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Can child citizenship be given to a child born out of wedlock?

With the new immigration policy of the U.S. seemingly having proposed changes on a daily basis and people frightened and concerned about themselves and loved ones, a litany of issues are coming to the forefront in Miami and across the U.S. This is particularly troublesome when there are children involved. Child citizenship can be somewhat confusing, especially if the parents are unmarried when the child is born. A question that is often asked is whether a child who has a U.S. citizen father can be granted admission to the United States. He or she can according to the law.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows for a child whose father is a U.S. citizen and is the result of an unmarried relationship to come to the U.S. legally if the blood relationship between the father and the child is established through clear and convincing evidence. It must also be shown that the father was a U.S. national at the time of the birth. The father must have been physically in the U.S. or its outlying territories before the child's birth for five years - two of which must have been before the child turned 14. The father must have agreed in writing to financially support the child until age 18 unless the father is deceased.

While the child is under the age of 18, the following must be in effect: the child was legitimized based on the law or domicile; the father must have acknowledged paternity under oath and in writing; and the paternity must have been established by a competent court.

For people who have had a child out of wedlock and the father is a U.S. citizen while the mother is not, there are certain criteria that must be met for the child to be allowed to live legally in the U.S. Understanding this aspect of child citizenship is essential in such a circumstance. If there is any confusion about it, a lawyer experienced in immigration can help.

Source: travel.state.gov, "Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad -- Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father -- 'New' Section 309(a)," accessed on April 11, 2017

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