Anyone Have Experience Obtaining UK Passport for UK Baby Born in France?

Hi all! I am American, my fiancee is English and we live in France where our baby was born. We received inconsistent information from the Mairie's office here in Bordeaux, and were originally told by them that our baby would require a French passport to travel within the EU. 5 weeks later, our application has been rejected, and its a real shame because we had a trip planned to Portugal to see our baby's 86 year old Great Grandfather. It is now our understanding that we are to process her UK passport through the embassy in Paris. This is the link I have been using for information:

However, I assume we are going to have to pay for translation of her birth certificate, which doesn't appear to really be a French birth certificate at all, there's no official seal on it or anything, its just a printed piece of paper from the hospital with our names and time of birth etc.

If anyone has experience with a UK child born in France and how to go about obtaining papers it would be a huge help. Every time we try to search for information ourselves from the French authorities we are always led astray, and when we try to contact UK embassies we are always re-directed to the website.

Thank you for your help! We want to travel with our little one soon so she can meet her great grandparents!

At the risk of asking an obvious question, if applying for a UK passport poses problems, why not apply for a US passport? This will serve as an identity document and children do not require a permis de sejour until they turn 18. I applied for a passport for my son through the US Consulate in Marseille six years ago and, if my memory does not fail me on this, they did not require a translation of French documents. It will still take several weeks to get the passport as they have to be printed in the USA these days. Fortunately/Unfortunately, your child will not escape the main benefit of US citizenship, i.e. paying taxes even if you are living overseas. Your nationality has sealed his/her fate on this question.

In any event, if you have not already done so, you should register the birth of your child with the nearest US consulate. They will provide you with a document entitled something like Registration of the birth of a US citizen abroad. This will serve in lieu of any other birth certificate in dealing with the US administration, e.g. passport application. There is a US consulate in Bordeaux, unless they have just closed it and you and your partner will both need to be present, at least for the passport application. There are other documents, but this you will find on their website.

As for the child's French birth certificate, it seems as if you have left out one step. I was instructed to take the piece of paper that the hospital provided that was not the birth certificate as such, but rather the confirmation of a birth, to the local marie (town hall) to the etat civil. It was they who issued the birth certificate. A bit of advice that the hospital gave me was to request as many official copies as possible at this time. This was done free of charge, but will cost if you request them later.

Your child will only be eligible for French citizenship if s/he spends, I believe, four years in residence, after the age of 12 or 14 and 18, but this you can find on the relevant French government webpage. In any event the naturalisation laws seems to evolve quite frequently and will undoubtedly change again before you reach that stage.

oh no. Yes thats an entirely new can of worms. We are in the process of getting a pacs then applying for my visa in France. Its going to be a nightmare. Stay tuned for that post I'm sure! ;)

thank you!!! :)

Yes, if you contact the town hall and request a plurilingual birth certificate, they'll give it to you free of charge. The british consulate requires the whole birth certificate "(copie intégrale), not the "extrait de naissance". I'm in the middle of getting all the documents together to renew my 7 year old sons passport, and I was able to request the birth certificate on the townhalls internet site. I'm not sure if all townhalls have this option, but it's worth checking out. I received the requested copies through the post 4 days later.

The price of a childrens passport has almost doubled in 5 years, and costs almost 130€! Eeek! The price of being able to live in France...oh well, c'est la vie.

Photos need to be signed on the back by a professional who knows the child well and who speaks english. This is where my sons passport application has come to a stop. He just changed school recently and we changed our doctor, so I'm not sure who to ask.

I hope that helped, along with all the rest of us ;0)

Indeed Brian!

Maybe enough, I have some doubts though.

I'm so confused.... who said who was snotty? I guess I missed all that action. No one has been snotty to me... Anyway, thanks again for your help. ;) I think I feel more enlightened..... actually I feel pretty confused, haha. But I'm going to take each piece of information and work with it.

oh dear. That may be an excellent point. I will call both our embassies.

Yes, they told us she would be eligible for citizenship at 13 actually.

Yes, a lot of responses indeed! Lots of helpful people being helpful. In response to your question, no we made no declaration of paternity... my fiancee looked totally confused when I asked him if he had done that. All we have is the acte de naissance, after registering her birth. Her last name is his however.

I had lots of friends of Irish parentage who were born and raised as Brits, so never reallt thought about that. I think, and let's leave it there, it is something to do with history and a relationship between the two countries that one never wanted and the other never wanted to end. I am a Scot, and would like to see that history repeated, a little more peacefully mind you, in the next couple of years.

The reason I asked Brian was that my parents are both Irish (south) but were not married when I was born. I have a British passport and am considered a British subject. And on the US subject, my friend Keith went to work in the US for a British company and when they halved their US operation he did not want to come home. You would come over quite faint (as did I) if I were to tell you how much he paid for US green card (followed by citizenship) - I don't think I have ever wanted something that much (other than money of course!!! lol).

I'm not so certain. I have worked with US citizens for years and Europe can still be heavy going for them if they need to stay a while, but then there are some countries like India and Viet Nam where they take weeks to get visas and for me it is hours. Anyway, I have friends in Geneva who have only ever lived together, she American and he Swiss, their children are both, have both passports. One child studied in the USA and as a citizen had no problems of visas or whatsoever because she had no need. So they are just like our girls except that we are married and they are not. The only question in some countries is whether paternity is shown on the birth certificate and I believe people even get round it if not as long as they can show they were together long enough and even doing blood tests if required.

Also Norah, if you check here in Europe it is decades since a child took the nationality of the country in which it was born in those countries that did it at all. The UK never has, but used to consider the child as being of paternal nationality irrespective of whether parents were married or not unless it was the child of a real single mother, then it was hers. As the records in the Children's Society show, the only ways a child then got UK citizenship was if the mother married a UK citizen or in the case of the child either being abandoned or taken into care and then adopted by British adoptive parents. 2012 is very different. I would always opt for both but living here in France start with the UK one.

Is it the same case if you are not married Brian? Anyway, it seems to me that half the world would "kill" for a US Passport, so I would also recommend getting baby a US passport, wouldn't you?

Norah, things have changed very much. Our daughters were both born in England but had Swiss passports before the UK ones, simply so that they were also registered in my wife's home country. We got UK passports in time for their first international trip where they were returning to the UK from out of Europe. Dual nationality is commonplace as quite a few people on SFN will tell you, including a few French-USA children so that people can see that US registration of children born in Europe is quite normal. A UK passport is far more useful for moving about inside the EU in general, whether Schengen or not, but US citizens do not have it as easy.

I had much the same experience at the British Embassy for my daughter's birth certificate and passport. Both smooth operations. Don't talk to me about visa applications for the UK though for a non European wife!

Hi, I registered both my girls with the British Embassy in Paris, I paid for their birth certificates (UK) and passport at the same time. It took about 6 weeks for Izzy's to come through but Jasmine's was only 2-3 weeks. Have a look through some of my old blog posts because I talked about my experience on there & I had a couple of useful notes about who to contact & how to contact the Embassy to speed it up.

Good Luck


Marie-Claire, you mean passport. Everyone receives a birth certificate when they are born, from the country they were born in. It doesn't confer nationality though. My children are British with British passports, but they were issued with two french Acte de Naissance - a standard one and an international one (which is very useful!).

Not true. My daughter has an "acte de naissance" as she was born in France despite both parents being British. However, there is no "livre de famille"