Thursday, 10 September 2009

Run for the border

We all have it pretty easy at the moment. Now, with 17 weeks of pregnancy gone, kidlet has easy passage to wherever she goes.

Free to cross borders at will, so long as the grump with a bump doesn't offend any immigration officials.

This liberty will be short lived. In 23 weeks or so, our spawn will be born unto the world, into a country it is not a citizen of.

Current citizenship laws of Ireland and the Netherlands are in tandem, and place of birth does not automatically qualify you for citizenship, parentage does. Therefore, when the wife squatter makes its appearance on the Dutch landscape, it will be an Irish citizen by default.

All nice and dandy.

Except when we want to leave the country. With Holland being marginally bigger in area than a Tesco's car park, leaving the country is not uncommon.

Up until 2005, Irish children could travel under the passport of their parents, but since then they are required to have their own.

In short, if we want to take the fruit of my loins, laboratory mix-ups aside, back home for a weekend, they need a passport. Should we need to get to Ireland in an emergency any time from next February onwards, the kid needs a passport.

This includes a passport photograph.

How do you take a passport photograph of someone who can't hold up their own head? Sellotape?

How do you specify eye colour on the legal travel documentation of someone who even if they did keep their eyes open long enough for you to check, you'd see they don't have any bloody colour?

How does an immigration official compare the actual appearance of a 1 year old with their passport photograph taken as a 3 week old while still coughing up bits of umbilical cord?

Do ultrasound pictures come in passport size?


42 comments:

Kerry said...

If it's anything like the British stipulations (which are downloadable so are your's?), I think you can hold their head but they're not supposed to see your hand. Eye colour - hmm, our two's were blue and were staying blue so that was ok and in answer to the last question - they can't.

I'm sure things have moved on but I remember being behind a couple with a baby when people first had to get them. They handed over the 3 passports but he only looked in the first two, which were the adult ones. He went to hand the passports back when they asked about the child's one and he replied "it's a baby" with a dismissive shrug of the shoulders. I'm sure they were chuffed considering the money and lengths they probably went to to get it!

AnnB said...

I've been stopped flying from Dublin to Galway with boy wonder without a passport. Last time I looked those two places were in the same jurisdiction! Luckily boy wonder, having flown that journey 3 times a week for nearly 4 years, had built up some recognition among immigration staff. He pulled his celebrity rank and was reluctantly allowed to leave the city to fly to the wild west!!

I guess the moral of the story is, never underestimate the bloody minded, jobsworthness of airport officials!!

And yes, he does now have his own passport.

Minze said...

Some kids see it as a kind of status symbol. "*I*'ve got a passport. Because *I* went abroad on a plane."

Anonymous said...

Loved the sellotape image!

Mwa said...

No need for head holding at all. One white sheet or pillow, lay child on back. Take one hundred pictures to get one with eyes open. We had to go for one with tongue sticking out, but luckily they're a bit lenient when it comes to baby ones.

These passports are a pain. My son's is expired, so we can't go and see his grandparents for a while. I should probably sort that situation soon.

Jenn said...

We had the same problem. We're Americans living in Germany and moved here when our little one was two months old. Passport photos have to be taken on a white background so I wore a white shirt and propped the little one on my lap with her head nestled against me. The getting them to open their eyes for the photo; now that's the hard part and one you'll just have to luck into.

Our daughter is now almost 4 and is still using her passport with the photo from a few weeks old. They open it and make sure we have a Visa to be in the country (we need one because we live here) but dismiss the picture. I've never had them actually care or look that long - and we've flown back and forth the the US more times than I can count on my hands.

My most recent picture was taken when I was 8,000 months pregnant and I've, quite literally, lost 150 pounds since then and they don't even blink at mine; and I look completely different....

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I was going to say something nasty about your spelling of the umbilical cord, but decided against it.

Cause I am nice and stuff.

Ms. Moon said...

I've never even thought about the implications of infant passporting.

womb for improvement said...

Just download a picture from the internet.

All babies look the same anyway, don't they?

(Oh and be careful when you are searching the net for baby pics ...)

welshpurpletree said...

