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Losing nationality??

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Hello


I am a Dutch woman, living in the U.K. I have recently adopted two British children. I have tried to apply for a British passport for them both but am being told they will have to become Dutch as I am now legally their parent. I adopted another British child and in 2011 was able to obtain a Brith passport for her. Can any one help/advice me please?


Many thanks!

X


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I don't know the answer but this seems entirely wrong, especially if you obtained a British passport for your older child. I wonder if this new stringency is Brexit-related, as I keep reading about European nationals having various difficulties with obtaining permanent status in the UK where none existed before last summer. If I was you I would probably seek some legal advice. Just a quick google search suggests that your children will be eligible for a UK passport if born in the UK and if one of their parents was British or settled here at the time of their birth - were you? I seem to recall another person who obtained a UK passport on the basis that he (adoptive parent who was a US citizen) was settled here not at the time of birth but at the time of adoption, which will obviously apply.


In my own case - I am Irish. I wanted to apply for an Irish passport for my son who I adopted in 2015. I was shocked to find that I am not eligible to do so as Ireland only recognises adoptions between married men and women and I am in a same-sex relationship (apparently the law will be changing in the next year or two so I will try again in the future). Fortunately my partner is British and we obtained a British passport for our son instead. However where would this have left my son if I was a single adopter or my partner was also Irish? We would have been unable to apply either for an Irish or, as in your case, a British passport and our son would have been effectively stateless.


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You know what, I wish I could get a Dutch passport, I would be very happy with that.


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If your children are British they are entitled to a British passport - contact a solicitor who specialises in immigration law if you wish to clarify the position and if you have had problems actually applying then you may need advice on what to include in the application - presumably they would have to apply for Dutch nationality to apply for a Dutch passport - it is unlikely this would happen automatically. It may be an idea to check on the situation with dual nationality for Dutch citizens in case your children need this post Brexit (in case you want to move to the Netherlands). However if you are a parent of a child who is a British citizen you currently have a right to reside in the UK if they are living here.


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I am sure this problem came up before.


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Sending you a pm.


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I am from a EU country and adopted a child born in the UK but citizen of another EU country. As my partner is British, getting a British passport was very quick, but getting the one of my country much much longer as first the adoption had to be recognized by my country's courts, the child had to acquire nationality, change name etc etc. In your case I would try to find the way to retain the children British nationality through their birth - even if it is not 'advertised' as indeed a rare occurrence. This would help having a passport and travel, and the Dutch nationality side as a longer-term project, certainly useful after Brexit. Surprised that social services didn't advise on such a big thing in advance.


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Hi, We had the same problem: because we are both from EU country, little lamb lost her British citizenship. I queried this at the time and I was told that I needed to get a layer if I wanted to take it to court. I found it wrong on so many levels. I'm applying for British citizenship for other reasons, so eventually she will have one.


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Thank you so much for all the comments!

I'm waiting to hear back from the Dutch Embassy and the Home office.....


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Adoption is, "As if born to". It would suggest that this would mean that if your child was born to you it would share your citizenship.


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I get that, but my first adopted child was able to keep her British nationality


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Nomoreain (and Buffalo)


I wrote a fairly detailed reply but my awful Internet connection failed me. I'll dig out the statutory references tomorrow.


In summary the British Nationality Act 1981 confers citizenship on children born in the UK oif Mum or Dad are UK citizens. The Adoption Act 1976 and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 both provide that adopters are treated in law as having been the birth parents of an adopted child. However both of those Acts also make an express exception for the British Nationality Act 1981. So being adopted by a non British parent does not affect a child's British nationality. If it was otherwise then the child could become statelesssince there is no guarantee that the child would automatically acquire the adopters' nationality. That state of affairs would put the UK in breach of a 1961 UN convention on reducing stateless.


There is nothing in UK law to prevent someone having more than one citizenship, but some states don' t permit their citizens to have other nationalities so you might want to check the position in the Netherlands before getting Dutch nationality if that's an option you are considering.


You are doing the right thing raising the matter with the Dutch embassy and the Home Office. If you get no joy I suggest you write direct to the Home Secretary.


Good luck.


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Thank you tree.fin888 !!


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Nomorerain


As I mentioned last night, I think you need to challenge the view of the Passport Office for the following reason.

