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Birth Registration of a Child Born Abroad

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The birth of a child born to German parents in South Africa may be registered in the German birth register in order to obtain a German birth certificate.

Must the Birth of my Child be Registered?

Neugeborenes Baby wird zwischen zwei Männerhänden gehalten.
Geburtsanzeige © picture-alliance/ Stephan G�rli

Registering a birth with the German registry office is not obligatory, but might be necessary in cases where there are questions of legal parentage or name.

Attention:

You were born outside Germany after 31.12.1999? The birth of your child must be registered in the German birth register in order for the child to obtain German citizenship. The application needs to be filed within one year after the birth of your child. Read here

What is the Application Process?

The application can be launched through your German Mission and will then be forwarded to the registry office in Germany. If you previously resided in Germany, the registry office at your (last) place of residence is the competent authority. If you have never resided in Germany, your application will be forwarded to the Registry Office I in Berlin, whose processing time currently takes between 3 and 4 years.

How to Apply

  • If a name declaration is necessary, it can be done with the application for birth registration. In that case, both parents and children 14 years and older must appear in person to apply.
  • Bring all documents and certificate listed below in the original plus two simple copies each. The copies will be certified at the German Mission and the originals immediately returned to you.

  • All South African documents must be in the unabridged (full) form.

  • All documents that are not in German or English must be furnished with a German translation. Note that the registry office might also ask for German translations of English documents.
  • Please note that many registry offices request South African document to be furnished with an Apostil. In order to avoid later delays, we recommend submitting documents with Apostilles right from the start.

  • Application form, fully completed
  • Proof of identity (passport/ID) of both parents and the child (not necessary in case of registration of babies)
  • Proof of citizenship of both parents (e.g. passports, citizenship certificates, naturalization certificates)
  • Birth certificate of the child (unabridged or full)
  • Birth certificates of both parents (unabridged or full)
  • Marriage certificate of the parents if applicable (unabridged or full)
  • In case of previous marriages: divorce order or death certificate of late spouse
  • Acknowledgement of paternity if applicable
  • Custody agreement if applicable
  • Name certificate if applicable
  • fee for certification of signatures and copies

Note: Not all possible cases and scenarios can be represented here. Additional documentation might be requested depending on your specific case.

Fee Charged by the Registry Office

The registry offices' fees differ from one federal state to another. The Registry Office I in Berlin will likely charge the following:

Registration of a birth 80,- Euro, increased by 80,- Euro if foreign law is to be observed in your specific case. The issuing of one birth certificate will be 12,- Euro. The application will only be processed once payment has been received. You will be notified by email about the exact amount and the banking details.

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