What citizenship do you acquire if you were born in international waters?
First of all, we have to dive into the frequency of births in international waters. In the past, it actually happened much more than you might think, as over the last few hundred years people mostly travelled by sea. International sea travel took time, usually about a few weeks at a go, and there were no restrictions on pregnant mothers coming aboard, regardless if they were just a few weeks pregnant or about to pop any minute!
Nowadays, mothers usually prefer not to travel within their third and final trimester of pregnancy. They prefer to play it safe, and to ensure they have the best medical care at their disposal in the event of going into labour, regardless of the sophistication of medical staff on board a cruise ship for example. However, some mothers don't have a choice, such as people fleeing countries as refugees. If they have an opportunity to board a ship to save their lives, they go for it, and all that stress can cause mothers to go into labour and have their baby on board a ship in international waters.
So what about the newborn babies citizenship? Well, the truth is that there is no one rule that governs these type of scenarios, unfortunately, it depends on a number of things. Some countries allow the newborn to claim citizenship of the nationality from where the ship is registered, so if a baby that is born on an Italian ship, the baby will claim Italian citizenship. It can also depend on the country where the ship is currently travelling to or from, and some countries now also state that the baby inherits the nationality of the mother and/or father, regardless of the baby being born in international waters.
Take a look at the YouTube video below by The Infographics Show on what if you were born in international waters.