Expectant parents may have a bit more planning to do before having a baby in Germany versus the U.S. Besides finding a doctor and choosing a hospital, after baby is born, American parents will need to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and a U.S. passport for their child.
The parents must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship when applying for a CRBA. A baby born in a German hospital will get a “beglaubigte Abschrift aus dem Geburtenregister,” or German-issued birth certificate, from the Standesamt. A baby born at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center will receive an AE Form 40-400B, Report of Child Born Abroad of American Parents.
Parents should take one of these forms along with a DS-11, Application for U.S. Passport, and DS-2029 Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad to the passport office on Clay Kaserne, said Jonathon Palmer, passport acceptance agent with the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Passport Office. Both parents will have to provide their passports; original marriage certificate; original divorce decrees, if applicable; or sole physical custody court order, if applicable.
One U.S. citizen parent has to prove presence in the U.S. for five years, two of which have to have been after the age of 14, Palmer said. This can be done with SF-50s for civilians or ERB or ORB for military, college transcripts, high school report cards or transcripts, naturalization certification, etc., or documentation of working for the U.S. government (even if overseas) for people who have lived abroad most of their life.
Originals are only needed for vital records, such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees and birth certificates. Transcripts, SF-50s, etc., can be copies.
Both parents must be present and bring their ID cards and passport photos of the baby taken within six months. Two photos are required if only applying for a tourist passport. Four photos are required to also obtain a no-fee passport. If one parent is deployed or on temporary duty, the non-applying parent must fill out a DS 30-53, have it notarized and provide a copy of the ID they used on the day of notary.
Parents should bring a money order or cashier’s check made out to the Department of State for $215.
“Parents are always welcome and encouraged to come in ahead of time with the required documents to ask questions and go over the paperwork before the actual process where both parents and child have to be present,” Palmer said.
The passport office recommends parents complete this process within 30 days of the birth of their child. It is possible, but not necessary, to make an appointment at the passport office before baby is born. The office accepts walk-ins on Wednesdays.
It takes an average of six to eight weeks to receive, but this processing time varies by workload, Palmer said. Once parents get the notification that their baby’s passport and CRBA is ready for pickup, they should get with their sponsoring agency — S1 for military dependents and CPAC or human resources for civilians — to get a SOFA request form to bring with them on the day they pick up the passport and birth certificate. Parents should pick up the passport as soon as possible or within 90 days of the expiration listed on the SOFA request form.
Parents will soon be able to complete the CRBA application online. Passport agents will provide additional guidance when this service becomes available.
For more information and to fill out needed forms, go to home.army.mil/wiesbaden, click on My Wiesbaden, scroll to the Passports and ID Cards section and click on Passports and SOFA.