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Registering the birth of a child

If a German child has been born outside Germany, it is possible to have the birth registered in Germany and in this way apply for a German birth certificate.

If your child is born in the UK, you must apply to the British authorities for a birth certificate after the birth. You do not need to register the birth with the Embassy or Consulate General, unless the German parent was him/herself born outside Germany and this after 31.12.1999, in which case please contact us first by email. The British birth certificate (“full” version stating the parents) is usually sufficient to apply for a German child passport for your child. If you would also like a German birth certificate, you will need to register the birth in Germany.

Please note: If you are not married and you would like your child to have the father’s surname, or if you are married and do not have a joint married name, you will need to make a name declaration for your child during the registration process.

Further information on making a name declaration for a child can be found here

If a name declaration for your child is not necessary, only one parent will need to come to the Embassy or Consulate General to register the birth. If a name declaration is necessary, both parents will need to come. Children aged 18 or over can register their birth by themselves.

If you would like to register a birth, the necessary documents must be sent to the Embassy or Consulate General before booking an appointment.

Once we’ve done a first check of the documents, we’ll contact you and you can book an appointment.

The following documents are required to register a birth:

  • Completed birth registration form (please complete legibly in capital letters, but do not sign yet!)
  • Valid passports of both spouses (or German identity card)
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Your child’s birth certificate (“full” version stating the parents)
  • Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate, if parents are married
  • Divorce decree absolute if a parent has been divorced
  • Please note: in the case of divorce in an EU country (except Denmark) after 1 March 2003: certificate under Art. 39 (Annex 1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters, confirmed by the court which issued the divorce decree
  • Please also note: in the case of divorce outside Germany and outside the European Union the registry office may require recognition of the foreign divorce by the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination in Berlin. You can find further information on this here
  • Evidence of married name, if applicable (e.g. name certificate issued by a German registry office or German marriage certificate)
  • Naturalisation certificate if a spouse has been naturalised, or nationality certificate (Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis) if applicable
  • Proof of residence in the UK (e.g. council tax bill or utility bill)
  • German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) for your (last) residence in Germany
  • In most cases, translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or international documents, e.g. international birth certificates in more than one language)
  • Birth certificates of all other children from your relationship (“full” version stating the parents)
  • Name certificates of all other children from your relationship

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary and be requested at a later stage by the registry office.

In particular, German translations of documents (including documents in English) may be required at a later stage. Occasionally apostilles are also required on foreign documents.

Fees will be payable to the registry office in Germany for registration of a birth registered abroad and for issue of the birth certificates. These fees are subject to the law of the federal state in which the registry office is located and may also vary according to the case. Total fees will probably be between 80 and 120 euros.

Usually the registry office will send a request for payment of the fees before beginning to process the application. Fees payable to the registry office cannot be paid through the German Embassy or Consulate; they must be paid direct to the registry office (by bank transfer from the UK or through relatives or friends in Germany).

The processing times for registering a marriage differ from one registry office to another, but can be long. If neither of the spouses/civil partners has ever been resident in Germany, the processing time will be at least two to three years. The Embassy and Consulate are unable to influence processing times in Germany and also cannot predict how long the procedure will take.

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