Notifying the birth
A ‘notification of birth’ consists in informing the civil registrar of the birth of a child. Every birth must be notified by the first working day after delivery at the latest.
The notification of birth is communicated without any action on your part.
In the case of a hospital delivery, the hospital is responsible for the notification.
Where the baby is delivered at home, the doctor, midwife or other persons present are responsible for the notification.
Declaration of birth
The mother, father or both must register the child within 15 days of the birth with the civil registrar in the municipality in which the child was born.
In some municipalities, your child’s birth may be registered at the maternity unit. Registration at the maternity unit is carried out in much the same way as at the municipal offices and affords the same guarantees in terms of the authenticity of the document. Hospitals and the civil registrar must have a common, secure computer system to ensure that the same child’s birth cannot be declared simultaneously at the municipal offices and the maternity unit.
You will receive a number of birth certificates which are required in order to:
- apply for family allowances
- register your child with the mutual health insurance provider as a dependant
Your child will be registered in the population register and you will then receive a notification to collect the child’s identity documents.
If the child was not born in the municipality in which you are resident, the civil registrar in the place of birth will notify the municipal authority of your place of residence.
If a child is stillborn, the obligation to declare the birth still applies.
The child’s surname
All information on attributing a surname can be found on the SPF Justice website.
The child’s forename(s)
The forenames that can be given to a child are governed by the law of the country of the child’s nationality.
Under Belgian law, parents are free to choose the forename(s), however the civil registrar may refuse a forename in the following cases:
the forename leads to confusion. For example, where a name that is typically feminine is chosen for a boy, or vice versa
- the forename may harm the child. For example, if the name is ridiculous, absurd or outrageous
- the forename may cause harm to third parties. For example, if an existing surname is chosen as a forename for a child, even though it is unusual
For further information please contact the civil registrar in your municipality.
SPF Justice – Information Unit
115 boulevard de Waterloo
+32 2 542 65 11
FPS for Justice
Updated on 23 march 2022