US Passport for newborn


I was hoping to find some current experiences with my question, but I couldn’t find anything. Anyone have experience or knowledge with the following experience?

I (male, US citizen, living in NYC) and my girlfriend (Taiwan citizen, living in Taiwan) are expecting our first daughter this October. Fortunately her family is very supportive and will help me take care of my girlfriend and the newborn while I have to work in the US.

Q1) Anyone know the process for my soon to be born daughter to get a US passport while in Taiwan?

I checked the AIT and it seems like it should be a no brainer even if we have the daughter through wedlock. I meet the living outside of Taiwan residency requirement, I will claim paternity and I acknowledge being financial responsible for her. One of the issue I’m worried about is that we aren’t married yet so we do not have a marriage certificate. The site says the marriage certificate isn’t need if we are not married (whew).

Q2) But will AIT or any agency require proof that I am the father? I’m sure my name and her name will both be on the birth certificate and I’m hoping that is sufficient.

I vaguely recall someone mentioning that it is or was difficult/impossible to get your name on the birth certificate in Taiwan if you’re not married.

Edit: some previous discussions:


Thank you for your quick reply. I had my friend called a Taiwan hospital and they confirmed what you said, my name will not be on the birth certificate since we are not married.
Now I’m confused because a marriage certificate isn’t required because we aren’t married, but the birth certificate requires my name, but the hospital won’t put my name down because we’re not married… Geez.

We are planning the k1 visa route so if we do just get married in TW that won’t work and it’ll lead to the spousal visa route. Yikes.

Having done all this being married to a Taiwanese AND having a child born inside Taiwan while I was also in Taiwan AND getting baby listed as US citizen born abroad through AIT in Taipei, I highly doubt you can do any of this while you are in the US and she is in Taiwan having the baby (i.e., the purely legal path is a horrendous undertaking of multitudes of documents, proof of living in US, etc.).

Will you be in Taiwan during the birth/post-birth?

My suggestion, search the web for citizenship lawyers in the US. I once sent an email to one and she politely replied with a recommendation of what to do.
Your situation is not clear-cut and at least a call/email to a lawyer in the US will set you on the way of what you have to do.

Do Not delay.

Good luck

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Thanks for your response.
Yes, I will be in Taiwan for the birth and I should be there for at least 3-4 weeks after the birth. I am working with a US lawyer, but he’s been MIA for a bit on case. Getting a US immigration lawyer is 10x better than a Taiwan one for issues like this right?

The main document that is a thorn is the birth certificate, if AIT needs both our names on it, but the hospital won’t put my name on it since we’re not married is puzzling. Thanks though.

For the birth certificate, call around to five hospitals and ask the same question.
Keep it simple.
Ask if you can just show your US passport and mother’s Taiwan passport for the English language birth certificate.

I just checked my child’s Taiwan English-language birth certificate. It only has my U.S. passport # and wife’s Taiwan passport #. Everything in English (names, etc.).
No need for Taiwan address. Nothing about being married (although we were and had all kinds of documents as proof).

This is from a public hospital in Taipei City.
i got extra copies all with official hospital chop.

You want to look at those two links rooftopclown shared and then proceed very very rapidly and with great care. As I stated in one of those threads, I have never heard of anyone (unmarried at the time of birth) successfully filling in the blank on the birth certificate or making any use of it without an accompanying DNA test. And you’ll notice neither of the original posters came back with success stories there.

If you are unmarried before the birth and your relationship with your girlfriend and her family goes south you will have exactly zero legal recourse with regard to parental rights - because in the eyes of the law you won’t be the child’s father.

I don’t know how badly it would screw up your US immigration plans - probably a lot - but in my opinion marrying your girlfriend in Taiwan before the birth is the most foolproof way to protect your rights as the child’s father.

Thanks C.

She’s been calling a few hospitals explaining situation, 1-2 flat out said no, but 2-3 said they’ve had the same requests multiple times and they are asking their manager. Worth a shot.

So there is a birth certificate in chinese and one in english? Or does the english one we have to go get translated?

Thanks Spaint!

Ideally we would get married, but that would push us to the Spousal visa route, but we really need to go with the K1 visa route since I work/live in USA. I heard the Spousal visa is now up to 1.5 years while the K1 she can come to the US in about 8-12months.

It’s foolish for me to say, but I’m not too worried about the zero legal recourse. Her parents have taken me in like one of their own. Thanks for the input.

there are two separate birth certificates.
the Chinese one is more detailed.
They are not alike.

Both English and Chinese birth certificates are issued by the hospital. The English one is adequate in cases where the “original” (or a translation) would be required, but it’s of very limited use because the hospital isn’t a government agency analogous to a registrar of births. My experience in both the UK and Canada is that the Household Registration documents are of greater use in claiming parentage as they are official documents issued by the local government/authority.

Maybe if I can get my passport # and my name on the English version birth certificate and use that for AIT, it could work.

I just wish getting in touch with AIT would be more efficient.

We were looking into the household registration, but that wasn’t one of the documents required by AIT. Let me add it to the list of questions for them. Thanks.

if you are not married, there is no way to put your name on her household registration, I think.

For someone’s info

How do parents of a child born out of wedlock to a foreign national father and an ROC national mother file the child’s household registration? How does the biological father file for paternity?

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What did AIT say you needed to give them?
I think you need to get them to follow through the following line of reasoning: If they said you don’t need the wedding certificate if you’re not married, shouldn’t they know your name wouldn’t be on the birth certificate? In which case, what additional proof would they require from you?
Another word of warning: don’t assume the person you contact at AIT will know more about this process than you do.

That’s more or less what I’m concerned about. Even if the OP somehow convinces the hospital to put his name on the English birth certificate, they’re unlikely to put it on the Chinese one which means there’ll be no evidence in the Household Registry. Then when the next-level flunky at AIT comes back to say “oh no, the hospital birth certificate is insufficient, we need the household registration” then the OP will have jumped through a bunch of hoops for nothing.

Great link, btw.

AIT website shows required documents:

  1. marriage certificate, if not married then not applicable
  2. U.S. citizen parents: the name listed on your child’s birth certificate must be your name in your U.S. passport.

And we all know every hospital won’t put my name on my child’s birth certificated if we’re not married. I’ve sent AIT emails, but it’s just a crap shoot of when or if they will reply.

Tando, thanks for the link. This is will great for the future.

I think this means some documentation that proves your paternity. If you cannot get a birth certificate with your name, you may need a paternity test.

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Here’s what I did. Flew into Taiwan, married wife, short honeymoon, flew home to U.S. Then my wife flew into the U.S as a tourist. When the customs agent asked her “what’s your purpose in the U.S.?” she said “I’m going to visit my husband in (city name). Can I have extra time on my visa/ entry permit?” They gave her a stamp for 6 months.

After enjoying a few months together, I filed the paperwork to adjust status and get her green card.

Most important in this scenario is that you never lie to the customs agent. Your wife CAN NOT say she is entering the U.S. with intent to stay. She’s just visiting!

Only after she spends time with you does she THEN decide she can’t bear the thought of living part from you, and then you file adjustment/greencard paperwork.

Discuss this plan with your U.S. attorney.

Worked out great for us, but you will have to consider your own tolerance for risk when considering my method. My risk tolerance was very high because I had already decided that if she did not get a green card I would gladly move to Taiwan. Your situation may be different, and it may be worth waiting for a spousal / fiance visa.

In the U.S. most states will allow the parents to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity, making you the legal father. You could also file a petition with the state court in the U.S., asking a judge to sign an order naming you as the father. Such an order, if authenticated by TECO office, might carry more weight with the household registration office or other authorities in Taiwan.

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