If you are planning on having a baby here in Spain, it's important that you understand the process of registering the birth and obtaining a Spanish birth certificate, "Certificación del acta de Nacimiento".
The whole process is pretty painless just as long as you have all the relevant documentation in place before you head to the registry office.
Where do You Register a Baby in Spain?
All registrations have to be made at the civil registry office (Registro Civil) in the area/region of Spain where the child was born. To find your nearest office see the following link.
When do You Have to do it?
Registrations must be made within 8 days of the birth (Up to 30 days is acceptable) and in person at the Registro Civil office.
What Documentation is Required?
Child born within marriage
In this case, the child can be registered by any relative who has knowledge of the birth and who can provide the following documentation.
Child born outside of marriage
If the mother and father of the child are not legally married they will both need to attend the registry office and provide the following documentation.
Although it is not specified on the Ministerio de Justicia website, you would be advised to take as much documentation as possible to verify your identity including passports, copies of passports and padron certificate from your town hall.
If the baby has not yet been born, it is well worth having your marriage certificate translated well in advance so that you will not have a mad rush on your hands after the birth.
Spain is a very bureaucratic country so make sure that you go fully prepared.
The following page at the Ministerio de Justicia outlines exactly what is required and is written in English.
Do You Get a Spanish Birth Certificate?
Yes. There are two forms of birth certificate in Spain which are
Can I Also Register the Birth in the U.K?
Yes, you can. You can register a birth abroad via the Gov.uk website. You will need to complete the online form, make the payment of £150 online, and then send the application form and translated documents to the relevant address in the UK. Registration is usually completed within 5 days from receipt of your application. You can also order a consular birth registration certificate - it costs £50 per certificate.
You can register and complete the application online at https://www.gov.uk/register-a-birth
Do You Get Child Benefit in Spain?
Yes, in some cases you may be entitled to child benefit from the U.K even though you are living in Spain. For further information please see https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-abroad
Will My Child Be A British Citizen?
The rules as to whether your child will automatically obtain British Citizenship are complicated and can depend on a number of things.
The UK government has a tool online that you can use to check.
Is a child born in Spain a Spanish citizen?
Foreign parents with legal Spanish residency generally cannot immediately secure Spanish citizenship for their newborn. The child typically inherits the parents' citizenship, except if the parents are from specific countries, including Argentina, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guinea Bissau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, San Tome and Principe, Uruguay, or are stateless. In such cases, the child qualifies for Spanish citizenship from birth.
For parents from other countries, Spanish citizenship can be applied for after the child has resided continuously in Spain for one year, starting from the registration of their birth. This regulation is outlined in Spain's Organic Law 4/2000, concerning the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain, and its associated Regulation, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011.
Now you have read all about how to register a new birth, you may also want to find out more about naming your child. In a recent post, we discussed the most popular baby names in Spain. Check it out!
You will also need to understand the process and schedules for child vaccinations in Spain.
Updated: January 22, 2024 CET
Updated: June 22, 2022 CET