Sunday, 25 November 2012

Passports for babies...in Cosenza

Last week we went to get bella bambina her Italian passport. She isn't Australian yet so needs to have an Italian passport to enter Australia (which reminds me I must get her an Australian tourist visa...) This should be rather straight forward but we all know that nothing runs smoothly here. Italy is a country which embraces change but doesn't like to advise you of these changes.

Bel marito went to the questura to get a passport application the week before but obviously they had run out and obviously they couldn't print one off the internet (their applications are always photocopies so it's easy enough to do.) He diligently went home, printed a form and completed it, payed the fees and off we went with baby in tow to get her passport sorted.

"We need her residency identity card," the female police officer said - she wanted bella bambina's carta d'identita.
"Umm, why?" we asked. "We got our son a passport last December and we didn't need his residency card. Furthermore I got my Italian passport without being a resident. You don't need to be a resident to be a citizen." 
"The law has changed since then. We need her i.d card." 
Bel marito was getting annoyed and said "I printed the application off the internet and there was nothing written anywhere on your website saying we need her i.d card!"
"Ah, really? It seems the website has not been updated."

Luckily we just so happened to be in the process of getting bella bambina an i.d card. Not that she needed one, no one else gets i.d cards for their children, but we thought that since bel bambino had one it would be a nice keep sake for her. Huffing and puffing we went back home. How can they change the law and not even write this on the internet?

2 days later we went back to the police station with documents in hand.
"I need a photo copy of your i.d cards." the male police officer said.
"Oh, I didn't realise you needed a copy, where can we get one?" bel marito asked, thinking they would just photo copy them there and charge us if needs be.
"There is a photo copy place 100 metres down the road." 

Annoyed bel marito went off. We were already angry that we had to waste another morning in Cosenza which was no fault of ours. We had bel bambino and bella bambina in tow and me on crutches is no help at all. While bel marito was off with bel bambino getting copies I completed the paper work.

"Do you want us to include permission that either you or your husband can travel alone with the baby?"
"Yes that would be great. I don't mind if he travels without me and vice versa."
"Ok sign here and when your husband gets back I'll get him to sign too."

This week we went to pick up the passport and of course there was something wrong. Bel marito and I had a look at the passport in the car and it only had his name printed in the section of authorised people to travel with the baby. "Maybe the mother is automatically included to travel with the child and the father needs just his name written," guessed bel marito. "But I have a different surname to you 3 so if anyones name needs to be printed it's the mothers not the fathers."I said (Italian women don't change their name after marriage. I never had intentions to change my name so that suited me fine.) We decided to wait until we got home and checked bel bambino's passport and low and behold he has both our names printed. So now I cannot travel alone with bella bambina, bel marito must always be with me or else it is illegal for me to take her! It is like I am a mother without custody or something. How foolish can they be since it was me who spoke to the police officer and me who first signed the form. Now I cannot even go anywhere alone (not that I have intentions too but that's beside the point.) We are going back to the police station on Wednesday to ask them if they can fix it. If not it's not the end of the world as she will get an Australian passport soon so I can travel with her on that and then if we want to travel in Europe we can use our i.d cards...not that I am going to travel alone but it is the principal or the matter. I will let you know how it goes on Wednesday.

3 comments:

Gil said...

Sorry to hear that you are being abused right to the end of your days in Italy! How could the policewoman treat another woman, especially one on crutches and an infant, so coldly? Hopefully, this bull will end real soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what your husband thinks about moving to australia for good and leave behind his parents knowing that he'll then be able to see them only once every couple of years or so.

can you tell us his feelings ?

Leanne in Italy said...

Hi Gil,
Only 2 weeks left here then we are off!

Hi Anonymous,
It was actually my husband who wanted to move AUstralia before I did. He and I want to offer our children the best and sadly here we can't offer them what we want. Bel marito is more than aware of the situation here and is all for the move! Our children come first.