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Registration of birth
The birth of a child abroad should be registered with the local authorities who will issue a birth certificate. This document is recognized in Belgium if the certificate has been issued by the relevant authority in accordance with the standard procedures in that country.
RECOGNITION OF THE CHILD
A recognition of the child is required if the parents were not married at the time when the child was born.
An Act of Recognition of a child can be signed at the Consulate General for children who were born outside of a marriage if:
- De father or the child have the Belgian nationality
- The father or the child have their normal residency in the jurisdiction of the Consulate General (i.e. Hong Kong or Macau)
- The mother of the child gives her consent for the recognition. If the child is more than 12 years old the consent of the child is also required. If the child is over 18 years old only the consent of the child is required.
Required documents for recognition:
- A certified true copy of the birth certificate of the child
- A certified true copy of the birth certificate of the mother
- A certificate of the nationality of the father
- Proof that the father or the child have their normal residence in the jurisdiction of the Consulate General (i.e. Hong Kong or Macau)
- An attestation of civil status of the father
- An attestation of civil status of the mother at the time of birth of the child and 300 days prior to that date
- A copy of the passport of the father, the mother and (where applicable) the child
- If the parents already have a common children then these children have to be mentioned. If these children are not registered with the Consulate General a certified true copy of their birth certificate is required
- If the mother and the child have a nationality of a country or territory other than Hong Kong or Macau:
- An attestation of nationality of the mother and the child, issued by the relevant national authorities
- An attestation that shows that the filiation of the child towards the mother was established in accordance with the national law of the mother, issued by the relevant national authority.
If necessary the Consulate General may ask to provide extra documentation. We advise you to contact us on beforehand.
REGISTRATION OF THE CHILD IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER
These are the documents the Consulate General needs in order to establish the filiation and the nationality of your child:
- Certified true copy of the birth certificate. In Hong Kong this is issued by the HK Births and Deaths Registry, in Macau by the Conservatória do Registo Civil. The document has to be legalized by apostille (click here for information about legalization by apostille)
- Translation of the birth certificate and Apostille by a sworn translator (see this link for more details)
- A registration form, completed by one of the parents. This form is available in Dutch or in French.
In certain cases the Consulate General may require extra documentation:
- Marriage certificate of the parents
- A proof that both parents registered the birth of the child together, if the parents were not married or are not registered at the same address. In Hong Kong this is the form BDR93 ‘Registration of Birth”
In certain cases the child does not automatically obtain the Belgian nationality at birth. More information about filiation and the attribution of nationality under the Belgian law is available on this website.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE IN BELGIUM
In accordance with art. 48 Civil Code, foreign civil status certificates of Belgian nationals can be transcribed into the Civil Status Registers in Belgium, even if the person concerned does not live in Belgium. It is even strongly advised to do so. This transcription will allow you to easily obtain copies or extracts of the certificate from the relevant Belgian municipality in the future. Without transcription of the marriage certificate you will need to contact the authorities in Hong Kong or Macau whenever you need to obtain an extract of the act, and each time the extract needs an apostille.
Please note that documents used to transcribe your certificate in the Civil Status Registers need to be submitted within 6 months after the issue date. The extract will need to hold the required legalizations and a translation (see below).
The Consulate General does not have any authority to do contact the municipality in Belgium on your behalf. Applicants have to approach the relevant municipality in Belgium directly, though it is possible to do this through a third person.
In Belgium, foreign civil status certificates can be transcribed into the civil status register of the municipality where you are domiciled, or where you first lived after your return to Belgium. If you are neither domiciled nor resident in Belgium, the certificate can be transcribed in that order into the civil status register of (in order of preference):
- your last domicile in Belgium
- the domicile of your relatives in the ascending line (parents or grandparents)
- the municipality of your birthplace in Belgium
- the City of Brussels.
Documents to submit in the relevant municipality:
- Copy of the birth certificate. This is the same document you used to register the birth of the child at the Consulate General
- Apostille, to legalise the document for use in Belgium
- Translation: the municipality in Belgium will request a translation of the legalized certificate into Dutch, French or German, depending on the language of the Belgian municipality where the certificate is to be transcribed. We strongly advise you to enquire about the regulations of the translation in the municipality where you will be transcribing your certificate, as some communes will only accept translations done in Belgium