The minor adopted by an Italian citizen becomes an Italian citizen automatically, but the adoption must be recognized by the Italian Court for Minors and then transcribed in the registers of the Italian Municipality.
If the adopter lives abroad, the competent office is the Italian Consulate in whose area the Italian citizen lives with minor adopted.
If the adopter lives in Italy, the competent office is the Italian Municipality in whose area the Italian citizen resides with minor adopted.
To acquire Italian citizenship, it is necessary that at least one of adoptive parents is an Italian citizen when the judicial decree of adoption, issued in Italy or abroad, becomes effective.
If adoptive parents get Italian citizenship after adoption, the minor acquires the citizenship of the adoptive parents, but the adoption must be recognized by the Italian Court for Minors and then transcribed in the registers of the Italian municipality.
The adult (18+ years old) adopted by an Italian citizen, can apply for Italian citizenship by naturalization only after five years of legal residence in Italy following the adoption.
If the date of the adoption is prior to June 5, 1967 (when the Italian Law n.431/1967 entered into force) for adoptions in Italy, or prior to April 27, 1983 (when the Italian Law n.184/1983 entered into force) for adoptions abroad, the applicant, adopted or descended from adopted parent or grandparent, can NOT claim Italian citizenship by descent.
Until now (unlike what happened with the ‘1948 case’, that allows to claim the Italian citizenship in Court, overcoming the discrimination man/woman) in the case of Italian citizenship by adoption no definitive legal pronouncement in Italy has equated the adopted (before 1967/1983) to the biological son for the purpose of obtaining Italian citizenship by descent.
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Avv. Paola Caputi