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About Brockman

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  • Location Kreuzberg, Berlin
  • Nationality US
  • Hometown Long Island
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth
  1. Getting birth certificate of my child takes so long

    What a happy ending! Glad it worked out for you.
  2. Do you think going to the press will help? It seems you live in a small town, how do you think other Kitas will react when the 'lady who complains to the press' applies for a spot in their Kita? Your best bet is probably to continue searching and look into other options. Best of luck, many of us have been there and know it's frustrating! I know parents in Berlin who need to drive their kid to a Kita 1 hour each way for a 6 hour stay.
  3. We haven't received post in about a month. We called the central post line, but they say we are indeed receiving it (?!?) and that they would look into the matter further. I googled it and there were some recent articles and of course the post was blaming corona. I am really not sure what else we can do, we are currently about to move into a new flat and since we were receiving several notifications from the 'Grundbuch Amt' we notified them and the Finanzamt just in case. I had to recently cancel 2 magazine subscriptions as those just stopped showing up in July. If anyone else is experiencing this issue, what have you done about it? I wouldn't normally care, but since every bit of important communication is done via post in this country, I worry that some rando 'Mahnung' could show up.
  4. How integrated are you?

    Integrated enough, I guess. I've been here since 2015, I am married to a German, and I have 2 German-American children who were born here. I work for the local office of a large US multinational company and speak both English and German at work, I have a equal mix of German and non-German friends, and I can speak German fluently. I would score my integration 8 out of 10. I could probably improve my German a bit better, and do a bit more to integrate further, I suppose. I think I will probably live here for the rest of my life.
  5. Getting birth certificate of my child takes so long

    We just wrote our own Vollmacht and my wife signed it. I brought her German ID card so the Amt could verify signature. Maybe you can find a template on the Amt website. The guard didn't say anything, he just handed me the number. I guess it was just kind of an open secret that they allowed people to show up personally and pick up their child birth certificate.
  6. Getting birth certificate of my child takes so long

    Hi Veinar, no, there was no info available anywhere, and no one to call, I just showed up there at 4.30am because I read online articles saying this is what people had to resort to. The website actually said to not show up in person, if I remember correctly. Regarding what Santitas said, we did indeed apply for the birth certificate via the little Standesamt outpost at the hospital right after the kid was born, but the issue was they said it would take 12 weeks for the official birth certificate to arrive via post, and the Bürgeramt needs the official birth certificate to issue a passport. I had a Vollmacht from my wife authorizing me to do everything I needed to do to obtain the birth certificate and it was accepted without issue. No, my child did not come. I did however bring copies of all of the documents (receipt from hospital Standesamt showing we applied for the birth certificate, my passport, wife passport, marriage certificate, Anmeldebescheinigungs, wife German identity card, etc.) which of course they did have copies of on file, but, being a shitty German bureaucratic amt, they asked to see them all again and did some 'cross checking' theatrics to prove their 'usefulness' to society.
  7. Getting birth certificate of my child takes so long

    My kid was born in Berlin Mitte in late 2017 and we had the same problem with the 8-12 week waiting time. This was a problem because we needed a passport by early February, and for that, we needed a birth certificate. We could not get through when we called anyone. I went to the Standesamt Berlin Mitte at 4.30am on 2nd Jan 2018 and got an unofficial number from the building guard, who then told me to come back at 8.30am when they opened so I could get an official number. He also said I was lucky because they were only giving out 10 numbers that day and I got number 9. I saw people visibly camped out in front in the icy freezing weather. Anyway, I went back at 8.30am, got the official number, waited, and they issued the birth certificate on the spot without any issues (other than, you know, needing to be there at 4.30am). If it's any consolation, I doubt it would be any faster at the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Standesamt. Best of luck!
  8. Hey @Rushrush I saw your message. I emailed them, explained my situation, and asked for a quote, but I thought it was way too high so I never followed up on it. They wanted 750,00 € for an initial consultation. I found some one who sorted us out for 1/3 of that. Let me know if you want the contact. Good luck!
  9. We offered a bit under the asking price (~5%) for our flat (new building in Berlin) and we were basically laughed at. Of course it's hard to know if there are any other offers, but our philosophy was that we did not want to lose the place for a few grand, which, in the grand scheme of things, is not a lot of money. We ended up offering the asking price and it was accepted. You could try to go the route of hiring an expert and trying to find flaws, but here in Berlin someone will probably come along and be willing to overlook those flaws. Best of luck!
  10. In my recent experience of having bought a new flat in Berlin and knowing several other people that have, it's unlikely any seller of real estate in Berlin will need to accept less than their asking price. If I really wanted a flat, I would offer at least the asking price. In my opinion, it would not be worth losing out on something for a few grand (which amounts to a trivial amount in monthly mortgage payment). Good luck!
  11. Hi @Rushrush thank you! I'll be getting in touch. Have a nice weekend!
  12. We give our kids (7 & 5) our old tablets with hours of pre downloaded Netflix videos on them (each have headphones). We also pack plenty of snacks that won’t mess up the car too much and spill proof drink bottles. Oh, and bring some easily accessible spare kid clothes, paper towels, and something to clean up any unforeseen messes. There are plenty of rest stops along the way where you can stop to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom. There are also nice cities to stop in on that route. You should check out Google maps and plan to break up the trip with a nice meal somewhere on the way. Relax it’s going to be fine. We’ve been doing long road trips with our kids since they were born.
  13. Hello Team Toytown,   Does anyone know of a lawyer who specializes in real estate contract law in Berlin? Our new building construction is delayed, and the builder doesn't want to pay us. Thanks in advance!   Best,   Brockman
  14. Life in the Moabit area of Berlin