The British Nationality Act 1981 section 1 provides that


“A person born in the United Kingdom … shall be a British citizen if at the time of the birth his father or mother is—
Angel a British citizen…”


The Adoption Act 1976 Section 39 and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 section 67 both essentially provide that a child who is adopted is treated in law as having been born to the adopter(s).


But Section 47 of the 1976 Act and section 74 of the 2002 Act both provide that section 39 and section 67 of the 1976 and 2002 Acts respectively do not apply to the British Nationality Act 1981. So a child who is born with British Nationality does not lose that nationality as a result of being adopted by someone who is not a British citizen.


Additionally if a child did lose British citizenship on adoption there is a risk that the child would become stateless because there is no guarantee that the child would automatically acquire the nationality of the adopter. There is an international convention aimed at reducing statelessness to which the UK is a party. Article 5 of the convention (the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness 1961) provides that:


“1. If the law of a Contracting State entails loss of nationality as a consequence of any change in the personal status of a person such as marriage, termination of marriage, legitimation, recognition or adoption, such loss shall be conditional upon possession or acquisition of another nationality.”


So as I suggested, I think you should follow up with the Home Office, if necessary by writing to Ministers.


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Thanks so much!! I will


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Interesting thread. My son was 'stateless' when we adopted him - despite him being born in England. I was told that in these situations, once he was adopted, he would automatically acquire the citizenship of his legal parents, which in our case was British, and we've since managed to do this fairly easily. Hope you manage to get to the bottom of this and good luck.


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If you child is Adopted abroad, even if you are a British Citizen, you have to apply for British Citizen ship, Ford Prefect, even if Adoption, in law becomes as "born to"


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Fenwick, yes that is the case for any child born with their normal place of residence outside the UK, you have to apply, adopted or not. In this case though, the child was born in the UK and adopted by a non British parent. It is the combination of location and parents nationality that come into play.


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Little update- the Home office and British passport advice line have now both confirmed the children will not lose their British Nationality


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Common sense prevails! Phew!


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Hi nomorerain, I have pm you


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Good result. Very pleased.


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Hi nomorerain, I'm in your same situation and seeking advice, I have PM you. Many thanks for sharing your experience


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Nog een Nederlander hier!

Our children were older when we adopted and already had British passports. My husband is British and we have had no issue renewing them.

I did look into getting them Dutch passports as well after the Brexit vote, but it seems expensive and complex (we're in Scotland and would have to go down to the embassy in London with both of them and tons of paperwork). I also didn't find the rules on the website very clear, as they are tailored to birth children born abroad. For example, my circumstances at their time of birth are not relevant, it is about the point of adoption.

The Netherlands is not keen on dual nationality but they do allow it in certain situations. My understanding is that I can apply for British citizenship without losing my Dutch one using the clause "married to a British man and living in the UK", and that this would also be allowed for our children.


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Children can have two nationalities but must choose when 18. If that is possible, From some countries you can never loose nationality.


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If both nationalities are of EU member states, they can keep their double or triple nationalities for good. I know people who have three passports and legally so. There are some exceptions it seems, eg. I have heard that one cannot have Spanish and British dual citizenship.


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The Netherlands changed there rules in 2003, to state that Dutch nationals can’t hold duel nationality, they have to rescinded their Dutch nationality if they have lived outside the Netherlands or EU for more than 10 years. So as UK is still part of the EU, dual nationality is ok. Glad you got the uk passports sorted.


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Not the original question, but for the sake of clarity...


Ford Prefect - children born outside the UK to a British citizen are automatically entitled to British citizenship (OK, that's qualified by what sort of citizenship the parent qualifies for, but basically in my situation - born and brought up in the UK, British citizen parents, British citizen all my life - a birth child of mine would automatically be entitled to British citizenship).


Children adopted by British citizens outside the UK (but in a Hague Convention country) have to apply for citizenship, and it's discretionary. And cost the best part of £1,000 to apply...! In general, though, it seems to be granted - I have been told that the criteria is that is a genuine adoption and not an attempt to evade immigration rules, and everything ultimately should be decided by what is 'in the child's best interests' i.e. every criteria theoretically can be ignored, but I would guess you'd have an expensive legal battle in theory.


