Transe Macabre (transemacabre) wrote in little_details,
Transe Macabre

Legal status of a minor born in Germany to non-citizen parent, orphaned in US

This is the background for a character I've been developing. He was born around 1985 to a Turkish mother in Germany. I haven't decided yet if his mother was born in Germany to emigrant parents or was born in Turkey and immigrated later, but regardless she's not a German citizen. She is unmarried and her son's father is not named on the birth certificate. She is estranged from her family and supports herself and her son on her own for several years until she meets and marries an American soldier stationed in Germany.

The American stepfather brings his new wife and her son to the US. He begins paperwork to adopt his stepson but the process has not been finalized when both the boy's mother and stepfather are killed suddenly. As a minor with no known family in the US, he is taken into the custody of the state children's welfare service.

Now here's what I don't know: as the boy was not adopted by his stepfather, he does not hold US citizenship. As his mother was not a German citizen, he does not hold German citizenship*. He IS a Turkish citizen by right of blood**, but has never been to Turkey and has no immediate family living there anymore. So what is the procedure with a case like this? Would the boy be put into foster care anyway, or would the social workers or whoever actually try to track down some long-lost family members in Germany and Turkey?

* German law states that those born after January 1, 1975 are Germans if the mother or father is a German citizen.
** Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution: "The child of a Turkish father or a Turkish mother is a Turk."
Tags: germany: government (misc), ~custody & social services

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