Why do the Swiss require all of our birth and marriage certificates to have been certified in the last 6 months?
It has finally been explained to me!
Apparently these documents get updated. Who knew?
In Switzerland, and in most of Europe, your birth & marriage certificates are kept filed at your Heimat (home town). When you get married, get divorced, have children or whatever, you bring the documentation to the Gemeinde (town hall) in your Heimat (home town) and they make an amendment to your birth/marriage certificate.
How weird is that?
They do not realize that in other countries (i.e. United States), it doesn't matter how many children you have, how many marriages and divorces you have, your birth certificate and marriage certificate will remain the same forever and ever. Therefore, a recent certified copy doesn't matter.
Fortunately, we were able to explain this to our lawyer, who explained it to the Swiss Adoption Authorities. Because getting a recently certified copy of a marriage certificate from a Caribbean Island is not an easy matter and could take months. We cannot just send our parents down to the Department of Vital Statistics, which is what we did to get recent copies of our birth certificates.
And that's why we ordered multiple copies of our marriage certificate right from the start. So that we would have them on hand if we ever needed them. Thankfully, they accepted it...