Many people have asked if the baby will have Dutch citizenship when it's born. NOPE! Technically it won't have ANY citizenship when it's born!
We had hoped for dual citizenship. But in the Netherlands (we believe to discourage foreigners, particularly non-Westerners, from getting too comfortable and settling here permanently), babies born here do not automatically receive Dutch citizenship, nor even Dutch residency. Until we register him or her with the American consulate, s/he won't have citizenship here or anywhere. And presumably after s/he gets an American passport, THEN we can apply for residency for the baby in the Netherlands. But at the time of birth, the baby has neither citizenship nor residency.
This is so very bizarre to me. Is it like this in the rest of the world?
Maybe this is an American ideal that I hadn't realized was so ingrained in me. If you're born somewhere, THAT'S WHERE YOU LIVE. THAT'S WHERE YOU'RE A CITIZEN AND THAT'S WHERE YOU RESIDE. The idea that you can be born somewhere and have neither citizenship nor residency just seems so wrong to me.
But that's the way it is here, and that's what we'll have to do. And that's one more reason why the Dutch are a lot less friendly and open-minded than I thought they were and why maybe their domestic policies aren't necessarily better than the U.S.'s.
And so once the baby's born, we have three days (including the day of birth) to register him or her with the local gemeentehuis (like the county records office). We will have to purchase an international birth certificate from them. Then at some point we will have to go out to Amsterdam or The Hague to register the birth with the American consulate and get an American passport. Then I think we have to contact the belastingdienst (tax department) to get a Sofi-nummer (social security number) for the baby. And THEN we can apply with the Immigration and Naturalization Department for residency for the baby. At some point we will also have to register it with the "Aliens Police."
It's a damn good thing I get so much maternity leave, because I suspect a lot of it is going to be spent sorting through this bureaucratic nightmare.
This post was started way after my bedtime, was finished while eating a Maxim Classic ice cream bar, and was written with a bit more indignation than I normally demonstrate.