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In what cases is a child French?

Verified 31 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The French nationality of a child, born in France or not, depends mainly on nationality of his parents.

A child French by birth, i.e by filiation, if at least one of her parents is French.

Never mind child either born in France or abroad.

And never mind parents either married or not, provided that the parentage of that child is legally established in respect of the French parent.

The nationality of a parent is found the day of birth of child and during his minority.

The French nationality of the child remains acquired even if its parentage is contested after his majority.

If the parent loses French nationality while its child is major, this does not affect the nationality of the child.

If the parent becomes French while its child is major, this does not affect the nationality of the child.

The child becomes French when one of his parents becomes French if 2 are completed:

  • The child resides usually with this parent (or alternatively in the case of divorce or separation)
  • The child name is indicated in decree of naturalisation or declaration of French nationality of the parent (marriage, ascending, brother or sister)

If the parent becomes French while the child is of age, this does not affect the child's nationality.

FYI  

It is possible to request naturalisation of minor child remained foreigner while one of his parents became French. The child must, however, have been living in France with this parent since 5 years at the date of the request.

Only plenary adoption assign French nationality at birth .

Full adoption grants the child new filiation which replaces its original affiliation.

The adoption decided abroad has an effect on the nationality of the adopted child only if it corresponds to a full adoption in France.

FYI  

the Kafala is not an adoption within the meaning of French law.

A child born in France of foreigner parents is French by birth only one of the 3 situations following:

  • At least one of her parents was born in France (regardless of nationality)
  • Or at least one of her parents was born in Algeria before July 3, 1962
  • Or it born stateless in France

Please note

if the child born in France of foreigner parents is in another situationit may become French from age 13, subject to conditions.

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