Child and Family Matters

You are required to complete but NOT sign the following forms

  • Form DS 2029 (PDF, 104 kb)– Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Form DS 11 – Application for a Passport available at the U.S. State Department website

For Social Security Number: If you reside in Finland and have questions regarding services provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in Norway.  For more information on their services and how to contact them, please visit the website for the Oslo Federal Benefits UnitFor comprehensive information on SSA’s services abroad, please visit SSA’s webpage Service Around the World.

You are required to present the forms together with the following documents: Please note that the documents will need to be originals or certified copies of the originals document. Also you will need to present a copy of the original document. If any of the documents are not in Finnish or Swedish, please bring a translation by an authorized translator. 

  • Child’s Birth certificate given at the hospital at the time of birth. This is a document, that you must separately request from the hospital. Explain that it is needed to complete a U.S. report of birth. (The midwife at the Finnish hospitals generally issues the document and it only indicates that the mother has given a live birth to a boy/girl baby on a specific date.)
  • The child’s birth certificate (virkatodistus) from local Magistrate (Maistraatti). The document MUSTshow the newborn child’s complete name, date and place of birth, and both parents’ complete names and date of birth.
  • Marriage certificate:  An original or court certified copy of the marriage certificate issued by the appropriate authorities in the country in which the marriage took place. Church/Religious certificates are not acceptable. If the parents are not married, this is not required;
  • Divorce or death certificate:  If either parent has been married previously, they should present the original or court certified divorce decree or death certificate for all previous marriages;
  • Evidence of the parent(s) U.S. citizenship. The U.S. citizen parent(s) must present his/her U.S. passport. If the U.S. citizen parent was naturalized, the original Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship is required;
  • Proof of Physical Presence in the United States of the U.S. citizen parent(s). The U.S. citizen parent(s) will be asked to present proof of their physical presence in the United States. Examples of proof of physical presence include school records, university transcripts, original W-2s, and employment records. Please see below the physical presence requirements for transmission of citizenship and ensure you are bringing sufficient evidence to demonstrate the length of presence in the U.S. required for your circumstances; Physical Presence Requirement for US citizen is available below.
  • Passport/identification document for non-U.S. citizen parent: The non-U.S. citizen parent must bring his/her passport or other government issued photo identification document; 
  • In certain cases, it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including affidavits of paternity and support. You will be informed at the interview if any additional document is required
  • All those documents that are not in Finnish or in Swedish language will need to translated into English by an authorized translator.
  • Self-addressed prepaid A-3 size return envelope (please check with your post office for correct postage for envelope weight of 250g). Registered mail is recommended. Envelope is mailed from the Embassy directly to you.  Finnish stamps are acceptable for this purpose.
  • Once you have all the required documents on hand, please complete and scan form DS-2029 to HelsinkiACS@state.gov and request for an appointment. Bring all original documents with you to your appointment.

Obtaining Copies of the Report of Birth

The Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240) is a basic citizenship document. The original report has been sent to the Department of State for its permanent retention, together with the documents which you submitted and which constitute the supporting evidence of your child’s acquisition of United States citizenship. The certification (Form FS-240) which you have received from this office may later be used in registration for school, obtaining employment, and for similar purposes.

If you wish to have additional copies of the consular report of birth, you may obtain them by writing to the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services Correspondence Branch, CA/PPT/PS/PC Suite 510, 1111 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20522-1705. A request for a FS-240 must include the original. If the original FS-240 is not available (lost) a notarized affidavit attesting to its disposition is necessary. Your request should include complete identifying information: full name of the child, date and place of birth, names of parents, serial number of the FS-240, if possible, and the consular office which recorded the birth.

The request for a certified copy of the Consular Report of Birth must be accompanied by the required fee. Send a check or money order in the amount of US 50.00 payable to “Department of State”.

