AF News

Monday, March 20, 2017

Having a baby on Okinawa


So….we have been blessed with a brand new, fresh from the factory, baby girl! Luckily, the baby and mom are doing well, and that is all I could ask. However, this has happened about 5 months from leaving Oki to….well we have no idea as of this writing, but it should be Stateside somewhere. This is important to know as this will frame this whole post.

Well me being me, I am feeling a little stressed because 5 months doesn’t seem like a lot of time to get this new kid a Consular Report of Birth (CRBA), a tourist passport, AND a social security number, without coming down to the wire (which I hate!).  Obviously, I am being a little dramatic, as there are others popping out babies a month out from PCSing and they are getting all that done doing with little issues. The main thing is to know what needs to be done and where to get it done. Luckily, there are processes to get a lot of this done in a logical manner and I will detail those processes next. However, all this is framed to my personal scenario, which is the baby is healthy and was born at the Foster hospital, going Stateside after Okinawa, and I am active duty USAF. If your situation is even a little bit different from mine, then your process will have more or less steps to it to PCS out of Oki. Let’s begin!

1.  Most important step is go to Foster’s Birth Registration Brief! I have the packet they will give further down this post with their DSN number on the front so you can make that appointment. But the whole point of this brief is to go to it BEFORE the baby is even born, so you will have time to collect what you need for the Consular Report of Birth and Passport. In my specific situation, I had the following documents already, and used them with no issue.

a.  Passports: My American Tourist Passport (Can be any type though) and my wife’s Korean passport were good to go and current.

b.  Our marriage certificate: They will harp on this A LOT. Luckily, I have a certified copy anyways and was good to go. If you don’t have a certified copy, then you will have to get one from whatever State you got married in. Which I suspect will take TIME and that is why you should order it while you are still preggo so you will have it by the time the baby is born.

c.  My wife’s dependent ID was used as a secondary ID during this process as well. I imagine every military spouse will have this anyways, but make sure it is good to go beforehand. My wife’s actually expired a month and half later after the baby was born, so I am glad I noticed that anyways.

d.  A printed DS-2029 is required too. You can find it online, just make sure it is the right version. They have instructions on how to fill it out in the birth registration packet, so see below.

e.  A printed DS-11 will be needed to get the baby a tourist passport as well. Just remember you have to do the online version, so when you print it up the form will have a 2D bar code on the side. Oh, and get passport photos done too. I got mine made at the Photo store in the Kadena BX and it was about $10 and on a walk-in basis.  Finally, they have instructions on how to fill out the DS-11 in the birth registration packet too, so see below.

f.  Make sure to bring everything they give you when they discharge you from the hospital, the birth registration lady will need info out of it.

g.  The last thing is money orders. I got mine at the Post Office on Kadena and I recommend you get them BEFORE the baby pops out so it will be one less thing to worry about. Details are in the packet below.

And that is it for the CRBA and Passport process, well for me that is. I do want to note I did attend the birth registration class before the baby was born. Also, the day the baby was born, I went down stairs of the Foster hospital to Room 111 (near the main entrance, through the doors on the right) and had my pre-screening appointment made with the birth registration office (about 2 weeks later). 

Furthermore, the day I went to the pre-screening appointment, and had everything I needed, they had me meet the Consular Officer later that day as well. I don’t think that is the norm, but it worked out, and just know your wife and baby have to be there to take an oath.

Again, your mileage may vary, but I think my personal situation is as simple as it can get. Just understand all this is for getting the CRBA and Passport, nothing else, but there are still a lot of other steps for the military side of things as well. Oh, and this office will help you get your baby a Social Security number once your CRBA and passport come in. Since I haven’t got this stuff yet as of this writing, I will update this post with that process as well.

A final note on all this is that we intend to get a Korean Passport as well for our baby, but I haven’t go down that road just yet. The main issue I think is the Korean Embassy accepting the CRBA for a Korean passport, which is an unknown right now. The only thing I did so far was get the passport photos in the Korean passport size (same as Japanese passport size) for future use. I will update this post once I get this all figured out.

Next, the other military stuff!