    We have friends with 2 small children (8 & 2) who have been living in Moabit since 2013 and they love it. However, the schools are apparently not that great, so they say. Their son was in the local school for a year but it didn't go well, it was hard to make friends and there was a lot of absenteeism among the staff, and the general feeling that education was not valued as much by other parents in the school and therefore it was not an ideal learning environment for their son. They did not outwardly say this but they hinted that they felt they were culturally very different from the traditional demographic fabric of Moabit (ie they are White upper middle class Germans, and there are a lot of non-white working class immigrants in Moabit) and this probably influenced their decision to take their kid out and put him in a nearby Catholic school, which they are very happy with. Congrats and good luck!
  15. Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor am I a lawyer, and I am not giving you advice.   I looked into a similar situation a few years ago. My kid was born in Germany (me: EU/US mother: DE/EU) and we wanted to live in the US for 1 year during Elternzeit and continue to receive Elterngeld and Kindergeld. My wife and I both lived in DE for a while before our kid was born, our kid was born in DE, and we had jobs here and fully intended to return after 1 year. After extensive research / consultations with various agencies, we determined it was not possible / too complicated so we didn't go (well, we went for 2 months and then came back to DE).   Elterngeld: First, I think you can only get Elterngeld if you work, pay taxes, and live in DE (there are some exceptions, for example, if you worked in an EU country before moving to DE). If you have not worked in DE/EU before the birth, you could be eligible for the minimum amount, but my understanding is that you need to live in DE to apply for / receive it. If you leave DE with the intention to establish residency in another country, then I think the law states you must de-register your residency, and therefore you lose your eligibility for Elterngeld.   Kindergeld: Generally, if you leave DE with the intention to establish residency in another country, no, I don't think you can't get Kindergeld. In some cases it might be possible, but it is not straightforward. I think it could be OK if you live in the EU for a limited period, but you or the mother must have paid taxes in DE, or have had economic ties (ie a job) in DE. We tried asking the agency about this, but they kept asking us complicated theoretical questions back so we determined the answer was likely to be no.   The authorities who manage this stuff are among the most thorough and strict (like the Finanzamt). So basically, if you and your wife move to DE 6 months after your kid's birth, register as residents of DE, then apply for DE Kinder/Elterngeld (without having a job), the authorities are likely to view your application suspiciously, or ask you for a lot of solid evidence that you have strong personal (ie a home - rental agreement or sales agreement, family ties) / economic ties (ie a job contract) to Germany. They will want to be sure you live here, and that you intend to remain, and they will ruthlessly go out of their way to make you prove that. They asked us for a lot of documents - job contracts, residency certificates, and bank statements - they'll dig into everything, especially if you are non-DE.   I am sure there is no ill intention and apologies if I misunderstood anything, but the situation you describe (having a child outside of DE, moving to DE to apply for Eltern/Kindergeld, and then leaving DE with the intention to keep receiving Eltern/Kindergeld) is precisely the type of situation that these authorities are meant to prevent from happening.   Good luck and congrats on your upcoming life change!