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Helping out a deceased American friend. Advise needed!


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To all our American members (and guest readers) I have a story and a question.

One of my dearest friends, Tom, passed away quickly in a Texas hospital last December.  He was planning to come back to be with his gf/partner and son in February but did not make it.  He was only physically with his gf for about a year before going back to the US to work but his favorite topics of conversation, when we chatted on Facebook, were his gf and his son. (Note that Tom has been in the US for most of his son's life and most of their visitation was done on Facebook.  His son is 4 now and has Tom's last name.)

Fast forward 6 months and Facebook notified me it would be Toms's 66th birthday.  Remembering my old buddy, I looked up his gf on Facebook to see how things are going.  Not so good.  No one ever helped her after Tom passed and yet all his friends knew that Sally and son were his two passions in life (right after the Arkansas Razorbacks).  He sent money every month, while alive, so his intentions were good.

I asked Sally on FB: "Is Tom listed as the father on your son's NSO birth certificate"?  and she said yes.  I did not push the issue, but as so often happens, most of Tom's friends suspected there was a strong chance he was not the biological father.  However, when the subject was cautiously mentioned. He would always say "I don't want to hear that kind of talk, he's my son!"

So that sums up the story, now here is the question:  Is there a way she can get either an American Passport for Tom's son or any assistance from his social security?  (There are no other claimants.)  If there is a way to do it then I would help her with any paperwork or link her up with the right people for the sake of my good buddy and knowing its what he would want.  BUT the sneaking hunch in the back of my mind says that a DNA test would not turn out good, but what DNA test if Tom has already been 6 months Resting in Peace?

Advice?  Encouragement? Discussion?  On forum or private message if necessary.  I would really like to help out as Tom helped me out when I was in trouble, many times.

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A great and informative post, great input/ideas and info, brings reality home on many fronts and differing situations, for me/us. I dearly need to get off my derriere to secure my wishes in the Philip

Bad situation. We can all use this as a lesson to plan ahead and be prepared for our deaths.  Proving paternity will hard and, on a Filipina salary, almost impossibly expensive.  Without trying to get

Even if that is possible, it will make an already complex situation even more complex, and costly.  Any U.S. lawyer involvement would take away all future gains, unless a lawyer took it for free.

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First I suggest you speak to Sally. She may have useful details like a birth certificate with Tom listed as father and so on.

Your doing a good thing IMO.

Edited by Old55
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Here's what the US Embassy in the Philippines says:

"A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), FS-240, is an official record of U.S. citizenship issued to a person under age 18 who was born abroad to United States citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth. Schools, the Social Security Agency, and other institutions throughout the United States accept it and give it the same credence they give to birth certificates issued by state authorities in the United States.

Only the child’s biological parent or legal guardian, preferably the U.S. citizen parent, can apply for a CRBA.  Either parent, including a non-U.S. citizen parent, may execute and sign this application.  If it will be signed and executed by a legal guardian, a special power of attorney from the parent(s) or guardianship affidavit must be submitted.  The application must be made before the child’s 18th birthday and the child must make a personal appearance at the U.S. Embassy.

We encourage parents to document their child’s citizenship as soon as possible after the birth. Delays in reporting of the birth of your child could cause inconvenience and possibly deprive your child of this valuable document because persons age 18 and over are not eligible for a CRBA."

It would have been much easier had your friend applied for citizenship for his son, based on the fact that he is listed as the father on the birth certificate. However, since he apparently did not do this and is now deceased, I suspect it gets more complex. I would recommend contacting the embassy in Manila to know what the mother can do (if anything) to apply for her child's citizenship. The fact that the American father is listed on the birth certificate should be a good start.

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2 hours ago, Old55 said:

First I suggest you speak to Sally. She may have useful details like a birth certificate with Tom listed as father and so on.

Your doing a good thing IMO.

Yes, chatted on Facebook with Sally and she says Tom is the father on the birth certificate.  She would never admit if she had a boyfriend on the side and to me it does not matter.  Tom said Steven is his kid.  I confirmed it with his other friends and he told them all the same thing.  If I take this further and direct her to the "proper authorites" I will take a look at the NSO birth certificate myself before going further.  But as one of Tom's other best buddies told me, he is also pretty sure that Tom is listed as father and sent $200 every 2 weeks as child support.

