During the National Day holiday, Tina, Nolan, and I headed to the American embassy in Guangzhou to register my son as an American citizen and apply for his passport.  I had heard many stories about document confusion, delays, mistrust, etc., but I wasn't going to worry until I knew exactly what was what.

I referred to the Guangzhou Embassy website for information on what documents were necessary.  According to the site, they needed my passport, my wife's Chinese ID, our marriage certificate, Nolan's original birth certificate with an English translation, two passport photos, and a couple of forms printed from the website affirming that I had lived in the US for more than 5 years, and that I was Nolan's father.  We also brought our wedding photos, family photos, and Nolan's hospital records.

Despite what people had told Tina, these documents were all that were necessary.  Everything that the website said was true, and the whole process took about an hour.  The consular official was very polite, and she interviewed Tina and me separately for a few minutes, just to verify that we were indeed a family.  I had to pay about 1,400 RMB, and that was that.  It was a big relief to get this important step finished, and like most things in life, it wasn't as difficult as people said it would be.  I will have to go back to pick up the passport once it's ready, but it's nice to know that my son is now a full-fledged American :-)

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