A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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JJOC1414
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A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JJOC1414 » 17 Jan 2009, 14:08

I have a problem that at the very least is rare. I suspect it is even unique and, worst of all, I fear that it might be irresolvable. I am stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, in my case caught between the laws of two different governments: the State of NJ and the Republic of Italy.

My story in brief:

1) I was adopted at age 15 and knew who my birth parents were before the adopton.

2) My birth mother was born in the US to Italian parents and, as she was born before her father's naturalization and I was born after 1948, I am eligible to claim Italian citizenship via jure sanguinis. There is not question about this.

3) The Italian government requires that I produce certified copies of all birth, marriage, and death certificates, where applicable: mine, my mother's, my maternal grandfather.

4) I have obtained certified copies of all such certificates -- all but my own original birth record, because that was sealed by the state at the time of my adoption.

5) Needing my own original birth certificate, I just recently managed to get a NJ judge to issue a Court Order unsealing all my birth and adoption records.

6) This Court Order was sent to the State Registrar of NJ and I subsequently ordered a certified copy of my original birth certificate.

7) The State Registrar has now informed me that they cannot give me a certified copy of my original birth certificate, only a copy for informational purposes. Apparently my legal birth certificate is the amended with my adoptive parents' names, which prohibits the state from issuing a certified copy of the original.

8) The only solution, according to the State Registrar, is to have the adoption overturned, which would then make my original birth certificate legal again. A drastic solution to say the least.

Question:

So, given that I cannot get certified copy of my own original birth certificate from NJ without resorting to drastic measures, does anybody know if the Italian authorities would accept, for the purposes of jure sanguinis, the informational copy of my original birth certificate along with the certified copy of amended birth certificate, if I can also supply a copy of my judgment of adoption?

My hope is that all the Italian government really cares about is my true blood line. After all, at the time of adoption I didn't undergo a bone marrow transplant or blood transfusion.

Any other thoughts are much appreciated!

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby johnnyonthespot » 17 Jan 2009, 14:57

JJOC1414 wrote:I have a problem that at the very least is rare. I suspect it is even unique and, worst of all, I fear that it might be irresolvable. I am stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, in my case caught between the laws of two different governments: the State of NJ and the Republic of Italy.

My story in brief:

1) I was adopted at age 15 and knew who my birth parents were before the adopton.

2) My birth mother was born in the US to Italian parents and, as she was born before her father's naturalization and I was born after 1948, I am eligible to claim Italian citizenship via jure sanguinis. There is not question about this.

3) The Italian government requires that I produce certified copies of all birth, marriage, and death certificates, where applicable: mine, my mother's, my maternal grandfather.

4) I have obtained certified copies of all such certificates -- all but my own original birth record, because that was sealed by the state at the time of my adoption.

5) Needing my own original birth certificate, I just recently managed to get a NJ judge to issue a Court Order unsealing all my birth and adoption records.

6) This Court Order was sent to the State Registrar of NJ and I subsequently ordered a certified copy of my original birth certificate.

7) The State Registrar has now informed me that they cannot give me a certified copy of my original birth certificate, only a copy for informational purposes. Apparently my legal birth certificate is the amended with my adoptive parents' names, which prohibits the state from issuing a certified copy of the original.

8) The only solution, according to the State Registrar, is to have the adoption overturned, which would then make my original birth certificate legal again. A drastic solution to say the least.

Question:

So, given that I cannot get certified copy of my own original birth certificate from NJ without resorting to drastic measures, does anybody know if the Italian authorities would accept, for the purposes of jure sanguinis, the informational copy of my original birth certificate along with the certified copy of amended birth certificate, if I can also supply a copy of my judgment of adoption?

My hope is that all the Italian government really cares about is my true blood line. After all, at the time of adoption I didn't undergo a bone marrow transplant or blood transfusion.

Any other thoughts are much appreciated!


Ask the registrar if they would be able to give you a document stating that the attached is a "true" copy of your original birth certificate, then ask the consulate if they will accept it.

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Destin2BeItaliano
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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby Destin2BeItaliano » 18 Jan 2009, 10:25

Just a thought, but if you're unable to get the registar to provide a letter that its a true copy of the original it may be worth trying to have a notary go with you to pick up the document they are providing and allow them to write a letter and notarize it and the document that they witnessed the registar provide it to you. It's a long shot, but worth considering it to help support your claim.

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JJOC1414
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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JJOC1414 » 18 Jan 2009, 11:57

johnny and Destin,

Thank you both for your replies. I am certain what the State of NJ will be sending me is in fact what would be called a "true" copy. I believe it will have a red stamp across the front saying "FOR INFORMATION ONLY -- NOT FOR LEGAL PURPOSES" or some wording to that effect, and on the back there will be a printed seal of NJ with more wording about being true as to its information but not usable for legal purposes.

That sounds wonderful, I agree, but such a document, because it is not certified with a raised seal cannot have an Apostille. That is my greatest fear, that without the Apostille the Italian authorities -- who love their official stamps and seals and practically make an industry of them (carta da bollo) -- will not accept it, despite being a "true" copy for informational purposes. I will ask for a special letter from the State Attorney General and hope that this might be acceptable in lieu of the Apostille.

I forgot to mention that I am already a legal resident of Italy, so I do not have to deal with any of the Consulate offices in the US. By posing this question here, I was hoping that somebody might know the answer before I go to the Comune and pose the problem to them. As soon as I receive the "true" copy, I will do that and let you know the outcome.

