I had a falling-out with my parents awhile ago. Haven't talked to them in almost two years. They were born in the Czech Republic.

I am wanting to apply for a dual citizenship in CZ, which is easy as long as your parents were born in Czech. All they require is a copy of your parent's birth certificates as well as a copy of their marriage license.

Two weeks ago, I sent my parents a letter, asking them for these documents, along with a return envelope, but it seems like they are unwilling to cooperate.

Is there a way to get these documents, legally, in order that I might be able to obtain my dual CZ citizenship?

  • Were they also married in the Czech republic?
    – phoog
    Jul 1 '19 at 16:27
  • This would be a better fit for Expatriates, where you will probably want to look around anyway.
    – phoog
    Jul 1 '19 at 16:48
  • My father was born in Prague. My mother was born in Novy Knin, a small village about 30 minutes outside of Prague. They met and were married in New York. They moved there late 60's/early 70's, sometime after Prague Spring. In the late 70's they moved to Denver, making it their permanent home. I'm in Denver too. Jul 1 '19 at 16:51
  • 1
    Birth certificates and marriage certificates are public records that can ordinarily be obtained by interested parties. it may also be possible to obtain a naturalization application or certificate if they are naturalized citizens, or a passport, if they are not. Further, usually a marriage certificate recites the party's place of birth and may be sufficient on its own. I was married in NYS and I am pretty sure that mine recited that information. Sometimes your own birth certificate will also contain a parent's place of birth (I was born in GA so I don't know what yours would say).
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 2 '19 at 1:56
  • 1
    In Colorado (like all U.S. states) you can only get marriage licenses for marriages that took place in Colorado and birth certificates for births that took place in Colorado. Neither applies to your parents. (The vital statistics office where you would get those documents if they were Colorado documents is in Glendale, Colorado on Cherry Creek South Drive, I used to work across Cherry Creek from it.) The marriage certificate would have to be obtained from NYS and the birth certificates would have to be obtained from CZ.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 2 '19 at 14:22

The Czech Consulate General in New York has a page about this. Presumably a similar situation would prevail at other Czech consulates, so this answer should help even if you do not reside in its territory.

The page notes that if you are not "a relative" you can "enclose an explanation letter why do you need the duplicate of the birth [or marriage] certificate." So it's possible that they'd give you a copy anyway, but, to increase your chances, you might want to include a letter explaining that you need the document to demonstrate your own Czech nationality. You can also include a copy of your birth certificate as evidence of your relationship.

The page links to the forms you have to submit with the request for the certificate. They reflect the same possibility, slightly more specifically. The birth certificate application says

6. V případě, že nejste v tabulce, uveďte vztah k dítěti nebo jiný právní zájem:

6. In case you are not the person in a table, relation must be stated or any other legal interest:

As far as I can tell "the person in a table" means "a person in the list of birth certificates being requested with this form." That is, you don't need to explain yourself if you are the child whose birth certificate it is, nor if you are one of the parents shown on the certificate.

The marriage certificate form similarly says

6. V případě, že nejste osobou uvedenou v tabulce, uveďte vztah k osobám nebo jiný právní zájem

(If the applicant is not listed in the table below as the Husband or Wife, please provide an explanation of the relationship or legal interest which authorizes this submission.):

This last sentence hints at the one thing that I unfortunately do not know, which is the criteria for judging whether a given explanation is legally sufficient to authorize the release of the certificate to the person who submitted the application. I guess your case is as good as it gets, but it's possible that the law prevents the certificates to be issued to you while your parents are still alive.

  • I'll look at that link later. At work, and the network here doesn't allow us access to .cz websites. Thanks for the information though. Jul 1 '19 at 16:53
  • @DanielPavlovsky if they were married over 50 years ago in New York then their marriage certificate is a public record; otherwise you cannot get a copy directly unless you have both of their death certificates or notarized authorization from one of them (or a "judicial purpose," which I suppose means you could get a court order). See the NYC page for more detail; I assume that this 50-year distinction is a matter of state law so would apply if they were married in another county, but I do not know for sure.
    – phoog
    Jul 1 '19 at 16:58
  • 1
    Just wanted to add that it'd be pretty ridiculous if I was barred from getting a dual citizenship because my parents want to be difficult and not cooperate. There has to be a way to circumvent these personal grievances in order to obtain these documents. Jul 1 '19 at 19:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.