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Important Information For Unmarried Foreign Women Expecting A Baby With A Japanese Man

Author: Anna Hamakoji, Issue: September 2005, Topics: Women, Legal, Immigration

Even if your baby's father is Japanese and the baby will be born in Japan, under Japanese law, your baby cannot be granted Japanese nationality. Under Japanese law, the baby's father or mother must legally be a Japanese national at the time of birth or the child cannot become a Japanese national.

In order for the child to be recognized as a Japanese national, you must be legally married to the child's father or the natural father must recognize the child before birth by submitting the "Recognition of an Unborn Child" (taiji ninchi) to the local municipal office. This must be accompanied by your written consent to the recognition. Please do not worry about your status of residence. Whether you hold a visa or not will not be held against you. When you go to the family register section of the municipal office where the Japanese father resides, you will receive the "Recognition of an Unborn Child" form and an explanation on how to submit the form. Upon submitting the "Recognition of an Unborn Child" be sure to receive the "Certificate of Acceptance of the Recognition of an Unborn Child" (ninchitodoke jyuri shoumeisho) in return. This certificate is only issued at the office where the form was submitted and issued only to the person who submitted the form. Even if you happen to file for a divorce prior to the baby being born, a child born within 300 days of the divorce is still your ex-husband's child. Therefore that child is granted Japanese nationality and given the rights to inheritance and other rights. Once the "Recognition of an unborn child" (taiji ninchi has been submitted, you can return to your home country if you wish and give birth there. You can send the birth certificate to the baby's father and have him submit the "notification of birth" (shussie todoke). Please inquire about the possibility of having this procedure done at your local Japanese embassy.

When a baby is born and you (the parents) fail to submit the "Notification of Birth" document, the baby will become a stateless person. For the sake of the baby being born and for your own future, we strongly encourage you to immediately take the necessary procedures outlined above.

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