 

1 hour ago, davewe said:

Here's what the US Embassy in the Philippines says:

Too early in the morning for me to digest that but I'l read it again later on.  Thanks for the info.  Gonna go have a nap.  Got up too early :Count_Sheep:

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That is a tough one.  As Dave implied, a CRBA is the first step.  The requirements are a lot (documentation of relationship, e.g., photos, letters, etc. and much more) and in this case I'm sure they would require a DNA test.  Assuming he is buried in Texas, they would need some DNA from him somehow and that does not sound pretty.  Lots of time and money involved.

NSO birth cert is required but does not prove much except that he said he was the father at that time.  It seems strange that he did not pursue citizenship at the proper time and raises questions on if he really is the father.  Does the kid look like him?

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I think the bottom line is that the lady is going to have to get as much documentation together as possible and throw herself on the mercy of the American embassy, put up with the lines and the many times going back and forth. I am afraid she has a tough row to hoe, especially in todays immigration climate.

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4 hours ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

To all our American members (and guest readers) I have a story and a question.

One of my dearest friends, Tom, passed away quickly in a Texas hospital last December.  He was planning to come back to be with his gf/partner and son in February but did not make it.  He was only physically with his gf for about a year before going back to the US to work but his favorite topics of conversation, when we chatted on Facebook, were his gf and his son. (Note that Tom has been in the US for most of his son's life and most of their visitation was done on Facebook.  His son is 4 now and has Tom's last name.)

Fast forward 6 months and Facebook notified me it would be Toms's 66th birthday.  Remembering my old buddy, I looked up his gf on Facebook to see how things are going.  Not so good.  No one ever helped her after Tom passed and yet all his friends knew that Sally and son were his two passions in life (right after the Arkansas Razorbacks).  He sent money every month, while alive, so his intentions were good.

I asked Sally on FB: "Is Tom listed as the father on your son's NSO birth certificate"?  and she said yes.  I did not push the issue, but as so often happens, most of Tom's friends suspected there was a strong chance he was not the biological father.  However, when the subject was cautiously mentioned. He would always say "I don't want to hear that kind of talk, he's my son!"

So that sums up the story, now here is the question:  Is there a way she can get either an American Passport for Tom's son or any assistance from his social security?  (There are no other claimants.)  If there is a way to do it then I would help her with any paperwork or link her up with the right people for the sake of my good buddy and knowing its what he would want.  BUT the sneaking hunch in the back of my mind says that a DNA test would not turn out good, but what DNA test if Tom has already been 6 months Resting in Peace?

Advice?  Encouragement? Discussion?  On forum or private message if necessary.  I would really like to help out as Tom helped me out when I was in trouble, many times.

I have not dealt with a situation like this so can't directly help although I would agree the CBRA is the first official step to take. Any idea if he filed it already or why he wouldn't have?

There is a member who has a brother? that either works for immigration or is an immigration attorney who might be a source of good information. I would be more help if I could remember who it was. Maybe he will read this or someone else will remember.

Do you know if Tom was in the military? There may also be VA benefits available. If yes, the next question will be was he rated for any disability by the VA and what percentage.

 

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50 minutes ago, scott h said:

I think the bottom line is that the lady is going to have to get as much documentation together as possible and throw herself on the mercy of the American embassy, put up with the lines and the many times going back and forth. I am afraid she has a tough row to hoe, especially in todays immigration climate.

CRBA application can be done at an outreach, if that is easier.

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1 hour ago, OnMyWay said:

It seems strange that he did not pursue citizenship at the proper time and raises questions on if he really is the father.  Does the kid look like him?

That's the problem.  The kid doesn't look like him.  When the subject was raised, he refused to discuss it (VERY stubborn old cuss) and I think he suspected and didn't want to know.  So to me, the fact that he accepted the boy as his own and supported him financially during his life says "that's his kid".  I know in Canada it would go a long way to proving its your son.  If you accept him since birth and support him financially and he calls you Daddy and there is no other 'daddy' in the picture then he is your son, in Canada.

I imagine it will be a bit of a sticky situation to explain to the kid when he is older that the American government says your dad is not your dad so you are not really an American.  Bureaucracy is strange stuff.  I guess its better to try now rather than later.  But I'm thinking it could get messy.

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Just now, Dave Hounddriver said:

But I'm thinking it could get messy.

She could pursue the CRBA until they ask for the DNA test.  At that point it will get messy.  Unless there is another DNA sample that can be validated, the body would need to be exhumed.  Attorney will be required.  Family involvement in the U.S., who may fight it.

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