Daughter not entitled to ROC citizenship if born out of wedlock?!

I’m a dual Canadian Taiwanese national (never lived in Taiwan in my life). My chinese is basically non-existent. My wife is Canadian, and my daughter was born 1 year after our marriage on a Bahamian registered vessel. Our marriage is recognized in Canada and Hong Kong with no issues. We currently live in Hong Kong.

I went to TECO Hong Kong to inquire about getting Taiwan citizenship for my daughter. Unfortunately this would require authenticating her birth certificate in Canada, and our marriage certificate in Miami (Taiwan has no diplomatic relations with the Bahamas, thus this is handled by Miami TECO). Since this is a huge burden (we don’t know anyone in Miami that can assist), I asked TECO about only authenticating my daughters birth certificate so she can be added to my hukou and have citizenship. Incredibly I was told that if my marriage certificate isn’t authenticated, my daughter is not entitled to citizenship!

I cannot find a reference to this in ROC nationality law. Is there anyone that can provide insight? As far as I know, a child only has to be born with either parent a national of the ROC. Since my name is on her birth certificate, that should suffice, but apparently, as I was told, this isn’t the case.


I have a friend who resides here and since their daughter -Taiwanese father, foreign mother- was born after they got married, they asked for a paternity test in order to get citizenship.

So, yes, they will make you jump some ropes.

  1. Can’t you get a marriage certificate, or any document that certifies your marriage from Canadian government?

  2. Miami TECO doesn’t do the service via snail mail? (if you already have your marriage certificate.) Many TECO offices do the authentication service via mail, when applicants live abroad.

I’m not sure which is easier that getting your marriage certificate authenticated and putting a foreign born child on father’s hukou as a child born out of wedlock.

You could also ask a different TECO office just to compare.

A lot of the times, like in Taiwan, it really depends on who you talk to because the regulations are constantly changing. Person A at Office A may not be as up to date in the regulations as Person B at Office B.


Hi Tando,

Foreign marriages in Canada don’t get “registered”, the foreign marriage certificate is simply recognized. So there is no document I can get from the Canadian government that certifies the marriage. I was told by TECO if I did a second wedding (whether in Taiwan, Canada or otherwise), it would have a bearing on my daughters citizenship entitlement since the marriage certificate would be dated after her birth.

I’m hesitant to send my marriage certificate by mail to Miami, since I would have to go to the Bahamas to get another one if it were to be lost, or pay an agent to do it on my behalf.

I’m also evaluating which option is easier. I didn’t know the paternity test was also an option. This wasn’t outlined to me by TECO so I’ll have to investigate further.


I’ve asked Toronto TECO and Hong Kong TECO, and their answers appear consistent, although I cannot find a reference in the Nationality Act highlighting the importance of the child being born to married parents for nationality purposes.

It is more a matter for Household Registry.

To register your daughter as a child born out of wedlock, DNA paternity test may be not an option but a must. And mother’s single (unmarried) certificate during the period of her pregnancy authenticated by TECO might be required too.



Just do what they want even if it is a burden, it will be worth it in the long run and you will look back thinking you did the right thing.

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Just to clarify, my daughter is not born out of wedlock. I was just surprised that I was told it would affect her citizenship if I couldn’t get my marriage documents authenticated in Miami. Especially given there is no reference to parents marital status in the Nationality Act.

I haven’t thought about it before, but it is a weird thing. I had to get my marriage certificate translated and authenticated. My wife’s Taiwanese. Why should that be?

Obviously, one has to jump through the hoops and get it done though.

It won’t affect citizenship (she can get a citizenship), but you need different/additional documents to register her on your bumpy, especially when mother is a foreigner.

Isn’t it recorded whether parents are married or not in taiwanese hukou?


That’s what I’m trying to find out. Any idea what kind of additional documentation would be needed? If I can sort out the situation with my daughter, I can always do a quick wedding later on that is recognized in taiwan and avoid having to deal with Miami TECO, then sponsor my wife with for a JFRV.

It’s what I was asked for. We got married in the UK. No idea whether that played any role.

Registering your daughter on your hukou without an authenticated marriage certificate, you may need paternity test, and maybe an authenticated single certificate of mother during the period of 181 – 302 days before her delivery.

“Adopting” your daughter when you do a 2nd wedding in Taiwan could be another way to give her citizenship?

I feel getting your marriage certificate authenticated at Miami is the most straightforward way.

Don’t ask why to us foreigners. It’s a regulation of your country.

Don’t ask why to us foreigners. It’s a regulation of your country.

Lol. I’ve never lived in Taiwan before, and it doesn’t really feel like “my” country.