My youngest son had his passport photo taken at 3 weeks old - we'd booked a camping holiday in Spain for a few months later. He's now 2 and a half and looks absolutely nothing like his photo. We laid him on a white-ish towel on the floor, as soon as he looked half awake, and hubby took the pic, then cropped it and sized it for a passport pic, luckily he works in photography.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

"the fruit of my loins, laboratory mix-ups aside"

Good to know you're preparing yourself for the possibility of ET's 1/2 Chinese baby.

callmemama said...

When we lived in Korea, US citizens giving birth abroad had to bring the newborns in with in a week or two to get the passports. The problem most of them had was keeping the infant's eyes open for the photo...

WeaselMomma said...

That sounds like a real problem. It also sounds like a wonderful problem to have that you have worked so hard to achieve.

Susanica said...

Ha ha! We had to get Danny a US passport to take him to Germany when he was a wee infant and Susanne ended up propping him up from the side. It's good for 5 years too. 20 inches long he was then. I wasn't there the day she took him in (passports and photos can be done at post offices here) but I guess the hardest part was explaining that he had two moms. You never saw such blank stares as I understand it ;-)

Hockeyman said...

Well if the officials at the border give you any lip just tell them your big on the Internet and the child suckling your wife's tit may or may not be the same as the one in the picture but hes just gonna have to let you through or deal with the consequences.

Alexicographer said...

Ah, yes, passports. My niece has dual citizenship and 2 passports, so when my son, 6 months her junior and a spitting image of her for about the first 2 years, needed a passport I suggested to my brother that perhaps we could just borrow one of hers ... as long as no one removed the diaper and detected the penis, we'd have been fine.

We got him his own passport.

Or you could try what a friend of a friend did years ago upon arriving in the US to be told her baby's papers weren't in order (I think a needed visa was missing). After much wrangling with the officials, she said, "Well, OK. My papers are in order, so I'll just go on in, and be back in 2 weeks to pick the baby up when I leave the country." As you might imagine, suddenly it was decided that in this one instance it might be possible to take a visa-less baby into the country for a brief visit.

James (SeattleDad) said...

You should apply with a ultrasound picture just to make a point. They may think you an asshole, but it will make a fine point.

Mick said...

I've just ordered a Irish passport for my daughter. It's really mad getting the photos taken while trying to hold the head up without showing your hand. My wrist still hurts. (didn't think about laying the baby down on a white sheet! - shit)

The baby changes so quickly and the passport is for 3 years.

WFI has a great idea, but I won't be looking up "nice baby pictures" on Google anytime soon :-)

Jared said...

How's "kidlet" going to sign it? :D

Sinead said...

They lie them down on a changing mat to take their photo, or at least they did boy z. What I want to know is would they let me take a child who does not have the same last name as me on an international trip? I haven't tried it yet, but I don't get how they know I am the mother?

A Free Man said...

When we took our first boy to get his passport photo he would not stop screaming. So his photos are really attractive.

To answer the direct question - you lay them down and they take it from above with a digicam. The old Polaroid is a thing of the past.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Kerry - hit and miss I think....

@AnnB - That is ridiculous, really.

@Minze - I don't think the softheaded one will be too bothered :-)

@Anonymous - I love the word! 'Sellotape'.

@Mwa - Get it sorted!

@Jenn - The white shirt is a good idea!

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - Lay off the booze.

@Ms. Moon -I wish I hadn't!

@womb for improvement - that's quite crafty, and true...

@welshpurpletree - its ridiculous!

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - bite me.

@callmemama - yes, wouldnt they blink all the time?

@WeaselMomma - too true.

@Susanica - hahaha brilliant.

@Hockeyman - Good lord man...

@Alexicographer - That could have been hilarious. 'It seems madam, that your daughter has a penis'

@James (SeattleDad) - they would be right!

@Mick - Thats right you are in the same boat!

@Jared - vomit!

@Sinead - spreading your hussy unmarried shame across international waters!

@A Free Man - I consider myself fairly clever, but the obvious stuff I dont know is scaring me.

Alexicographer said...

@Sinead it might not be a bad idea to carry a copy of the birth certificate with you. I have a cousin who deals with this with his DD and runs into problems. My guess is a woman traveling with an infant would run into far fewer questions than a man traveling with a 9-year old (my cousin, now).

I did get asked if I was my son's mother on a recent international trip and (a) we do have the same last name and (b) all I had to do was say, "Yes," making it an interesting screening procedure.

