Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China
  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
WendyWoo

Desperately seeking advice - Chinese birth certificate

Recommended Posts

WendyWoo    5
WendyWoo

Hi guys,

 

A little off topic, but really needing any advice possible. I was born in China, but immigrated to Australia at the age of 5, and have been an Australian citizen for many years. I have never seen my birth certificate, nor did I need it until now. 

 

I am getting married in France (fiance is French) and in order to get married there the French government requires a birth certificate. However, I have no idea of how I can obtain one? 

 

Has anyone been in this situation, or know of someone who can help? Desperately seeking advice!

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

tomzuklin    8
tomzuklin

Hi WendyWoo,

 

really tricky issue you have.

First of all, you should ask your parents, I think they might have needed your birth certificate when immigrating to Australia and when you were getting your Australian citizenship.

Secondly, ask any Chinese embassy about this issue, they might tell you what to do. But I wuld bet my shoes they will tell you to go to your hometown to obtain duplicate as Chinese registries are not centralized and/or connected. It might actually be the easiest way. However in order to get your birth certificate, you might need some other proof of your identity, like ID card, but I am not quite sure they will accept your Australian documents, because - see below:

Thirdly, there might be a chance you are still a Chinese citizen in the eyes of Chinese government. If you never gave up your Chinese citizenship they might still consider you as a Chinese national. Although you should lose your Chinese citizenship automatically when naturalising as a citizen in another country, Chinese government does not know until you actually tell them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889    576
889

I don't pretend to know much about this, but I believe that if you were born before 1996 you need to get a certificate from a Chinese notary that acts as a substitute for a birth certificate. Then you'll probably need to have that translated and legalized to use in France.

 

Because the notary needs to do some research and because the certificate needs to be translated and legalized, it can take some time to produce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato    907
gato

If it's too difficult, you could always consider registering your marriage in another country (like Australia).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu    1,849
Lu
If it's too difficult, you could always consider registering your marriage in another country (like Australia).

I was going to suggest this too. If it's easier to get married in Australia, you can just do that and re-enact the vows in France, with a real official even, two yeses, signing of papers, the whole nine yards. Your guests never need to know the difference.

 

Friends of mine have done this (she Chinese, he Dutch, registration in China, wedding with all the pomp & circumstance in the Netherlands). I got a bit suspicious when the vows were in English (I was pretty sure they had to be in Dutch), so I asked them about it and that's how I know the Dutch wedding was not the legal one, but for all intents and purposes it was a wedding.

 

It's possible that the emotional weight for you (and perhaps a few people in the know) will be different, so you'd need to weigh that against the hassle of getting all the paperwork in order.

 

Either way, congratulations and good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889    576
889

Look around on the web, and the consensus seems to be that you need to start at the notary office serving the place you were born. (In China, the notary public is actually an official government office under the Ministry of Justice.)

 

Perhaps you can short-circuit the need for a birth certificate right now by holding the ceremony elsewhere. But if you're going to be moving to France at some point, it would not be surprising if someday you encounter a stern-faced bureaucrat demanding your birth certificate for some purpose. So no matter, I'd be inclined to get to work on this now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰    875
陳德聰

Pre-1996 you would be getting a "独生子女证". I would also suspect your parents needed this when bringing you to Australia so you can probably make a personal information request of some kind to the Australian authorities for copies of your application docs, but I am guessing France might want the original rather than a copy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christy    3
Christy

All you need to do is to go to a notary office in China to get it, then go to waiban to legalize it. 

It doesn't matter that you don't have any birth certificate when you were born, but you need to prove that you are the child of your parents, such as your parents' wedding certificate, hukou... Or even make a DNA test to prove it if needs... Anyway, you need to to go the notary office to ask for the detailed documents, maybe it's a bit different in different notary office. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy    3,564
roddy

"All you need to do" implies this is easy. Wendy's in France. You want her to go to China and get DNA tests? 

 

In similar situations even Chinese embassies don't expect you to come up with a birth certificate. If at all possible I'd be asking in France what if any alternatives there are, and maybe making suggestions based on what I could provide - proof of arrival in Oz at age 5, naturalisation documents, I don't know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christy    3
Christy

@ roddy, I don't know how it exactly works in her situation, but she was born in China, generally, she needs go back to China to do that, or if the notary office in  France can also do it, then no need to go to China. Anyway, she needs to ask the notary office. Because the birth certificate required is offered by the notary office. And the DNA test is not a must, it depends on the notary office... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Christy    3
Christy

If I give some confused info, sorry, but I suggest Wendy to ask to the French government, what exactly the birth certificate they need, the birth certificate offered by Chinese notary office or? To get the birth certificate offered by Chinese notary office, the procedure is like what I said before: All you need to do is to go to a notary office in China to get it, then go to waiban to legalize it. 

