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Adopted by Italian Citizens – Can I Become an Italian Citizen?
In general, yes. If you were adopted by Italian citizens, you have the right to Italian citizenship. When and how you apply depends on whether you were adopted as a child or as an adult.
- If you were adopted as a minor, you’ll need to obtain a certified copy of your adoption decree, which must be translated into Italian. You must also obtain an Apostille, a specialized document verifying the decree is legitimate and authentic.
- If you were adopted as an adult, you must become a legal resident of Italy and live there for at least five years after the adoption before applying for Italian citizenship.
There are some very important caveats to eligibility if you were adopted by Italian citizens:
- If you were adopted in Italy beforeJune 5, 1967, you cannot claim Italian citizenship by descent.
- If you were adopted abroad (e.g., in the U.S.) before April 27, 1983, you cannot claim Italian citizenship by descent.
Also note that at least one of your adoptive parents must be an Italian citizen when the judicial decree of adoption becomes effective (whether they live in Italy or the U.S.).
Italian Citizenship Benefits
There are so many benefits to becoming a dual Italian American citizen, including the joys of connecting with your Italian heritage; they include:
- Work opportunities. As an Italian citizen, you’ll be able to work in countries across the EU. Italian citizenship is attractive to European employers. You’ll likely have an easier time securing employment as a dual Italian American citizen than you would as an American with single citizenship.
- The right to vote. As an Italian citizen, you’ll enjoy the right to vote in Italy and the ability to fully participate in the democratic process.
- Access to affordable education. Education is very affordable in large parts of the EU and in Italy (much more so than in the U.S.). As an Italian citizen, you and your children can study in Italy, paying EU tuition rates at universities.
- Access to healthcare. Healthcare is generally very expensive in the U.S. As a dual citizen, you’ll have access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare in Italy (after applying for your tessera sanitaria). The Italian healthcare system is generally highly regarded.
- Hassle-free access to rent/purchase property. Buying or renting property in Italy is much easier as an Italian citizen. You’ll have fewer hoops to jump through than you would as an American citizen with single citizenship trying to secure property.
- Hereditary benefits. Your children under age 18 will automatically become Italian citizens when you do. They can then pass it on to their children, creating an unbroken line of Italian citizenship, with all its benefits and rewards.
- Ease of travel. As a dual citizen, you can travel and work anywhere in the EU without a visa.
- The protection of two embassies/consulates. When you become a dual citizen, you have the protection of two countries when you travel. You also have the choice of traveling with your Italian passport to places that are inhospitable to Americans.
Get Expert Help
If you’re an American who was adopted by Italian citizens, the experts at the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program can help you through the process of becoming a dual citizen. We’ll guide you every step of the way and help you obtain all necessary Italian citizenship documents.
Our Italian citizenship program has helped hundreds of people discover their Italian heritage and gain their Italian American dual citizenship! Contact us today to learn more.