Registration of a newborn child
What needs to be done after the child is born?
Every child born in Poland, regardless of the nationality of the parents, should be registered at a Civil Registry Office so that the birth certificate can be drawn up. The birth needs to be notified within two weeks, in the Civil Registry Office (USC) competent for the place of birth of the child. If both parents are domiciled at a location administratively subject to another Civil Registry Office, the child should be registered at the office competent for their domicile.
What documents need to be presented at the USC when registering the birth?
- written notification of birth, issued by a doctor, a midwife or a healthcare facility;
- abridged copy of a marriage certificate, if the parents of the child are married;
- abridged copy of the birth certificate, abridged copy of the marriage certificate with a note regarding divorce, abridged copy of the death certificate of the spouse - if the mother of the child is, respectively: unmarried, divorced or widowed.
During the registration of the child at the USC, the parents also need to choose name(s) for their newborn child. In Poland, it is possible to give the child one or two names. Parents choosing the names will need to bear in mind that they cannot be diminutive, derogatory or humiliating. The final decision on whether the name suggested by the parents meets the requirements specified in the provisions is made by the Registrar General.
If, for whatever reason, at the moment of registration of birth the parents do not know yet how they would like to name the child, the Registrar General enters one of the popular names in the birth certificate. The parents are entitled to change the name within six months of drafting the birth certificate. If they wish to do so, they need to apply for the change to the relevant Registrar General, and to pay stamp duty in the amount of PLN 11.
In accordance with the will of the parents, declared in the marriage certificate, the child may bear the surname of the father, of the mother or a double surname, composed of the father’s and of the mother’s surname. If the parents are not married, they make a declaration regarding the child’s name at the moment of registration of birth. In accordance with the Polish law, the name cannot be composed of more than two parts.
After the birth certificate is issued, the parents should collect and keep its copies. It needs to be borne in mind that in case of children whose nationality is other than Polish, the birth certificate is required to obtain an identification document in their country of origin and further, to legalize their residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
If the child's nationality is Polish, the copy of the birth certificate will be useful when obtaining passport and identity card.