As parents, registering your baby’s birth in Ireland is legally required.
Registering your baby’s birth in Ireland
You will need to register the birth of your child no later than three months after his birth. Registration is a legal requirement in Ireland, but you will also need a birth certificate to enrol your child in school, to apply for a passport and for many other purposes.
The birth certificate will contain the information on the child and the parents that is given at the time of registration, so it is important that the information given is accurate. It is difficult to change the details after the initial registration.
If the parents of a child are not married to each other, there is no presumption in law as to who is the father of the child, unless the father’s name is on the birth certificate.
A birth may be registered in the office of any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, regardless of where it took place. The staff of the hospital where your child was born, or of your local health centre, will be able to tell you where your nearest registry office is. The hospital will notify the Registrar’s Office (the Registrar) that a birth has occurred. This is not enough, however, to register the birth.
The registration of the birth is carried out based on information provided by a qualified informant who is required to attend at the Office of the Registrar to sign the Register of Births. The mother and father of the child are the main qualified informants and, where possible, must attend personally for the registration of the birth. They must bring photo identification, for example a passport or driving licence, and their Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSN). In some cases, for example where a mother has been married previously, additional material may be required and they are advised to contact the Civil Registration Service to find out more.
If the parents are in a recognised marriage only one parent need attend, however if both wish to sign the register they should both attend. If the parents were married in another country, they should bring the original marriage certificate and a translation if required.
Where the parents do not register the birth, or it is not possible for them to do it, the following individuals can also act as qualified informants:
- A designated member of the staff of the hospital (or other institution, organisation or enterprise) where the birth took place.
- Any person present at the birth.
- Any person present in the dwelling where the birth occurred.
- Any person who has charge of the child.
- A person appointed guardian of the child.
- A person found to be the parent of the child by order of the courts.
There are different options for registration, including the father’s details, where the mother and father are not married. The forms used are available from the Registrar’s Office. The re-registration of a birth may be effected only in either of the following two circumstances: where the parents of a child are not married to each other wish to have the father’s details included where these details were NOT registered initially, or; where the parents of a child marry each other after the birth of the child. The Registrar will advise you as to what documents and information will be required. The surname of the child may be changed with the agreement of both parents.
What does it cost?
There is no fee charged for the registration of a birth, or for re-registration to include a parent’s details. There is a fee of €5 for insertion or alteration of a forename. Fees are charged for Birth Certificates. A birth certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence for social welfare purposes is required, such as a note from the Department of Social Protection. Since December 2005, a birth may be registered in the office of any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
For further information:
General Register Office Government Offices Convent Road Roscommon Tel: 090 663 2900 Locall: 1890 25 20 76 www.groireland.ie
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