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Maarten Peter Vink and Gerard-René de Groot

In Latvia, although the general procedure for acquisition of citizenship following adoption is a naturalisation procedure, if both parents are citizens the adopted child acquires citizenship almost automatically (LAT 15(3), 16).

In respect of adoption, one has to realize that many countries only know full adoption, which replaces completely the pre-existing legal family ties of the child with the original parents with a family relationship with the adoptive parents. Some countries, such as France and Portugal, provide also for a weak or ‘simple’ adoption, usually as an alternative form of adoption. This form of adoption creates a family relationship with the adoptive parents, but does not disrupt all legal ties with the original parents. This so-called ‘weak’ adoption often lacks citizenship consequences (e.g. FRA 21), whereas the full adoption has these consequences (FRA 20(2) juncto 18; see also POR 5 restricted to full adoption).

In the Netherlands, 5b NET provides under certain conditions for acquisition of citizenship by an adopted child if a weak adoption is converted into a full adoption. In a few other countries, option rights exist (see FIN 27, if the child already reached the age of 12 before adoption; and FRA 21-12(1)).

In Austria and Lithuania there are, remarkably, no citizenship consequences attached to adoption.

5 Ius soli at birth (A02)

There is little doubt that the most remarkable and significant citizenship reform in Europe during the past decades was made by Germany in 2000. In the context of this reform, the single most symbolically important issue was the introduction of a provision that a child born on German territory acquires German citizenship iure soli, in other words regardless of the citizenship status of her or his parents, provided that the parents meet certain residence requirements. On the other hand, in Ireland, since 2004 the traditional unrestricted form of ius soli is conditional now as well on residence of the parents. The German and Irish citizenship reforms can be seen as illustrative of a trend of convergence between countries with ius sanguinis traditions and those with ius soli traditions.

This convergence trend has two faces. First, traditional ius soli countries such as the UK (1983) and Ireland (2005) amend their ius soli principle and restrict this by introducing residence requirements for the parents. The second, more-widely seen, face is that ius sanguinis countries like Germany (2000), Luxembourg (2009) and Greece (2010) introduce ius soli-inspired elements, either attached to residence requirements for the parents (ius soli) or to birth requirements for the parents (double ius soli). In this section we discuss both versions of ius soli. For the whole discussion in this section it should be noted that we exclude provisions that are specifically aimed at preventing statelessness. These provisions are discussed in section 7. Section 6 discusses provisions that allow for the acquisition of citizenship, based on birth at the territory of a country, but only taking place some time after birth (e.g. at the age of majority, by declaration or facilitated naturalisation).

The extension of ius soli rights at birth in European countries unmistakably reflects the political will to recognise immigration as a permanent phenomenon and the desire to prevent a substantial group of second- or third-generation ´immigrants´ from residing in the territory of a state, with formal incorporation in the citizenry only possible through discretionary naturalisation. To keep this development in perspective, however, one should note that only 10 out of the 33 European countries of this study have provisions for the


RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-Comp. 2010/8 - © 2010 Authors

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