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August 11, 2009 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Can I get an Irish passport? (complications inside)

This question got me wondering if I can get an Irish passport. I have a few friends who have been successful based on the fact that their grandparents were born in Ireland. I think I may be able to as well, but there are a couple complicating factors.

1. I'm adopted: the Irish in me comes from my birth mother's family. I have documentation, etc. which shows my change of names and uh, owners I guess you could say.

2. My birth grandfather was born in Armagh, which is in Northern Ireland, but in the link above it says that anyone "born on the island of Ireland" before 2005 is eligible for Irish citizenship. I guess that includes him?

I definitely plan to ring the nearest consulate but would like to try and have an informed conversation! Thanks so much.
posted by lazywhinerkid to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Response by poster: A der, sorry. This question.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 3:26 PM on August 11, 2009

There is a lot of information out there on this. You can usually download the forms online or call the nearest consulate and request them mailed to you. There is an awful lot of documentation you need though, including official copies of birth, death and marriage certificates of all of the relevant relatives leading up to you. If you can get all of that I don't see how adoption would have anything to do with it. Look online for what you need, its so easy to find I'm not going to Google it for you, see if you can get it and then contact the consulate with any questions.

I know I had trouble getting my father's birth certificate even though he's dead but the laws vary by state, I believe. I had to have me mother request it for me. Older records and marriage records are usually public domain.
posted by Bunglegirl at 3:34 PM on August 11, 2009

Perhaps. It appears to depend on what documents you have access to from your birth parents.

Here's what you'd need (from here):

Where Foreign Births Registration is applied for on the basis of having a grandparent who was born in Ireland, the following supporting documents are required in addition to the completed application form:

In relation to the APPLICANT:

* Full civil birth certificate (including details of parents);
* Civil marriage certificate (if applicable);
* Copy of current passport or identity document;
* Two photographs of applicant;

In relation to the PARENT through whom citizenship is claimed:

* Full civil birth certificate (including details of parents);
* Civil marriage certificate (if applicable);
* Copy of current passport or identity document, if alive, or death certificate;

In relation to the GRANDPARENT BORN IN IRELAND from whom citizenship is claimed:

* Full civil birth certificate if born after 1864, otherwise a baptismal certificate; together with proof that no civil registration exists;
* Civil marriage certificate (if applicable);
* Copy of current passport or identity document, if alive, or death certificate;

Where the person to be registered is under 18 years, the declarent(parent) must sign the declaration on the application form and provide two of his/her own photographs.

"Foreign Birth Registration" is basically the process of filing all this stuff at the Irish diplomatic mission responsible for your area. Details on the linked page.

So you'd need either a valid current ID from your birth parents, or a death certificate.

But yeah, call the consulate responsible for your area and ask. From your profile, you might want the San Francisco office, but here's all of them in the US.

I'm trying to get an Italian passport myself - dual-citizenship wannabes unite!
posted by mdonley at 3:42 PM on August 11, 2009

The adoption is not a problem. My husband acquired his Irish passport due to the fact that his birth mother is Irish even though he was born and adopted in London. The last page of his passport simply says Born BirthNameFirst BirthNameLast. As long as you can acquire your birth mother's birth certificate, you should be fine.

Your Island-of-Ireland grandfather should be enough.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:44 PM on August 11, 2009

Best answer: (And I'm the husband.)

Darlingbri was asking me what the change was recently that altered matters and I remembered: since 2005 your qualifying relative must already be a citizen. He can't apply now and then literally grandfather you in, unlike the old days.

The Armagh part is slightly tricky, since it's in the UK technically, but my reading of this suggests you're entitled to claim Irish citizenship by registering your foreign birth: your grandfather was born on the island before 1986 and is therefore automatically a citizen whether he claimed it or not. You'll need his birth certificate, your birth mother's birth certificate, your birth certificate and your certificate of adoption, being enough paperwork to draw a line between your grandparent and his name and you and yours.

Phone your nearest diplomatic outpost (which in your case is the Irish Consulate in San Francisco for details on how to get yourself registered. Once that's done you can file your passport application through them -- or possibly through the main embassy in DC -- with the same supporting paperwork again.

I am the child of an Irish citizen who put me up for adoption. This does work.
posted by genghis at 6:54 PM on August 11, 2009

Genghis, does this mean that if my mother applies (because her grandfather was born in Ireland) and gets citizenship that I then couldn't apply? What if she actually moved there?
posted by bluedaisy at 7:11 PM on August 11, 2009

My grandfather was born in Belfast and I got an Irish passport 19 years ago. He was born prior to 1922 which I think seemed to matter at the time I applied. It may not be an issue now.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:42 PM on August 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, gang! Looks like I have some calls to make and papers to track down...
posted by lazywhinerkid at 8:12 PM on August 11, 2009

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