Once again, baby steps. I have finally received some facts regarding my desire to attain my Italian citizenship. And none of the help came from the Italian Consulate in Portland who never answer phone calls or emails or their door even. Sorry, had to vent on that one.
No, it was the consulate in San Francisco that was most helpful. A very helpful gentleman told me that, due to my situation, I would not be able to attain my Italian passport in America. I would have to do it in Italy.
The problems are manifold. My mother did not include my father’s name on my birth certificate. My father never signed any type of declaration acknowledging me as his son. Both my biological parents are dead so neither can claim me as their son.
The only recourse I really have is Italy. While I’m there I will be in the main administration building in Ascoli Piceno to request documentation of my father’s emigration to Canada. According to the consulate in San Francisco, I will also need to speak to an attorney on immigration or family law regarding my desire to receive my Italian passport. Apparently, I will have to sue to get my passport. This is not something I really want to do because it would be a negative way of achieving my passport. Plus, would a judge look positively on an American suing Italy for citizenship?
No, there’s got to be a better way. About my only option is to get a DNA test from my brother or my uncle that would prove my lineage. Even then, that would be a first step toward suing. Is there a better way to phrase it? I hope so.
So, it would appear that while I’m in Ascoli, I will also be seeking the advice of an attorney. With my cousin in tow, I will have to navigate the frustrations of interpreting my English to Italian so an attorney who speaks no English understands my goofy situation.
I can’t help but wonder why my mother did not include my father’s name on my birth certificate. Did she foresee a day when I might be able to have possession of my birth certificate? If so, did she think it would influence me to look for them? Was that something she didn’t want? That opens a whole new can of worms for another posting.
And why didn’t I pursue some type of declaration from my father? Frankly, it never occurred to me. It’s only been the last few years that I’ve truly entertained the idea of an Italian passport. And since I didn’t pursue it vigorously, I was unaware of what I would need to do to successfully get it.
Too, I would have been very uncomfortable demanding something like a paternal declaration from my biological father. Because of our turbulent relationship, he might have refused, which would have embarrassed me.
But the most pressing issue would have been that of inheritance. Would he have thought that I was attempting to get my birthright? Would he have thought I was muscling in on my brother’s inheritance when I wasn’t entitled to anything? Knowing my father, he would have thought that I was trying to get my hands on his money and would have accused me of just that. Indeed, he actually accused me of being nice to my aunt and uncle so I could get their estate—an estate I had no idea existed.
So, I am now involved in collecting documentation. My father and mother’s birth and death certificates. Their marriage license. Immigration documents for my father. Emigration documents for my father. DNA tests. I need to consult with a lawyer and find out how much this will cost. How long will it take?
And if it’s looking daunting, should I pay to have my book translated into Italian so I can notify the press and use the court of public opinion to help me out?
As with everything regarding this adoption/identity journey, I have to take one step at a time. I cannot try to skip steps as I have been inclined to do in everything the last thirty-six years.
But I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if I want to go through this. And is my questioning due to fatigue? Or is it because I’m really wondering? Am I infatuated with the prospect of having an Italian passport? Am I so impressed with my international identity that I’m just playing a game?
Of course, obtaining an Italian passport doesn’t require an actual move. I want the possibility of moving to Italy. Even just staying there as long as I want on vacation. In the future, I don’t want anyone telling me that I am limited in the amount of time I can revel in my family and savor my heritage.