Foreign born child with one US parent who will not cooperate in seeking citizenship.

Can a child born abroad to an unmarried foreign national and a US citizen get citizenship if the US parent refuses to sign a birth certificate or participate in any way in the citizenship process?


Well-Known Member
If the US citizen is the mother, yes. If the US citizen is the father, probably not. That is because to transmit US citizenship to a child born abroad, born out of wedlock to an American father, in addition to the father needing to meet the physical presence requirements, some additional conditions need to be met before the child turns 18:
1. The child is legitimated, acknowledged by the father, or had paternity determined by a competent court, and
2. The father, unless deceased, voluntarily agrees in writing to support the child until he/she turns 18

The first point can be done without the father's cooperation (a court can do it), but the second one cannot be done without the father's cooperation (unless the father dies before the child turns 18), since the written agreement must be voluntarily done by the father. 8 FAM 301.7-4(E)(3)(b)(3)(a) says, "A father who refuses to sign a statement of support prevents his child from acquiring U.S. citizenship."