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You will need to register the birth of your child no later than three months after his/her birth. Registration is a legal requirement in Ireland.
The birth certificate will contain the information on the child and the parents that is given at the time of registration, so it is important that the information given is accurate. It is difficult to change the details after the initial registration. If the parents of a child are not married to each other, there is no presumption in law as to who is the father of the child, unless the father's name is on the birth certificate.
A birth may be registered in the office of any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, regardless of where it took place.
A Birth Notification Form (Form BNF/01) outlines the information to be recorded in the Register of Births and should be completed by one or both of the parents to guarantee that correct and accurate information is registered. This form is given to mothers in hospital and should be completed and returned to hospital staff before the mother is discharged. The form will be forwarded to the Registrar's Office letting the Registrar know that a birth has occurred. This is not enough, however, to register the birth.
The registration of the birth is carried out based on information provided by a qualified informant who is required to attend at the Office of the Registrar to sign the Register of Births. The mother and father of the child are the main qualified informants and, where possible, must attend personally for the registration of the birth. They must bring photo identification, for example a passport or driving licence, and their Personal Public Security Numbers (PPSN). In some cases, for example where a mother has been married previously, additional material may be required and they are advised to contact the Civil Registration Service to find out more.
If the parents are in a recognised marriage only one parent need attend, however if both wish to sign the register they should both attend. If the parents were married in another country, they should bring the original marriage certificate and a translation if required. Where the parents do not register the birth, or it is not possible for them to do it, the following individuals can also act as qualified informants:
Unmarried ParentsThere are different options for registration, including the father's details, where the mother and father are not married. (The forms used are available from the Registrar's Office.)
The options are as follows:
If you marry after the birth of your child, and if the father's name has not already been entered in the Register of Births, you may re-register the birth. Under the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002, it is possible to change the surname of the child where a couple are re-registering a birth in order to add the father's details, if the registration took place between October 1997 and the commencement of the legislation in October 2002. However, it is not possible to change the surname of the child in the Register of Births if the father's details were recorded in the original registration. The child's surname can only be changed at the joint request of both parents. It is also possible to enter the father's details if the mother is married to someone else.For births on or after 5 December 2005, parents who marry each other after the birth may re-register the birth to reflect their marital status, and may change the child's surname.A leaflet on Birth Registration of Children (pdf) is available on www.treoir.ie
The following information is recorded in the Register of Births:
There is no fee to register a birth or for re-registration to include a parent's details. There is a fee of €5 for insertion or alteration of a forename. Fees are charged for Birth Certificates. A birth certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence it is for social welfare purposes is required, such as a note from the Department of Social Protection. The fees for a certificate are:
How to apply
Apply on line at www.certificates.ie
Apply at any Registrar's Office.
Apply by post to any Registrars Office, stating the child's full names, date and place of birth, and enclosing a cheque or postal order for the relevant fees in euro.
Adopted children's Birth Certificates are only available from the General Register Office, Government Offices, Roscommon.