Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2015

Registering a new born baby in Berlin: the challenges

After the kid is born, the normal step is to go on and give him a bureaucratic identity, in other words, to register the little baby as a citizen in the making. As usual, the German bureaucracy did not disappoint me and everything went fast but this time, it involved some money spent...we do not know for sure on what. It starts with one of the parents going early in the morning at the city hall, in the front of the door of the special section in charge with birth certificates. You may write your name on a list, with the date of birth of the child and the hospital where the baby was born and wait till someone comes, looks at the list and calls your name. Be ready to have a copy of the passports or ID cards of the parents, and their birth certificates - international version. 

Easy peasy - the parents are married

Let's start with the beginning. If the parents are married, things are simple. The child is registered on the spot, with the name of the husband and the mother with full rights. The birth certificate is delivered either in the same day or 10 days after. You will be handled 1 copy - for 10 Euro - and another 3 free proofs that should be further sent to the insurance company and the authorities in charge to give financial support to the new born. There is also a declaration that should be signed by both parents where they agree about the name to be given to the baby.
This easy variant is also available for the registration of the child in the hospital where the mother gives birth.

Different challenges - the parents are not married

The things are a bit different when the parents are not married and also having different citizenships. There is a declaration of paternity - Vaterschafterkennung - the father should sign either during the mother's pregnancy or after the child is born - it costs 30 Euro. It is accompanied by a long legal explanation of the German right and other subtelties. Usually, you need an appointment for this declaration. 
When one of the parents does not speak German, a translator - not official, but not a relative of any of the two parents either - is requested. For the work of this special person - that may take around one hour - that accepts to do the translation, you pay 20 Euro that goes to the city hall but not to the translator. I found it a bit strange the procedure, to be honest. I would have prefer to give this money to the translator who waited a bit more than expected and did a great job than to waste it for some undisclosed purpose. 
There is also the possibility to do the paternity declaration in the front of the Jugendamt, also by appointment and with a translator, but for free. The disadvantage is that as for now, there is not easy to get a date with the authorities till the end of the year so you better pay and get what you want faster. Without the birth certificate, you cannot get the money from the insurance and the Kindergeld - a monthly amount the state gives you for the child - and the sooner you have it the better for the financial well-being of your small family. 
Another specificy of the German family right is that by birth the mother is automatically having full right over the child. If you want to share the right with the father - I will write another post soon about what I discover that it is the disrespect of the father as an active and responsible member of the family - you need another declaration and official appointment, this time in the front of the Jugendamt, the authority in charge with families and especially children. 

To be continued...

As for now, the happy owners of the birth certificate - international one is the best, written in English and French and German, as for a passport and citizenship some embassies will request the official translation and many of them the apostile for authentification (to be read more money to the bureaucracy) - are ready for new bureaucratic challenges. It seems that this story never ends, at least for now...

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