Welcome to French by Association! My name is Annie Soete, and after becoming a single parent while living in France, I returned back to the States to raise my son. Here are some questions I get asked a lot!
Are you French?
While my family heritage traces back to France, along with many other Western European Countries, I am American by birth.
Do you speak French?
I do! I started taking French as a child, and continued through school. I graduated college with my degree in French and still actively speak it to this day- both in my job and at home with my son, Ben.
Where did you live in France?
I lived in a small village, called Crozet. It’s located in the Jura mountains, about 15 minutes from Geneva, Switzerland.
Why did you start a blog?
After returning to the United States as a single parent, I scoured the internet for blogs, in search of people who shared a similar story to me. While I would always turn up empty-handed, I was determined to not let that be the case for others. I started my blog as a way to share information on the French legal system (that is often incredibly confusing), single parenting, and everything in between!
Why did you go to court in France, and not America?
In 2013, when I first began researching dual citizenship for my son, there was not a lot of information available. The information that I was able to find, dealt with dual citizenship for children born in America to Mexican parents, or French citizenship for children born to American parents living in France. There was quite literally zero information that could apply to me. So for months, like a detective, I worked to piece together bits of information that I thought could help someday.
As I learned more about French law, I was able gather enough information that led me to believe that Ben could become a French citizen. As I thought through the logical process of getting his dual citizenship established, it occurred to me that my country would not be able to help in this regard. I realized that only the French government would be able to grant citizenship. Thus, why we went to court in France.
How does international child support work?
As a disclaimer, I do have to say that every case is different, especially with different countries. My experience is only with France and the United States, and would encourage you to also view my legal disclaimer here.
We were very fortunate in that our judge gave us quite a bit of liberty in deciding how we wanted this to work. Since Ben’s father and I live on two different continents, we decided the best way to execute this was to rely on wire transfers.