Births abroad



logo Your EuropeIf a Belgian child is born in another country, the birth must be registered:

  • with the local authorities of that country 
  • at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy

The local authorities will draft the birth certificate. If this is not possible, the Belgian Consulate or Embassy will take care of it.

Drawing up of a Belgian birth certificate on the basis of a foreign birth certificate 

It is better to draw up a Belgian birth certificate on the basis of a foreign birth certificate using the database of civil status certificates (BAEC). This procedure, although not compulsory, facilitates subsequent requests for extracts or copies of that document.

If a birth certificate has not been drawn up in Belgium, extracts must be requested from abroad, which is not always easy.
The certificate may be drawn up in the BAEC by the civil registrar in the municipality in which you are registered in Belgium. 

To draw up a birth certificate in Belgium, the foreign birth certificate must first be recognised in Belgium.

Recognition of a foreign birth certificate in Belgium

To be recognised in Belgium, a foreign birth certificate must satisfy certain requirements:

  • The foreign civil status document must be drawn up by the competent foreign authority. It must take the usual form in that country.
  • Foreign documents must be legalised. By legalising a document, an official confirms the authenticity of the signature on the document.
  • Documents drawn up in a foreign language must be translated into French, Dutch or German by a sworn translator. You must choose the language of the Belgian municipality to which the document is transferred.
  • The signature of a foreign sworn translator must also be legalised.
  • In Belgium, a list of sworn translators can be obtained from the Registry of the Court of First Instance. 

For more information on this subject, visit the FPS Foreign Affairs website:

You can also contact:

Authority responsible
FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

Updated on 23 october 2023

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