Long History short: My mother married my father (actually step-father (Dutch Citizen)) when I was 8 years old and proceeded to raise me as his own child. Now I am 26 and I was wondering if I was eligible in any form or way for Dutch Citizenship.

  • 2
    I believe this would only be possible if your stepfather legally adopted you. Did he?
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 17:58

1 Answer 1



According to Wikipedia, the citizenship is only transmitted by the (biological) parents and, in the case of non-Dutch mother and Dutch father, the father must acknowledge the child before birth.

If you were a minor, you would fall in the following category for the citizenship by option (which is in practice a form of simplified naturalisation):

a minor who is acknowledged by a Dutch national who has been cared for and brought up by this Dutch national for an uninterrupted period of at least three years.

However since you stated you are 26 years old you are not under this category anymore.

Even if your father has legally adopted you, you are still not entitled to Dutch citizenship. However, you are exempted from the residency requirement if applying for naturalisation in the Netherlands. (I am not sure about this last sentence though, since Wikipedia apparently states this is true for people adopted after majority, which is not your case.)

So in that case if you are interested in the Dutch nationality you will have to apply for naturalisation. Bear in mind that this procedure, if successful, will require the applicant to renounce any other citizenship.

  • In fact, to make a full determination, it is necessary to take into account the state of nationality law at the time of OP's mother's marriage to his stepfather, along with any changes in the law that have occurred since then. I doubt the conclusion will be different, but the Wikipedia article only concerns the current state of the law, which isn't necessarily what it was approximately 18 years ago when OP became the stepson of a Dutch stepfather.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 18:07
  • In fact, the requirement for the acknowledgement to be made before birth only arose on 1 April 2003. But a step-father generally can't acknowledge a child to establish paternity. Acknowledgement is a legal mechanism that is supposed to establish actual paternity of a child that was born out of wedlock. In fact, nowadays, if the child is over 7, a DNA test is required. Assuming that OP had a father listed on his birth certificate, acknowledgement would certainly not have been possible, and I suspect that it would not have been possible regardless.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 18:16
  • "Even if your father has legally adopted you, you are still not entitled to Dutch citizenship": That is not necessarily correct (see RWN Art 5a). But, if David was adopted by his stepfather, we'd have to know when that occurred to know what law was in effect at the time of the adoption, along with the circumstances of the adoption to see if they satisfy the requirements of the law. If that happened and it did confer Dutch nationality on David, then David is probably a Dutch national today...
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 18:23
  • ...and in that case he will probably lose his Dutch nationality on his 28th birthday unless he receives a passport or certificate of nationality before then. The question of adoption by the stepfather therefore has potentially significant implications for David's question.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 18:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.