expect that would be considered as legitimation. But IANAL.

    Note that legitimation is not required if the father acknowledged paternity before you turned 18 and paternity was legally established. Others in a similar position have managed to successfully claim US citizenship based on a citizen father even though their parents never married or otherwise legitimated. But due to the irregularity in your birth certificate, unless you can get it corrected you will need other evidence of paternity such as a DNA test.

    You are in Canada right now, is that correct?
  8. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    Yes i am currently located in Canada, Vancouver to be exact.
  9. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    One of the problems is that if the child is over the age of 18, i dont believe DNA tests can be done. I am now 27, far past expiration. I know that there was legal documentation in which my father was requesting visitation rights, which seems to be a public documented acceptance of me as his child no? I think i will simple have to gather as much proof as possible, and hope its gets approved.
  10. Al Southner

    Al Southner Registered Users (C)

  11. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Visitation rights? So they got divorced? Or are you referring to the few years after your birth before they got married?
  12. jlewis

    jlewis Registered Users (C)

    They divorced years after their marriage. Me and my mother moved to Canada. 11 years go by and i reconnect with him. My mother decided to ask for child support, to which my father agreed only if visitation rights were instated. All this was done via lawyers so is fully documented. Not sure if this is an open acceptance of me as his son, any thoughts?
  13. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    How old were you when that happened?

    Are you saying he didn't pay child support for 11 years?
  14. jayoa

    jayoa Registered Users (C)

    Personally, I think you can acquire US citizenship through your biological dad, but this is far too technical to try to untangle by yourself or on this forum. Get an attorney in Washington State (you can find them online), lay your case down as they require you to do and they will figure out the technicalities that apply to you as well as the legitimacy laws in that state before, during, and after your birth and all that good stuff as well as the best approach to achieve your goal. After youg uys file your paperwork with USCIS then you can return here to simply discuss details of this extremely complex situation.

Share This Page