Dual Citizenship

Should your child also have claim to the citizenship of another country, you should be aware of the following U.S. law:

“Under Section 215 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185 (b) it is unlawful, except in specific circumstances, for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States without a valid passport”.

U.S. citizens who arrive at the port of entry without the required valid U.S. passport may be required to apply for a passport waiver, for which a separate fee may be collected.

Application for U.S. Passport and Social Security Number

Below are links to two applications you will need to print out and complete in order to obtain a U.S. passport and social security number for him/her. Make sure to review the instructions for each form carefully before completing the forms. After completing all forms you should email or mail them to us.

Please see below to review the physical presence requirements for transmission of citizenship and ensure you are bringing sufficient evidence to demonstrate the length of presence in the U.S. required for your circumstance;

Child born in wedlock to two U.S. citizens

  • A child born outside of the United States or its outlying possessions to two U.S. citizen parents, in wedlock, is entitled to citizenship, provided one of the parents had, prior to the birth of the child, been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions. (No specific period of time is required.)  NOTE:  A child born to two U.S. citizens, out of wedlock should refer to number 3 or 4 below (whichever favorably applies)

Child born in wedlock to one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent (on or after November 14, 1986)

  • A child born outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent may be entitled to citizenship providing the U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen.

Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother

  • A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may be entitled to U.S. citizenship providing the U.S. Citizen mother had been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least one year (365 days) at some time prior to the birth of the child. (NOTE: Periods spent overseas with the U.S. government/military or as a government/military dependent, are NOT considered as physical presence in the U.S. for transmission under this category).
  • A child born outside of the United States on or after June 12, 2017 out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen mother may be entitled to U.S. Citizenship providing the U.S. citizen mother had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after he reached the age of fourteen.

Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father

  • A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen father may be entitled to U.S. Citizenship providing the U.S. citizen father had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after he reached the age of fourteen.  In addition the U.S. citizen father must acknowledge paternity and agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until s/he reaches the age of 18 years.
Why Adopt?

This section provides an overview of the intercountry adoption process. The process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Additionally, if the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.

Who Can Adopt?

“The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. … [I]ntercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin.”

-Hague Adoption Convention, Preamble

Every child benefits from a loving home in deeply profound ways.  Intercountry adoption has made this permanently possible for hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.  When children cannot remain with a relative, and new parents within their communities cannot be found, intercountry adoption opens another pathway to children to receive the care, security, and love that a permanent family can provide.

Some additional resources:

Medline Plus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

Both the United States and Finland has ratified The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. For in depth information on the workings of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction visit the State Department’s International Parental Child Abduction Page.

My child has been abducted from the United States to Finland: If your child has been abducted from the United States to Finland you can obtain the U.S. Central Authority application form at Application For Assistance Under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. For guidance and instructions on completing the application form refer to Filing a Hague Application page.

My child has been abducted from Finland to the United States: If your child has been abducted from Finland to the United States the Finnish Central Authority will provide information of what steps needs to be taken. Please see the Justice Department’s website.

Preventing Child Abduction

Passport assistance to parents resident in Finland: If you are a resident of Finland and fear that your United States citizen child might be taken abroad by the other parent without the mutual consent of both parents, the child’s name can be put in the U.S. passport name check system. Then, if an application is received, the requesting parent will be informed before issuance of the passport.

When there is a court order from a court of competent jurisdiction that prohibits the removal of the child from the jurisdiction of the court and/or the requesting party without prior consent, and the order is provided to the American Citizen Services Section, a U.S. passport may be denied.

Requests and, if relevant, court orders should be sent to:

American Embassy
Consular Section/American Citizen Services
Itäinen Puistotie 14 B
00140 Helsinki
tel: +358-40-140-5957 (from 2 pm – 4 pm, on Monday and Wednesday, and from 3 pm – 4 pm on Tuesday)

Passport assistance to parents resident in the United States: For assistance and other sources of information, please visit the State Department International Parental Child Abduction site.