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Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby andhei23 » 26 Jul 2015, 08:44

Hello,

so I was adopted by my parents who are German/father and US/Taiwanese/mother who is biologically speaking my aunt, and I was born in Taiwan as well.Therefore I have a Taiwanese birth certificate and I had(still have it but it expired long time ago) a Taiwanese passport as a baby under my Chinese name given by my biological parents.There is also a notice by the ministry in the passport that I am also known with my German surname which I gained by adoption from my father and my Chinese first name but my mom had my name legally changed when I got my German citizenship.
So I have been visiting my relatives frequently over my entire life. Now I was recently told that since I am 22 now I could be drafted for military service in Taiwan even though I am German.
Is that true, if yes what can I do? I am going to visit my relatives again this year.
Do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and can/should I renew my old passport which expired over a decade ago?

Edit: My old passport only states that I have an ID number, is that equal to nationality because that is not shown?

Thanks
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby abovik » 27 Jul 2015, 01:53

Don't think you can get drafted without valid citizenship and household registration (戶籍). But judging on your first sentence, most likely you match both. Better ask your family in TW and immigration on this. It is possible to get drafted on an expired passport (your Citizenship is still valid). Sometimes it can get tricky, if you only enter and leave with your German passport. But I wouldn't gamble on it.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby andhei23 » 27 Jul 2015, 03:07

So the household registration is still active even though I moved away with my parents?
And my citizenship is still valid? Do I have to get one those oversea chinese certificates which I keep reading of?

thanks!
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby abovik » 27 Jul 2015, 03:35

It's hard to say. I'm commenting with a lot of missing information. For example, whether your citizenship was renounced. I had a relative with dual citizenship, born in Taiwan, stayed long time overseas and obtained citizenship there. Taiwan passport expired, like you. Upon arrival at the airport, picked up he skipped military service, held him right on the spot. Then I also have friends, American born with both U.S. and Taiwan passport. Kept coming back without problems. So there are some details to work out.

Household registration is a one time deal.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby andhei23 » 27 Jul 2015, 05:14

Oh, I actually do not know if my citizenship was renounced, I assumed it was automatically when the adoption was final. I was in Taiwan last year and had no problems, I went to Okinawa on a short trip as well and reentered Taiwan without any problems.I only know that the adoption had to be done in Taiwan and once again in Germany, but I do not know what actually happened there. And I believe I was registered under my biological parents at the beginning but was removed from it before I moved to Germany.

Could it be because the Taiwanese government doesn't know, that my name was legally changed?
Thanks so far!

Edit: I just found the household registration which states that I was registered under my biological parents but there is a remark that I was adopted and have moved in with my adoptive parents. And I couldn't find any papers about renouncing my citizenship. But in my German adoption papers it is stated that by being adopted under German law I have lawfully no legal relations or obligations to my biological parents.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby ironlady » 28 Jul 2015, 08:03

Military obligations are not to your biological parents, they are to your country of citizenship. If you still have ROC citizenship (which I would guess you do, or could if you pressed the issue) I suppose it could happen...but all very hypothetical. I don't know what the law is on citizenship and adoptions. I just think of the general rule that "if we want you for something, you're Taiwanese, if we don't, you're not" (obviously not a real law). Easy to speculate being female and in the US, and not knowing what your tolerance for risk is. Harder if you're the draft-age male who might get picked up for military service.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby Icon » 28 Jul 2015, 09:33

andhei23 wrote:Oh, I actually do not know if my citizenship was renounced, I assumed it was automatically when the adoption was final. I was in Taiwan last year and had no problems, I went to Okinawa on a short trip as well and reentered Taiwan without any problems.I only know that the adoption had to be done in Taiwan and once again in Germany, but I do not know what actually happened there. And I believe I was registered under my biological parents at the beginning but was removed from it before I moved to Germany.

Could it be because the Taiwanese government doesn't know, that my name was legally changed?
Thanks so far!

Edit: I just found the household registration which states that I was registered under my biological parents but there is a remark that I was adopted and have moved in with my adoptive parents. And I couldn't find any papers about renouncing my citizenship. But in my German adoption papers it is stated that by being adopted under German law I have lawfully no legal relations or obligations to my biological parents.


1. Go to your nearest TECO
2. Speak to the Overseas Communities representative there
3. Get yourself a nice Overseas Compatriot card, which certifies that even if you have ROC hukou and nationality -in theory- you are residing abroad permanently and hence might be excused of military duty

Name change or not, the data they hold is that you are still ROC citizen. Update that. many ROC people have 3 or 4 passports, names aplenty... name change tells them nothing and they have no way to know any changes done with other government's affairs. So going as Overseas Compatriot is the safest so you won't be drafted next time you set foot here. Anyways, talk to TECO.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby andhei23 » 28 Jul 2015, 23:10

What a drag...
I just talked to a rather unfriendly lady at the TECO in Frankfurt and it seemed she couldn't care less and said I should just don't go back to Taiwan. There were no options and ended the conversation... :fume:
And my aunt in Taiwan said, I should just use my German passport like her friend's son do who is Canadian. But she will reach out to the TECO again but speaking Chinese with them unlike I did.
andhei23
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby Icon » 28 Jul 2015, 23:17

Was she the one in charge of Overseas Compatriots affairs or just your usual MOFA friendly public officer?
Lo urgente no deja tiempo para lo importante. Mafalda.

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
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Re: Adopted from Taiwan, do I still have Taiwanese citizenship and do I get drafted for military service?

Postby andhei23 » 29 Jul 2015, 00:22

I do not know, because she didn't bother to introduce herself at all. It was just a "Hello?" and then I explained my situation. She said I could try to renounce my citizenship with all the forms which are apparently only in Chinese which I can not read or never return to Taiwan. That was all she said... It was a very short conversation. And she did not try to help me at all...I asked her about oversea Chinese but she just stopped me there as if it would be way too much work for her...(I might just be overreacting on this one though...I am really frustrated at this point)
Maybe my aunt will be more successful
But I am going to try to reach out for the bureau of consular affairs and ministry of foreign affairs in English maybe I will find someone competent there.
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