So, my friend Eve asked if we would have to get a passport for the baby once it is born in order to come back to the US with her.
And yes we will.
First, we’ll go to the US Embassy with the record of birth given to me by the hospital this sweet little pea is born at. Ian and I will show our marriage certificate and material demonstrating that we are both US citizens (passports). From there, the Embassy will issue a Certificate of Birth (DS-1350) and a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240). The Consular Report of Birth Abroad document will give all of the details showing that this little girl has acquired US citizenship at birth because both Ian and I are American citizens, despite the fact that she is born in Kenya. While she won’t have the typical type of birth certificate issued by the State that children born in the US have, these forms will serve for all legal purposes that a US Birth Certificate would serve for.
Does this mean that she will still be a “natural born citizen”?
Yes, For children born abroad, the principle which applies is jus sanguinis, or “rule of the blood,” rather than jus soli (rule of soil) and the rules can get a bit tricky. If a child is born to two parents who are both American citizens, the case is usually clear, and the parents need only apply for a United States passport on the child’s behalf to ensure that his or her citizenship is formally recognized.
So, we’ll also apply for her passport, not only to recognize her citizenship, but to travel with her home to the US late summer. What a world traveler to have a passport at just a month of age! Some of you have asked if little baby May will have dual citizenship. The answer is yes, although the US doesn’t really recognize dual citizenship, Kenya does. She will be considered a citizen of both countries until she comes of age or pursues some avenue legally declaring her allegiance to one country and not the other.
She can be an American or a waKenyan. Whichever she decides.