2.  So once your wife pushes out a healthy baby and eventually gets discharged from the Foster hospital, you will be giving a discharge packet. There are many things in this packet, a lot of it medical related of course, but I am not going to focus on all that stuff and I am just focus on the paperwork needed to PCS Oki successfully.

a.  You will get a Certificate of Birth (signed by the doc) and you will use this to get your baby in DEERS. This should be your first step once you get settled at home. You will get this done at the MPF or whatever it is called now. You will need your military ID and the certificate and it doesn’t take long.

b.  Next you will need to see the Tricare office at the Kadena Clinic to enroll the baby in Tricare and start the Command Sponsorship process. The directions to do this are below as well and covers a lot of different scenario, however I fell into Step 1 (the easy one). So, basically you will need a MFR made, which you can find on the FSS SharePoint under the DEROS Management section. Make/print that MFR before going to Tricare, because they will route it for signatures. Luckily, since I came here Command Sponsored, I could just sign it, and get it routed. There are personnel that manage this process exclusively, so you will have to go on the days they are there. Which at the time of this writing was M-W-F @ 0800-1100 hours. Once you get it back (a few days later), you will have to get the final signature from DEROS Management office at the MPF.

c.  The DEROS Management office is going to want a copy of your orders bringing you to Kadena, that letter from Tricare, and the DEERS Form (DD Form 1172) before they will sign that Command Sponsorship letter. Once they sign it though, you are NOT done! They will keep the original and you will get 3 copies of everything, but you are done with DEROS Management at least.

d.  Since you are in the MPF building already at this point, you will take a copy of that Command Sponsorship letter AND the medical form with the baby feet on it to the Finance Section, so you can start getting extra COLA. You would think all these systems are connected, but they are not, so you will fill out a form there as well. Now you will be getting more money, backdated to when the baby was born. Cha Ching!

e. The final stop is back to the Tricare Office so you can now officially enroll your baby into Tricare. They will take a copy of that completed Command Sponsorship letter and have you fill out the Tricare enrollment form on the spot. Once that is done you are finished with the military side of things! Yay!

Some final notes on all this. The DEROS Management office was pretty adamant that I didn’t lose this signed Command Sponsorship letter, because I will need again when I out-process or something. Well, I have a copy still and I scanned it to my personal files, just in case as well. 

Oh and apparently you can do all the CRBA and Passport and/or SSN yourself at the Naha Consulate if you like, as the birth registration office does this as a courtesy basically for those babies born on Foster. But I am lazy and having them track all this stuff is right up my alley.

I will update this post once I get the Social Security number and the Korean Passport things figured. All the informational packets I have (with my chicken scratch included) are below for reference. 














***UPDATED 25-APR-17***

Ok. Guess what I got yesterday!? A nice shiny passport and CRBA! In all it took about 1.5 months to get to me, but your mileage can vary. The CRBA is really fancy looking too. Fancy enough to frame and hang up on the wall in my opinion. But anyways, the main thing to know is that you now can apply for your kid’s social security number with everything you just got. The birth registration office will give you a hand-out (I have it below) that will explain what you have to do. They don’t do anything with all that at this point, it is all on you now. However, it is straight forward and you just have to mail everything to the embassy up at Tokyo for processing. The passports/ID copies are just plain old black and white copier type, nothing fancy. Oh, and fill out the SS-5 and don’t forget to sign it too. Then just bring those all copies to the notary and they will take care of the rest. After that I mailed all those papers to the DPO address which is basically the same as APO. But I used priority mail, just so I can get a tracking number in case things go awry.  Easy pesy. I will update again once we get the SSN card and wrap this post up. Later!

Social Security Number Application For Newborns

FINAL UPDATE ***20-MAY-17***

So I finally got my kid's SSN in the mail last week!  Since I threw away my receipt with the priority mail tracking number on it, I am going to guess and say it took about 3 weeks-ish from start to finish. As, in the day I mailed the package to the Tokyo embassy, and to actually getting the SSN in my mailbox onbase. The date on the SSN card is May 8th, so I think they made the number within a week of getting the application, so that is pretty fast in my opinion. But this finally closes the loop on this whole process with the birth certificate, passport, and SSN. Overall this whole thing took about 2.5 months from when the day the baby was born to getting the SSN in mail. I attribute this to having all the documentation I needed up front and having a simple situation overall. The End!

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