If you have all files what the notary office needs, then you can send the files to Chinese friends or family members to do it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889    576
889

Yes, if there's no problem with her records, then someone else can go to the notary for her; but they can't go to any notary office, they have to go to the notary office serving her birthplace. And to be useful in France, the certificate has to be finally legalized by the French embassy. As well, if the notary's certificate doesn't contain a French translation, it will have to be translated.

 

Finally, as your comment, "If you have all files what the notary office needs . . . ," hints, someone first has to go the right notary and find out just what that notary needs, and then Wendy has to see if she can dig those documents out.

 

In short, this can probably be achieved, but it's quite an undertaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WendyWoo    5
WendyWoo

Hey guys!

 

Thanks for all the information, super helpful! It is pretty much as I expected, having trolled the forums for anyone else in the same situation. So, an update since I posted:

 

1. My dad is in China, so he is going back and forth to the notary office.

2. He doesn't have a hukou, not sure why, my parents are just terrible with administrative matters.

3. My mum threw away their marriage certificate when they divorced (see comment in point 2) and a divorce certificate doesn't suffice

4. I found a document issued by the Chinese government which I received when I left China at age 2 for HK - this has my name, place and date of birth, so I am hoping for dear life that this will suffice!

 

@Lu and Gato, thanks! We are actually doing a civil ceremony here in Australia, but in order to do the church thing in France, we require that the French government recognise the Australian certificate, which requires a birth certificate! Don't think I haven't tried to suggest we do a secular ceremony to my fiance, but his parents are insisting we either have a civil or church ceremony in France - our only choices! Plus, as @889 stated ever so eloquently, we may move over one day, and the ever so inflexible French government will be demanding these papers anyway, might as well just rip off the bandaid now!

 

@roddy, we actually live in Australia, but thanks! My fiance is checking with the French embassy here in Melbourne if there is something else we can do in the event that I can't get a Chinese birth certificate, so it is just a waiting game (cause you know, they won't get back to us for 2 months). 

 

@Christy, if a DNA test will suffice, I would be happy to head back and get one done! If it were that easy that would be fantastic!

 

Thanks guys! I will definitely keep you updated, as I am sure there are others who are in this situation.

 

Cheers :)

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy    3,564
roddy

Oh, if you've got someone local in China that's much easier - I was assuming your parents had both moved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Droudrou    0
Droudrou

Hi WendyWoo,

I hope you are going well and you have finally found a solution.

I am in the exact same situation than you. I am French. I would like to get married in Australia with my Australian girl friend (born in China and now Australian) and get our marriage recognised by the French government. As you, we do need to provide a Chinese birth certificate legalised by the Chinese and the French authorities. Would you mind sharing how you have solved this issue (we are struggling as well) ? It may help us a lot

 

Thank you in advance for your help :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WendyWoo    5
WendyWoo

Hi everyone,

 

Sorry for the delayed post, we got married in June and it has been a busy year!

 

Droudrou, good luck with it! We ended up succeeding, but oh my goodness I hope you have left enough time!

 

So it made it easy that my dad was in China, and was able to do everything from their end, but it took a long time!

He went to the notary office in Beijing to get all this done. The hospital where I was born wrote him a certified letter stating that I was born there, which day, and to whom (luckily they still had the records). I had to give photocopies of my passport (Australian, HK passport with date of entry into Australia, citizenship certificate, name change certificate) and all my mum's documents (passport, citizenship certificate etc). and these all had to be notarised and then authenticated by the Australian foreign affairs office for use in China. I then sent them to China for my dad to use at the notary office. He had to present all these, plus his documents. Easiest if your parents are still married, or can show a marriage certificate.

 

This took a few months, and then I had to go to China for them to verify me in person, I had a photo taken, then they issued the official documents (get them in Chinese and English). 

 

These then had to be sent to the French embassy in Beijing for them to certify, and I believe after that the foreign affairs office in Beijing. This took another month and a half. My dad then sent this back to us.

 

We then sent this, along with the official form, along with our Australian marriage certificate (we got married here at the registry so that we wouldn't need to do a town hall marriage in France), to the French consulate in Sydney. They took about a week to get back to us, and we were then officially registered, and received a 'Family book' (or whatever you call it). My husband took care of this side, but it seemed this was the easiest out of everything,  you can contact the consulate directly and ask them what is required.

