If your child is born in Ghana, you must register the birth there. If you live in the Netherlands, you must also register the foreign birth certificate with the municipality where you live. You can acknowledge parentage of the child in Ghana or in the Netherlands.
Registering a birth
If your child is born outside the Netherlands, you must register the birth with the local authorities. Such authorities include the local registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, and the municipality in which you live. After registering the birth, a birth certificate will be issued.
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 on government.nl. Other rules may apply abroad. For example, there may be different rules concerning the use of surnames or other writing systems (such as Japanese or Arabic).
Does your child have Dutch nationality?
If you are a Dutch national and you have a child with someone who has a different nationality, under the current rules, your child automatically receives Dutch nationality if, on the day of the child’s birth, one of the following conditions are met:
- The mother of the child is a Dutch national.
- The father of the child is a Dutch national and is married to or is the registered partner of the mother who does not have Dutch nationality.
- The father of the child is a Dutch national and – although not married to or the registered partner of the non-Dutch mother – has acknowledged parentage of the child.
If both parents are Dutch nationals, your child automatically receives Dutch nationality at birth.
In some cases a child may have more than one nationality. To find out if your child has another nationality in addition to Dutch nationality, consult the authorities in the country where you live.
Registering a foreign birth certificate in the Netherlands
If you live in the Netherlands but your child happened to be born abroad, you must register the foreign birth certificate with the municipality where you live. Do this as soon as possible once you return to the Netherlands. The municipality will then update the Personal Records Database (BRP).
Converting a foreign birth certificate into a Dutch birth certificate
If you wish, you can have a foreign birth certificate converted into a Dutch birth certificate by the Foreign Documents Department of the municipality of The Hague.
This is not mandatory but it will make things easier in the future if you or your child ever need an official copy of their birth certificate. An official copy of a birth certificate bears a stamp and the signature of a Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships. This will save you or your child having to request one from abroad. Instead, you or your child just request an official copy online from the municipality of 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 will need to follow certain procedures in order to obtain a deed 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.
A deed of acknowledgment 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. You can find more information about acknowledging parentage of a child on government.nl (in Dutch).
Registering a birth and acknowledging parentage of a child in this country or region
Birth and acknowledgement of a child in Ghana
When your child is born in Ghana, you must register the birth at the local authorities, the Ghanaian Registry or Births and Deaths. A birth certificate is then drawn up at the birth registration.
If the parents are not married at the time of birth of the child, the father is not automatically the legal parent. He must then recognize the child. In Ghana, the authorities are not familiar with a declaration of acknowledgement of parentage. The father must be mentioned on the birth certificate as the father and as the informant. In order to be an informant, the father must be able to show that he was in Ghana at the time of the registration of the birth. Only then the child has been acknowledged on the basis of Ghanaian customary law. This form of acknowledgement is accepted by the Netherlands.
If you are applying for a Dutch passport for the first time for your child, you may be asked for proof of acknowledgement. For children born in Ghana, this is the birth certificate on which the father is also mentioned as the informant.
Is the father not the informant on the birth certificate? Then he can recognize the child in the Netherlands at a municipality or notary.