Registering a birth in South Africa

If your child is born in South Africa, you must register the birth there. If applicable, you can register the birth certificate in the Netherlands at a later time. You can acknowledge parentage of the child in South Africa or in the Netherlands.

Registering a birth

If your child is born outside the Netherlands, the birth must be registered with the local authorities in that country. Such authorities include the local registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, and the municipality in which you live. When the birth of your child is registered, a birth certificate will be drawn up. In some countries you can register the birth at the Dutch embassy instead.

Rules for registering a birth and choice of name

You can find the Dutch rules for registering a birth and choosing a name for the child at Other rules may apply abroad. For example, there may be different rules concerning the use of surnames or other alphabets (such as Japanese or Arabic).

Registering a foreign birth certificate in the Netherlands

You can register the foreign birth certificate in the Netherlands. This is not compulsory, but it can be useful – for example if you or the child later need a copy or extract of the birth certificate.

If you have registered a birth with the local authorities of the other country, the birth certificate is a foreign document. In many cases, this foreign document will need to be legalised and translated. This depends on the country where the foreign document was issued. You can find out how to have foreign documents legalised on the legalisation pages.

Applying to a Dutch embassy for a birth certificate

It is no longer possible to register the birth of your child at a Dutch embassy. This was only possible until 31 December 2011. If you registered a birth before this date, your child will have a Dutch birth certificate that will not need to be legalised for use in the Netherlands. You can apply to the same Dutch embassy if you require an official copy or extract from the consular register. If you live in the country where the birth certificate was issued,you can contact the embassy yourself. In all other cases you can apply for the copy or extract by sending an email to the Consular Service Centre in The Hague.

Acknowledging parentage of a child while abroad or in The Netherlands

Acknowledging parentage of a child while abroad

The rules for acknowledging a child vary by country. In some countries you have to follow a certain procedure and you receive a declaration of acknowledgment. In other countries, if a parent’s name is stated on the birth certificate this automatically means they acknowledge parentage of the child.

An acknowledgment of parentage issued abroad is not always legally valid in the Netherlands.

Acknowledging parentage in the Netherlands of a child born abroad

If your child is born abroad you can acknowledge parentage in the Netherlands at any time. So it's not a problem if acknowledging the child abroad is not possible. You can also authorise someone to do this on your behalf in the Netherlands. For more information about acknowledging parentage of a child, visit (in Dutch).

Registering a birth and acknowledging parentage of a child in this country or region

There is no extra information.