I am an American citizen and married also to an American lady. We have children as well.

We live in a foreign country. I had an affairs with a woman who is not a US citizen. She became pregnant and gave birth to a boy. She ran away after giving me the child! My wife agreed to raise him along with our kids!

Now how do I go about getting a birth certificate from the American embassy with his mom nowhere to be found. The boy does have the local government birth certificate with my name on it as father.

Doesn't she need to go with me to the embassy with her IDs, etc. or can I do it all alone without her presence?


1 Answer 1


Since the child is born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father (you) and an alien mother, the child is automatically a U.S. citizen at birth if:

  • You were physically present in the U.S. (in any status) before the child's birth for 5 years, including 2 years after turning 14
  • Blood relationship between the child and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence
  • You agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until the child reaches 18 years of age
  • One of the following criteria is met before the child reaches 18 years of age:

    • The child is legitimated under the law of his or her residence or domicile;
    • The father acknowledges in writing and under oath the paternity of the child; or
    • The paternity of the child is established by adjudication of a competent court.

Basically, what you need to do is go to a U.S. consulate and apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), not a "birth certificate". It is a proof that the child is a U.S. citizen from birth. During this process, they will ask you to agree in writing to support the child, and acknowledge the paternity. They will likely ask for a DNA test to establish the blood relationship, since in this case it may be questionable. You will also need to provide evidence of your physical presence in the U.S. before the child's birth.

One parent is enough to apply for CRBA.

Although you can get the CRBA, you may not be able to get a U.S. passport for the child, because that requires the consent of both parents, unless you (or you and your wife) have sole custody or a court has given permission for the child to travel with you.

  • thank you very much I have 3 questions: 1 what does this mean exactly? The child is legitimated under the law of his or her residence or domicile; 2 Also, you said I can not get passport. Do you mean the mother has to be present in consulate to approve the passport? Please explain more on this. 3 Should I do DNA test before going or it may be needed and not always?
    – Mike
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 5:09
  • @Mike: 1) I wouldn't worry about this. Usually if the parents marry (which I don't think is going to happen in this case) or some other process depending on the law of the particular place, counts as legitimation. But acknowledging paternity is the more direct way in your case. 2) Or give her consent using a particular form, notarized. This is to avoid international kidnapping. If she's disappeared or something and the law gives you and/or your wife custody or something, that's enough. 3) You should only do it if they ask because they may have a designated place to do it.
    – user102008
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 5:16

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