 

I hope all this helps! If you have someone still in China who can do this all that would be ideal, as there was no way we could have done it by ourselves from Australia.

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

 

Good luck and congratulations!

 

WendyWoo

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Droudrou    0
Droudrou

Hi WendyWoo,

 

Congrats for this well deserved marriage :clap

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. You have already provided me twice more information than the French and Chinese consulates combined!!! :wink:

 

In my opinion, all this work just to get one piece of paper is completely nuts. Unfortunately, both the French and Chinese governments are not very well known for their flexibility...

To be honest, I really hope we won't have to go through all this crazy process as my partner doesn't have any family contact in China (they are now Australian citizens).

On our side, her parents has kept her old birth certificate from 1990 already notarized and certified by the Chinese government (document accepted by the Australian government back in the time). According to his mother it should be a lifetime document. I have checked with the French consulate and they are keen on accepting this document if it gets legalised by the Chinese and  the French authorities. I hope that it will do. Otherwise I will try to go with an immigration agency.

 

I may go back to you later in case I have more questions (especially if we have do to everything from scratch)

 

I will try to keep this forum posted

 

Cheers,

Droudrou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WendyWoo    5
WendyWoo

HI Droudrou,

 

Thank you. Yes it is a difficult and ridiculous process! A lot of other countries (such as Australia) don't need anything like this to get married. It was so easy for us to get married here, but my husband wanted to do a church ceremony in France, and of course the church can't perform a marriage until it is approved by the state, so we still had to go through the process to get it recognised. 

 

It sounds like yours will be much more simple, and hopefully you just need to go to the consulates here in Australia, instead of the ones in China!

 

Good luck, and let me know how you go. On the plus side, it will strengthen your relationship and make the marriage much more meaningful!

 

Thanks, please feel free to contact me if you need anything else.

 

WendyWoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Blog Entries

    • js6426
      Week 3 By js6426 in Chinese Language And Literature Degree 3
      Sure thing!  So the book I was too lazy to grab is called 'Conversational Chinese 301'.  It's not bad, but unfortunately it has pinyin all the way through.  I find it so hard to concentrate on the characters when the pinyin is written underneath, but in theory you don't even need to pass HSK 3 to do this degree so I can understand it.  The degree itself is 'Chinese Language and Literature', and the only requirement was high school graduation, so very easy to get in for.  However, once you're in it seems like they won't have a problem kicking you out if you're not serious.  My teacher was not amused today when a guy strolled in an hour late, and another of my teachers said our class will probably go from the 28 we are out now down to around 20 students or so in the next couple of weeks as they deal with people not coming to class etc!

      Tomorrow we will finish the final chapter (8) of the first book of the 'Threshold' level of the Road To Success series, which contains 4 books.  On Wednesday we are meant to have a test on all the characters we have covered in the book (there aren't actually any in there, but we either had to find them or were given them so we could learn them).  By the end of the 4th book in this series we should have studied 1200 words (according to the back of the book).  The next stage then has 2 books, which gets us up to 3000 words, then the final stage has another 2 books, leaving us at 6000 words.  I actually really like this book, in fact I really like all the books we are using, I have found them especially helpful for stroke order.  I am far from perfect, but I find myself actively thinking about stroke order and getting it right much more of the time now.  Also, even though they are beginner books, I find I am having to learn characters that I would never have taken an interest in learning to write otherwise (things like fruit and vegetables).  This is great because it means I'm not getting bored just hearing stuff I have already learned repeated. 

      Last Friday I gave a brief description of a family photo.  It was an on the spot thing rather than prepared, so it wasn't until afterwards that I realized how bad it had been!  I pretty much just went through and said who everyone was, pointing at people or using the colour of their clothes to describe them.  I should have been using words like 旁边,前面,后面 etc. but I didn't.  Anyway never mind, it was good fun and reminded me to slow down and think a little bit more before I speak. 
       
      The quality of the teaching at this point is fantastic.  It's almost 100% Chinese which is great (although obviously spoken at more of a basic level so we can understand).  Our 'comprehensive' teacher relies very little on the book, and breaks off into his own little world all the time, which I actually really like as we end up getting all sorts of new words and culture points out of it.  He also teaches us things that we probably wouldn't learn for a while otherwise, like 公主病, 王子病,or how Q is commonly used in place of 可爱 on social media, or 3Q for 'thank you'!

      It's hard to know what to put in an update, but as I said, I would love to look back on this in 4 years and remember the start of this journey, so most of this is for me rather than anyone else!  But if anyone has any questions or anything, then please feel free to ask!
  • Recent Posts

×