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Birth registration simplified

Published on 09/01/2004

Birth registration simplified

9 January 2004

BRUSSELS – Registering a child upon his or her birth in Belgium is to be simplified with new legislation due later this year which will allow parents to sign a birth registration form in hospital.

Until now, the registration process is done through application at the parents’ local town halll.

Secretary of State for State Information, Peter Vanvelthoven, confirmed Thursday that the bureaucracy surrounding the birth of a child was to be eased in order to help parents at a time when they have so many other things to deal with.

Within three working days of the birth, the hospital, or midwife if the birth occurs at home, will in future send the registration form on to the necessary commune themselves.

As hospitals already have to send a birth certificate to the communal administration, the extra administrative work involved in sending a registration form at the same time will be low.

The new proposal will not only simplify registration, but also speed it up.  Currently, parents have 15 days in which to register the birth of a child, now whittled down to just three.

The consequence of this will mean parents will have five times less time in which to choose a name for their baby. 

Although this may not pose a problem for the majority of parents, Turkish and Moroccan families often make the decision over a long period of time and after discussion with the entire family.

The measure should come into practice later this year and will do away with the Belgian tradition of new fathers travelling to the commune to register their new offspring, followed by a drink to celebrate the event in a nearby café.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news