Registering your birth
It’s important that you register your baby’s birth no later than three months after you welcome your little one into the world. You’ll need a birth certificate for many events in your child’s future, from applying to a passport for your first holiday to enrolling them in school. Make sure all the information you provide for the birth cert is completely accurate as it can be tough to change details following the registration. If the parents are unmarried, there’s no legal presumption about the father of the baby unless his name is included on the certificate.
Rules To Remember
You can register the birth in any office of a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths around the country. Maternity hospital staff or your local health centre can help you locate the most convenient registry office for you. Although the hospital will notify the registrar there has been a birth, you yourself need to complete the registration process.
A Qualified Informant
The mother and father are generally the main qualified informants who are required to sign the Register of Births. You must bring valid photo ID and your PPS number, and may be asked for extra documentation depending on the circumstances of the baby’s birth. If both parents are married, only one parent is legally required to attend and if you were married abroad a valid marriage certificate will be needed.
- If either parent can’t register the birth, there are several people who can act as qualified informants.
- Anyone present at the birth/present in the dwelling where the baby was born.
- Anyone who has charge of the baby
- A guardian
- Someone found to be the parent by court order.
- A designated staff member at the hospital.
Options for Unmarried Parents
There are other options in this case, with forms available from the Registrar’s Office. You can only re-register the birth if:
- The unmarried parents want to have the father’s details included if they were not registered initially.
- The parents marry after the birth of a child
- Your child’s surname can then be changed if both parents agree.
How much money does registration cost?
There is no initial fee for registration, or re-registration to include a parent’s details. A €5 fee is applicable for insertion or alteration of a forename. Birth certificates demand a fee, but this is reduced if it is needed for social welfare purposes.
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