Rooney and Brady have the much-anticipated passports! After dealing with a bit of Indian bureaucracy to obtain the birth certificates, the U.S. passport process was a dream.
For anyone planning to go through this process or interested in how we got passports so quickly, let me tell you -
Babies that are genetically related to one or two American citizens are automatically citizens. Where they were born or from what womb they came out of doesn't matter as long as the genetics are clear. So, to anyone wondering, no we did not have to adopt Rooney and Brady since there is a genetic link.
Prior to coming to India, I emailed Nancy Hamilton at the US Embassy to introduce myself and explained our specific situation. She answered the few questions I had when filling out the forms and in general was exceptionally helpful!
Once the babies were born, Rachna from our clinic (SCI) filled out all the necessary paperwork to get our birth certificates, which have me listed as the mother. Rachna completed the paperwork on Monday afternoon and we got our birth certificates on Friday evening. Be prepared for some wait with the birth certificates. We had two broken machines - the type writer that they use to manually enter the information and the stamp machine used to make the certificate official - which delayed the process by a day or so.
With the birth certificate in hand, we made the Embassy appointment. The appointment was much like any government-related appointment in the states. We had three things to accomplish at the Embassy -
- Consulate Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) - U.S. governments authentication that a U.S. citizen was born abroad. This will take seven days and will be mailed to our house in the U.S. and is not needed to receive the exit visas.
- Social Security Number - the embassy submitted the birth to the social security department, much like would happen if the babies were born in the states, and in a couple of months we will receive the SS card and number in the mail.
- Passport - we used the same form and documentation as if we were applying in the states. The only difference here is that the Embassy issues emergency passports, which allow you to enter the U.S. and then we will send the passports to the State Department to issue us regular 5 year passports. There is no additional charge for issuing the passport once we return home, if we apply within one year.
About 30 minutes into our wait, the nice man who was handling our passport told us to wait in a little room off to the side of the main waiting room. The room had a door that we were able to close to keep all of the germs away from R&B and the many curious onlookers in the waiting room.
We have confirmed flights for Thursday evening!!! We will spend the next few days getting the exit visa from the Indian government. We have hired a woman by the name of Poonam to assist us through this last part of "Operation Get Out of India".