I was born in South Africa and moved with my parents to England 30 years ago where I met my wife. I am a dual citizen of both the UK and South Africa and in recent years after divorcing my ex-wife, moved back to South Africa. My problem is that my ex-wife and I have a five year old son who I’d also like to have dual nationality but my ex-wife says she won’t allow it. Her concern is that if our child has dual nationality then there is a risk I could take our son back to South Africa, which is not something I would do. Can you help?
Most people see it as an advantage for a child to have dual nationality. Your former wife essentially is saying that she thinks if you get a South African passport, that will increase the risk that you will abduct your son. This is not a good enough reason. South Africa is a party to the Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction so you could not get away with it anyway. My view would be that we should write a firm but amicable letter to your former wife pointing out the pros and cons, but if she still refuses, then taking out an application under the Children Act to get a court order to allow you to obtain the dual nationality.