And yes, this is what we're about to attempt Wink I know a few people who have been through the process successfully.


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anyone else that instead has experience of getting British citizenship for British children adopted by EU nationals in UK?


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if the children are born in the UK to parents who are British nationals or settled here (have ILR or Permanent Residence as EU nationals, having been exercising Treaty Rights for 5 years or more) then they are British. Your child's nationality will be dependent on their circumstances at birth - if they were entitled to British nationality at that point then that entitlement remains. It cannot be taken away from them. If you have a different nationality and decide to apply for that nationality for them they would still not lose their British nationality unless given up voluntarily by taking the nationality of a country (presumably that of their adoptive parent/s in this case) which does not allow dual citizenship. You do not need to apply for citizenship if your child is entitled to it but would apply for a passport if you needed to travel - if it is the first passport you would need information about your child's birth and their birth parents status at birth. Presumably if applying as adopters for whatever other nationality you hold for your child you would need to provide evidence of your status at the time of adoption.


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Thanks Safia for your explanation, this is clear to me and I already know how to obtain the citizenship from my home country for my AS. On the other hand what is not clear to me is what kind of information about his birth parents status at birth would be necessary to prove he is British. In some cases this has been rejected for insufficient proof, so it would be very helpful to know from other applicants that were successful, what did they used as proof of birth mum and dad status, and how did they obtained it, as is not supereasy all the time to have cooperation from birth parents. Anyone that have any advice on this please?


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Government document says that someone is a British citizen if they are:

• Naturalised

• Registered as a British citizen

• Born or adopted in the United Kingdom before 1 January 1983

• Born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 1983 whose mother or (if their parents were married) father was a British citizen or settled in the United Kingdom

• Born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 July 2006 with a parent who is a British citizen or settled (which means not subject to immigration control) in the United Kingdom


So for proof birth certificate of birth mother and if she was born from 1983 onwards birth certifcate for her mother (maternal birth grandmother) should be enough. Certified copies of all birth certificates except for locked ones (i.e. those on adoption register now) can be obtained from GRO (general register office). You do have to pay (I had to obtain copy of mine during adoption process as could we find my original one :)). Those along with the acts quoted above by tree.fin88 and your adoption order documentation with child's birth name on it should be enough I believe.


I know when SS applied for passport for our now son when he was in FC they had to get copies of BM & maternal grandmother's birth certificates to get it.... so they are acceptable proof for passport application. In your case will also need knowledge of the law as set out earlier in thread and adoption order to prove your child is the one who was born British along with his adoption certificate and I assume his original birth certificate.


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Shortly after my AS was placed with me (German), my mum became severely ill and I applied for a British passport for him in order to travel to Germany. It took ages, partly because HM post office paperwork is not clear re adopted children (don't pay them to check your paperwork - it's wasted) and I had to proof that he was third generation British - not easy when birth mum never had a passport and her mother was long dead. I wrote to my MP (Wales) and Theresa May about this. My MP was fabulous - he helped me out on a few occasions re adoption - nothing from the PM, too busy brexiting.

My son's social worker managed to get a birth and a death certificate for us which did the trick. However, that passport is in his birth name because he was placed and not yet adopted and I now have to get a new one in his new name.

This will hopefully enable me to get him German citizenship because I want to keep his options open.

So far I have only been in email contact with the German embassy in London and I have most of the paperwork they require. Just the new passport and the placement order are missing now.

Your child's social worker / authority should be able to get you the parents' paperwork needed to prove he is British.

Hope this helps. Good luck x


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thanks a lot freiheit, this was very helpful!


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Tokoloshe - one thing to note that a child born to British parents but born outside the UK is only a British citizen by descent, so their British Citizenship does not automatically pass to their children. Their children would be British only if the child who is now a parent got British citizenship by naturalisation after they had been resident in the UK for five years, before the child was born.


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Just to add to what Tokoloshe posted...


I have just successfully obtained British Citizenship for my son, adopted in a Hague Convention country by my husband (not British) and me (British). However, I was twice told it was not possible by Home Office officials as we don't live in the uk. Luckily I had read the guidelines carefully as well as the relevant law, so I told them that the law says different and the officials went to check. I'm not sure if it is Home Office policy to misinform...


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hi gggiant, i have pm you


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