Thanks again.

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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jan 2009, 16:23

JJOC1414 wrote:johnny and Destin,

Thank you both for your replies. I am certain what the State of NJ will be sending me is in fact what would be called a "true" copy. I believe it will have a red stamp across the front saying "FOR INFORMATION ONLY -- NOT FOR LEGAL PURPOSES" or some wording to that effect, and on the back there will be a printed seal of NJ with more wording about being true as to its information but not usable for legal purposes.

That sounds wonderful, I agree, but such a document, because it is not certified with a raised seal cannot have an Apostille. That is my greatest fear, that without the Apostille the Italian authorities -- who love their official stamps and seals and practically make an industry of them (carta da bollo) -- will not accept it, despite being a "true" copy for informational purposes. I will ask for a special letter from the State Attorney General and hope that this might be acceptable in lieu of the Apostille.

I forgot to mention that I am already a legal resident of Italy, so I do not have to deal with any of the Consulate offices in the US. By posing this question here, I was hoping that somebody might know the answer before I go to the Comune and pose the problem to them. As soon as I receive the "true" copy, I will do that and let you know the outcome.

Thanks again.


Interesting problem.

Under New Jersey law, "Certification and Apostilles attest to the legal status of notaries public and selected public officials, such as judges, county clerks, and the State Registrar of Vital Statistics." (Web Page Name).

So, take the notary with you when you pick up the birth certificate, have him/her prepare a letter stating the facts, then get *the letter* apostilled.

Alternately, have the state registrar prepare a letter of explanation, making sure the letter includes enough detail of the birth certificate (the attached birth certificate of Little Johnny Jones, born on 01/01/19xx to Mary Smith and John Jones) is a true copy of an official state record blah, blah, blah. Have the registrar apply his signature and seal to *the letter* and then have *the letter* apostilled.

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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JMSCalifornia » 13 Aug 2010, 04:17

Your issue of whether you may obtain Italian citizenship through jure sanguinis in light of a subsequent adoption by non-Italian descent parents is exactly my situation. I am unable to obtain a certified copy (only an informational copy) of my original birth certificate showing my Italian descent.

Can you tell me if you were able to resolve this birth certificate problem and obtain Italian citizenship?

Thank you!

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JJOC1414
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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JJOC1414 » 13 Aug 2010, 15:27

Thanks for asking. Unfortunately I'm still working at it. It took over a year before I got an answer from the Sulmona town hall, and their suggestion was to go to the US Consulate in Milano to get an affidavit saying that the person on the two birth certificates is one and the same. This week I tried that and the person at the Consulate (a very nice Italian woman) said they couldn't do such an affidavit because it would have no validity in Italy. She did say however that I should be able to get an apostille for both certificates since even the original birth certificate, even though it is not certified, does have the signature of the NJ State Registrar. It's worth a try, I suppose, but to be honest I'm not optimistic.

I'm astonished to learn, in just the last two weeks, of two other people (you and another one who contacted me privately) who have this problem. It is such a stupid problem to have, just because a State refuses to certify an original birth certificate. Just two states (I believe Alaska and Arkansas) have laws that allow them to do it.

I'm curious to know how you make out.

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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JMSCalifornia » 13 Aug 2010, 16:06

Thanks for your response. My husband posted the note to you yesterday and has turned the task over to me as it appears to be quite a challenge requiring time. I will let you know if I have any success. We are at the very beginning of the process, and may have some questions for you along the way. Thanks.

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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby johnnyonthespot » 13 Aug 2010, 21:42

Question for both of you: are either of your birth parents still living? Are you in contact with him/her?

If so, have you looked into the possibility that one of them can get the original birth certificate for you? In most states today, only the person named on the certificate or one of the named parents can obtain a birth certificate; that is why you can't get your own - because your name is no longer the name on the BC.

But, if a birth partent is still living and, of course, you are able to contact that person, then he/she should be able to do this for you.

I apologize if this is so obvious that you have already thought of it; it just popped into my mind and thought I would pass it along.
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)

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JJOC1414
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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JJOC1414 » 13 Aug 2010, 22:14

Carmine, you're right, sometimes the obvious solution is overlooked when one is needlessly looking for something more complicated. In my case, though, I actually learned of my birth mother's whereabouts only two years after her death, and in this way I was able to get a copy of the the death certificate.

Also, would you believe that I was adopted into a family with my last name? My name is identical on both birth certificates except for the elimination of "Jr" on my adoptive certificate. But it gets even freakier. Both fathers were named John, both were called Jack, both were born in the same town, and they were born only two weeks apart from each other!

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Re: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Postby JJOC1414 » 13 Aug 2010, 22:25

JMSCalifornia wrote:Thanks for your response. My husband posted the note to you yesterday and has turned the task over to me as it appears to be quite a challenge requiring time. I will let you know if I have any success. We are at the very beginning of the process, and may have some questions for you along the way. Thanks.


I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help, but I'll be happy to answer any questions I can. Your husband already did well to get the informational copy of his original birth certificate. For me that wasn't easy, and it was only after going to the Court to get the records unsealed that I learned I couldn't get a certified copy, which was my sole purpose when I started the process with the Court. What a kick in the teeth that was when I got the news from the State Registrar that they would give me only an informational copy.


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