Hoping somebody here has insight to offer.

I did email the UK Home office but their response was to effectively point me to their website - or an immigration consultant.

Thank you for your further enquiry dated 18th October about citizenship for an adopted child.

Directing you to the guidance material is the only advice we can give you. We cannot tell you which form, if any, you need to use. If you need any further help you should seek independent immigration advice. Immigration advisers can help you with immigration matters, including completion of forms and representing you at a tribunal.

My wife is a natural born British Citizen. We got married in New Zealand, and have lived here since that time with a 6 year period living in the USA

My daughter was born in New Jersey. We adopted her in 2005

When I look on the citizenship website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-british-parent/born-between-1983-and-2006

It does not identify specifically what the citizenship status is for those who were adopted, and there appears to be a requirement that my daughter will need to apply for a grant of citizenship, and might receive it "other than by descent" in so doing. I found this from the information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law#British_citizenship_by_adoption

The Home office gave a link to search for immigration consultants, but I couldn't find any in New Zealand.

I am hoping someone may have some insight to offer as to how I apply to the Home Office for my daughter to receive citizenship. We want her to have those choices in life that having triple citizenship would offer.

  • Where are you currently resident (the question implies, but does not state, New Zealand), where did the adoption take place, and how old is your daughter now? – MadHatter Oct 19 '18 at 10:01
  • "and the adopters are habitually resident in the UK on that date." Sounds like your wikipedia research doesn't apply to you. Perhaps this can help, specifically "3. Other adoptions". I believe both the USA and New Zealand are 'designated countries'. Btw, don't expect the Home Office to help, sadly it's their job to be unhelpful. – Nathan Cooper Oct 19 '18 at 10:02
  • @NathanCooper about 2 paragraphs after that is "In all other cases, an application for registration of the child as a British citizen must be made before the child is 18. Usually this is granted provided the Secretary of State accepts the adoption is bona fide and the child would have been a British citizen if the natural child of the adopters. <snip> This is the standard method for children adopted by British citizens permanently resident overseas to acquire British citizenship." So I'm reasonably confident it is possible - I just don't know how! :-) – kiltannen Oct 19 '18 at 10:09
  • It's clear this is not a question about travel. I've flagged it for migration to Expatriates – CatchAsCatchCan Oct 19 '18 at 10:31
  • @CannonFodder I wondered if this would be better suited to that site. I am happy to move it there, can I do it or does a Mod need to move it? – kiltannen Oct 19 '18 at 10:34

It has been quite some time since I found the answer to this out - it took HOURS of almost randomly clicking on links on the Home Office website - but I finally found this page here: Guidance on how adopted children can become British

This seems to say the process is quite straightforward - BUT is pretty expensive at £1012 (as of Apr 2019)

The fees are listed here: fees for citizenship applications

The correct form and it's guide can be found here: MN1

There is a fairly short list of designated countries this is possible for which can be found here: designated countries

An additional piece of information for those completing this process from within New Zealand. You will need to complete a Biometric Enrollment - and there is a centre available within New Zealand. Details about how to do that are contained in the UK Visa Application process

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Essentially what you need to do is register the overseas adoption in the UK. I had researched this previously as I am a British citizen and am interested in adopting in the country I reside.


Also, you may be interested to know that the child will be a citizen "otherwise than by descent" so they will be able to pass their British citizenship onto their children, which any natural children you had would not be able to do without living in the UK for a while.

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  • Thank you for this. It would seem this would help if we were habitually resident in the UK at the time of the adoption. Unfortunately we were not. This means we will need to go down a different road - I will post some details about that a bit later on (Just a bit busy today but may do so tomorrow). In essence - It is possible to apply for citizenship - and this is virtually certain to be accepted. I found out how a few hours after posting my question... – kiltannen Oct 19 '18 at 20:15
  • Inheritance doesn't have to happen inside the UK so long as the person passing on citizenship is "otherwise than by descent" – William Dunne Oct 24 '18 at 17:36

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