September 19, 2007

Having a child in Greece

Posted in Children, Having a child in Greece tagged , , , , , at 4:09 pm by expatdiane

If you are an American citizen and have a child in Greece from a Greek national you must register the birth locally and then again at the American Consulate. When doing so the child automatically gets dual citizenship. It is very easy as long as you have all the paperwork needed and your child must accompany you. The application only takes a few minutes to complete and your paperwork is then turned in. Within a week, you will receive your child’s American passport and within a month you will receive your child’s social security card.Paperwork needed to register your child:

1. Marriage certificate of parents.
2. Birth certificate from the Greek registrar’s office bearing the full name of the child.
3. Certified copy of all final civil divorce decree if either parent was married previously.
4. Evidence of American citizenship of the parent. If only one parent is an American citizen, evidence that the parent has met the physical presence requirement to transmit citizenship, prior to the birth of the child (the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least five years, two of which were after the age of 14. Documents that may serve as evidence of physical presence, includes: old passports, school transcripts, income tax records and social security itemized quarterly earning statement records.

To apply for a passport for your child, you need:

1. A signed passport application
2. Two identical photographs.
3. Parents consent

**Check with the American Consulate office for fees regarding registration**

Special notice regarding paperwork:

***A very important thing to remember when moving here. If you have ever been divorced, you must bring with you your divorce decree and be sure it is translated in Greek. This form will be needed when applying for marriage and/or anything that has to do with your child, even if that child was not from your previous marriage.

Advertisements

July 16, 2007

Smoke out

Posted in Children, Day to day life tagged , , , , , at 8:34 pm by expatdiane

The other day we went out to the opening of a new restaurant that a friend owns. I had been gone from Greece for so long that I had forgotten just how smoked filled these places can be. Just about everyone smokes but that isn’t a bad thing if they would just open a few windows and doors. What came to mind was some smoking areas at airports. You know the ones where you see smokers in a closed in smoking area standing in the midst of thick fog? Well this restaurant was similar. For the first time, I made the mistake of taking our daughter with us. In the past, I never have taken her to any type of outing for this very reason but I had been gone from the country for so long, that I had forgotten all about the way of life here.

I am a smoker myself but have always had the common sense to smoke outside away from our daughter and have never smoked around children or small babies. I didn’t smoke tonight while in the restaurant. There was more then enough smoke as it was. By the time we got out of there, I had a huge head rush and I can only imagine how our daughter felt. I just don’t understand how Greeks can take out their children to these places, smoke right beside them with no worries about their health.

Smoking is allowed just about everywhere here, even in children’s indoor play areas. I doubt this will change any time soon. People just won’t listen and enforcing laws doesn’t seem to work either.

If it weren’t for Greece hosting the 2004 Olympics, smoking and non-smoking sections would have never been adopted. Back then, I remember there would be one non-smoking table in an establishment, while the rest of the tables were all smoking ones. It was impossible for a non-smoker to eat without breathing in cigarette smoke. Now, in most place, things have changed to the point where they have more non-smoking tables and have even stated separating the areas into two sections.

The good news is that Greeks are slowly starting to understand the problems of second hand smoke. Okay, maybe not in all parts of the country or even in smaller restaurants, but they are making an effort to understand. Public service announcements have started here in the country in early 2007 regarding the dangers of second hand smoke. It might take a while, but they will eventually get it.