How To Get Your Baby's Birth Certificate?16 February 2023 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H
When having a baby in Germany, perhaps the most important document you will need to apply for is your baby’s birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde). It’s a super important document that you will need to apply for many of the benefits available to families in Germany.
The certificate lists the baby’s full name, the day and place of birth and, optionally, the baby’s gender, parents’ names and religion. You can get copies in German and German/English. The latter can be used in many countries without requiring a translation.
So how and where can you get it? And what documents will you need to provide with your application?
Birth attestation versus birth certificate
First things first: Before you can get your child’s birth certificate, you will need the Geburtsbescheinigung (birth attestation). This is issued by the hospital or birthing center (or your midwife for a home birth). Hospitals and birthing centers will submit the documentation to the registry office (Standesamt) for you.
If your baby is born at home, your midwife will issue the Geburtsbescheinigung. You must then submit it to your district’s registry office yourself, and do so within 7 days.
Where do I apply for the birth certificate?
The birth of your child must be registered at the registry office (Standesamt) in the district where the child was born. So this will be the district where the hospital or birthing center is located or your home district for a home birth.
There are different procedures depending on the district (in-person, online, via post...) so check which applies to you. You can find a list of all registry offices by district at the bottom of this page about birth registrations in Berlin.
If you’re having your baby at the hospital
Many Berlin hospitals have specific times where you can apply for your baby’s birth certificate right there at the hospital.
However, note that it is usually only open on business days (Mondays through Friday) and only during certain times. We have listed these times in our articles about Berlin hospitals for birth.
You can ask during hospital registration about the logistics of getting an appointment there. At different hospitals, these offices have different names, the most common are Geburtenmeldestelle and Standesamt.
If you’re having your baby at home
As mentioned above, if your baby is born at home, the midwife will issue the birth document. This must then be presented by the parents to the relevant registry office within seven days.
What documents will you need to provide?
You will need to provide the following documents as originals unless otherwise stated:
Everyone: Photo ID and Meldebestätigung if not a German ID (Personalausweis), parent's birth certificates, declaration of (baby's) name*
If you are not married: Paternity acknowledgment, declaration of custody (if applicable)
If you are married: Marriage certificate or certified transcript from the family register
If applicable: Birth certificates of any siblings, divorce decree, certificate of naturalization, birth attestation for home births
*this is often included in the forms for the birth attestation at the hospital/birthing center.
Certified translations and apostilles
If your documents (birth and marriage certificates, etc.) are not in German, you will need to get certified translations (this also applies to documents in English or French). These translations need to be done by a translator that has been sworn in in Germany.
Additionally, apostilles are needed for documents from certain countries. Here is a list of countries that are exempt from needing apostilles plus the type of documents this applies to.
If your country is NOT listed here, you WILL need an apostille to go with your documents. This may take a little while to be organized, so check in advance to make sure you have everything you need before the baby comes.
Here's a list of translation services that have been recommended by Kietzee members:
Red Tape Translations for English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian.
Language Works for Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian (and specifically recommended for how fast they provided the translations).
For translations from English to German, we can also recommend AKV Language Services.
Otherwise, here's a database of sworn in translators in Germany.
How many copies and what type of copies should I get?
You’ll automatically receive three copies, which are for Kindergeld, Elterngeld and Mutterschaftshilfe (for your health insurance) respectively. These copies are for free.
Here are the current fees (as of February 2023) for any additional copies:
German birth certificate: €12
International (German/English) birth certificate: €12
Additional copies of the above (if ordered at the same time): €6
As sometimes you will need to submit an original copy when applying for certain services or documents, it is helpful to have multiple copies of the birth certificate at home.
For international families, we recommend getting two copies of the German birth certificate and two copies of the international birth certificate.
How long will it take to get the birth certificate? Where can I pick it up?
The wait times for the birth certificate depend on the district. It can take a few days to a few weeks. Also, some districts mail out the certificates by post, while others require you to pick them up in person. Ask when you apply for the certificate.
Do I also need to do an Anmeldung for my baby?
No, the above takes care of that!
Any questions about this? Kietzee members can book a 1-on-1 session with one of our paperwork and bureaucracy experts from their dashboard.
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