PG said...

i say go with the ultrasound pic!

and mate, i have been supremely absent around these parts recently... err i mean for nearly forever, but i have to say CONGRATUFUCKINGLATIONS!

it's mayhem, everything changes, but it's the best sort of forever life altering mayhem you could ever wish for.

Alisha said...

Hi, there. I just wanted to let you know that I'm so happy for you. And for me. :) My husband and I are in week 23. After trying for almost 8 years. I just found your blog today and found so much that I understand. Congratulations doesn't even begin to cover it, does it?

Shannon said...

Dude, I hear you! My kids passports are only 18 months old but they look nothing like them anymore! When they took my kids passport pics (they were age 1.5 and 4) they gave them a cookie to chew on because they weren't allowed to have their mouths open or be smiling in the picture!

Monty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monty said...

I just found out that to move my cat or dog from one city in india to another via air cargo requires a "domestic pet license cum passport."

Basically, I know how you feel.

Anonymous said...

Our little one was born in Ireland to 2 British parents and he has and Irish birth Cert and passport - no one has ever questioned it

and for the photo...we laid him on a white plain blanket and took the photo that way

AnnD said...

Not something I have any experience with! But, I'm sure it will be the cutest passport photo in history!

Also, just wanted to say that I can't believe Lil Fitz is 18 weeks along! Amazing! Has ET felt any movement yet?

rachelbk said...

Well, if anything the process of sorting it all out will make an interesting tale to hold over the kid's head when he or she is pulling the old 'you hate me, you never do anything for me' act.

B said...

Isn't it commonplace for people to smuggle drugs out of Holland, Netherlands, Holland? Surely a wee babby could be taken through customs easily enough too, those dogs are trained for cocaine, not wee.

B said...

Can neither of you get citizenship in Holland? The Netherlands? Holland?

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Alexicographer - Never thought about that.

@PG - Thanks a million for checking in!

@Alisha - 8 years wow. That's incredible. But congratulations on the 23 weeks, a great feeling.

@Shannon - hahaha, nice cookie idea.

@Monty - exactly the same....

@Anonymous - was he born pre-2005? that's when the current legistation came into effect.
It would make things a LOT easier to just allow the kid to have the citizenship of pace of birth, especially with the EU.

@AnnD - Nothing that we can confirm anyway!

@rachelbk - it'll be too busy working to pay me back for whats being spent on it to moan!

@B - Commonplace? Probably stretching there.
We are probably entitled to citizenship now yes, if we wanted, but would have to give up our Irish ones.

hotmamamia said...

I NEVER even thought for one second about any of this...jesus...can't we just have a world union and not have to deal with this shit...at least for babies??? SOmething that Lilacspecs and CB will hopefully have to deal with soon.

bsouth said...

Lummee - my mum's just told me she's folllowing you - you are quite the celebrity in my house!

Pop small child in a car seat lined by a white sheet. Don't worry about the eyes - they don't mind when they're small. Job done. Also don't fret about the 5 year thing. My girl's passport photo was taken at 6 months and she's still travelling on that passport - they don't care when they're little.

Blues said...

Pretty ridiculous. For the first year at least they should just be considered an extention of the parents. Kind of like a growth or a wart. But, you know, cuter an' all that.

B said...

I thought you were allowed hold dual-citizenship... ah what would I know

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@hotmamamia - Depending on how they play it, it could be a lot more complicated. EU & non-EU dealings.

@bsouth - should I be concerned?

@Blues That was the case up to 2005.

@B - I dunno about Ireland, but not in the Netherlands, only under specific conditions, which we don't meet.

Obviously there is no point in one country allowing dual citizenship if the other one doesn't.

bsouth said...

I couldn't possibly say - after all, she might be reading this.

geeksinrome said...

we had to do the same: son was 3 weeks old, so white mat on floor, we laid him on his back and the photog stood over him. we needed US passport-size photos so it was even more of a chore.

for eye-color, you look at your kid's eyes from an angle when there is a bright light shining from the front or back. you can at least get a sense if they will be some kind of brown or blue that way.

the border control police give NO trouble when your 5-year-old looks nothing like he did at 3 weeks. all they do is look at the birth date. it seems you could smuggle in (or out) boat loads of 5 year-olds this way!!!

Kelly said...

Lay baby on teh floor on a white blanket or sheet and take the photo from above - that's what we did with our 6 week dude when living in Belgie!! :)