Records of Children Born in Foreign Countries to
U.S. Parents

birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported to
the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy as soon after the birth as possible.
To do this, the child’s parent or legal guardian should file an
Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United
States of America (Form FS-579/SS-5). This form may also be used to apply
for a Social Security Number for the child. A $40.00 fee is charged for
reporting the birth.

The application must be
supported by evidence to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship. Usually,
the following documents are needed:

  1. the child’s birth
  2. evidence of the U.S.
    citizenship of the parent(s) such as a certified copy of a birth
    certificate, U.S. passport, or Certificate of Naturalization or
  3. evidence of the
    parents’ marriage, if applicable
  4. affidavit(s) of the
    physical presence of the parent(s) in the United States

Each document should be
certified as a true copy of the original by the registrar of the office
that issued the document. Other documents may be needed in some cases.
Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for details on what evidence
is needed.

When the application is
approved, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United
States of America (Form FS-240) is given to the applicant. This document,
known as the Consular Report of Birth, has the same value as proof of
citizenship as the Certificate of Citizenship issued by the Immigration
and Naturalization Service.

A Consular Report of
Birth can be prepared only at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas, and
only if the person who is the subject of the report is under 18 years of
age when the application is made. A person residing abroad who is now 18
years of age or over, and whose claim to U.S. citizenship has never been
documented, should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for
assistance in registering as a U.S. citizen.

As of November 1, 1990,
the U.S. Department of State no longer issues multiple copies of the
Consular Report of Birth. However, a replacement Consular Report of Birth
may be issued if the original document is lost or mutilated. The U.S.
Department of State also issues certified copies of the Certification of
Report of Birth (DS-1365), which contains the same information as on the
Consular Report of Birth. The DS-1365 serves most needs and can be issued
in multiple copies. Documents are issued only to the subject of the
Consular Report of Birth, the subject’s parents or legal guardian, or a
person who submits written authorization from the subject.

To request copies of the
DS-1365 or a replacement FS-240, write to Passport Services,
Correspondence Branch, U.S. Department of State, 1111 19th Street NW,
Suite 510, Washington, DC 20522-1705. Please include the following items:

  1. the full name of the
    child at birth (and any adoptive name)
  2. the date and place of
  3. the names of the
  4. the serial number of
    the FS-240 (if the FS-240 was issued after November 1, 1990)
  5. any available passport
  6. the signature of the
    requestor and the requestor’s relationship to the subject
  7. a check or money order
    for $40.00 for the FS-240, $20.00 for the first DS-1350 and $10.00 for
    each additional issued at the same time per document requested, made
    payable to the U.S. Department of State
  8. if applying for a
    replacement FS-240, a notarized affidavit by the subject, parent, or
    legal representative that states the name, date and place of birth of
    the subject, and the whereabouts of the original FS-240

To obtain a Consular
Report of Birth in a new name, send a written request and fees as noted
above, the original (or replacement) Consular Report of Birth, or if not
available, a notarized affidavit about its whereabouts. Also, send a
certified copy of the court order or final adoption decree which
identifies the child and shows the change of name with the request. If the
name has been changed informally, submit public records and affidavits
that show the change of name.

 records of U.S. citizens who die in foreign countries

The death of
a U.S. citizen in a foreign country may be reported to the nearest U.S.
consular office. If reported, and a copy of the local death certificate
and evidence of U.S. citizenship are presented, the consul prepares the
official Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad’ (Form OF-180).
A copy of the Report of Death is then filed permanently in the U.S.
Department of State (see exceptions below).

To obtain a copy of a
report filed in 1963 or after, write to Passport Services, Correspondence
Branch, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705. The fee for a
copy is $20.00 for the first copy, $10.00 for each additional copy. Fee
may be subject to change.

Reports of Death filed
before 1963 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Service,
Diplomatic Records Branch, Washington, DC 20408. Requests for such records
should be sent directly to that office.

Reports of deaths of
persons serving in the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy,
Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard) or civilian employees of the
Department of Defense are not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.
In these cases, requests for copies of records should be sent to the
National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page
Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100.

of birth and death occurring on vessels or aircraft on the high seas

When a birth
or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft or on a vessel,
the record is usually filed at the next port of call.

1. If the vessel or
aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port, requests for copies of the
record may be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
2. If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to
the registration authority in the city where the vessel or aircraft docked
or landed in the United States.
3. If the vessel was of U.S. registry, contact the local
authorities at the port of entry and/or search the vessel logs at the U.S.
Coast Guard Facility at the vessel’s final port of call for that voyage.



Information is provided courtesy of the
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

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