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German Law/Dual citizenship for our adopted daughter


I am an American citizen, my wife is a German citizen and who is a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States.  My wife has most of her family (mother, two sisters and other family members) still living in Germany.

In 2007, we adopted a child who was born in Guatemala and is now a  United States citizen (she will be seven years old this year) ... we live permanently in the United States.

It is our understanding that due to my wife's German citizenship, our daughter is entitled to German citizenship as well (making her a dual US and German citizen).  Our questions are -- is our daughter indeed entitled to German citizenship in this scenario, and if so can you advise as to the process we need to take to obtain the proper German paperwork for our daughter?  

We live close to New York City, and would be able to go to the German Consulate for any required paperwork.

Thank you in advance,


Dear Michael,

This is the information I found online for your question:

Ihr Adoptivkind erwirbt die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit, wenn Sie es im Rahmen einer starken Adoption annehmen oder eine schwache Adoption in eine Adoption mit starker Wirkung umgewandelt worden ist, Sie und/oder Ihr Ehegatte zu diesem Zeitpunkt deutsche Staatsangehörige sind, die Adoption nach deutschem Recht rechtswirksam und Ihr Adoptivkind noch nicht 18 Jahre alt ist.

Sie können für Ihr Adoptivkind an Ihrem Wohnort einen Kinderreisepass oder einen eigenen Reisepass beantragen. In der Regel behält Ihr Adoptivkind zusätzlich die Staatsangehörigkeit des Herkunftslandes.

You can contact me directly at if you need further help.

Carolin Schulz-Burgess
German Attorney at Law/Foreign Legal Consultant

German Legal Services
306 South Walker Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Tel. +1 803 254-8153
Fax +1 803 753-9295  

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Carolin Schulz-Burgess


German legal issues on inheritance, divorce, alimony, child custody and support, last wills and testaments, and other problems involving international family and civil law.


I am a certified German laywer with professional experience in both German and American law firms. Since 2001 I have been working independently at my firm, German Legal Services. I have represented hundreds of clients on matters involving US-German legal issues. One of my firm's areas of specialization is in divorce and child support and custody issues between members of the U.S. Armed Forces and German civilians.

World Affairs Council, German Bar Association

North Carolina Bar Association Newsletter

I received my undergraduate and JD degrees both from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, whose law school is consistently ranked in the top 10 in Germany.

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