If your child is born in Lebanon, you must register the birth in Lebanon. If you live in the Netherlands, you must also register the birth in the Netherlands. You can acknowledge parentage of the child in either country.
Registering a birth
You must always register the birth of your child in the country where they were born. How you register a birth varies by country. If you live in the Netherlands and your child was born abroad, you must also register the birth in the Netherlands.
If your child is born in Lebanon, you must register the birth there. This is a two-step process:
- The mayor (mukhtar) draws up the birth certificate.
- You or the mukhtar register the birth with the regional office of the Civil Status Department. The Civil Status Department will require proof that you are married.
It is not possible to register the birth of your child at the Dutch embassy.
If you live outside the Netherlands, you can have the Lebanese birth certificate converted into a Dutch birth certificate at the municipality of The Hague’s Foreign Documents Department. This is not mandatory, but it can be useful if you ever need an extract from the birth certificate in the future. Having the document converted does not take care of your child’s registration in the Non residents Records Database (RNI).
If you live in the Netherlands, you must also register the birth with the municipality where you live, using the foreign birth certificate. Do this as soon as possible once you return to the Netherlands. The municipality will then process your and your child’s details in the Personal Records Database (BRP).
Other important information
You can get an official copy of a birth certificate from the regional office of the Civil Status Department, either directly or through the mukhtar. You can also authorise someone else, such as a family member, to do this for you.
Acknowledging parentage of a child
You can acknowledge parentage of your child if you are not automatically the legal parent. By doing so you declare that you are the child’s parent.
If you are not married, your child will be registered as your ‘biological child’.
You can avoid this by acknowledging your child at the mukhtar. In this case, both the mother and father must sign a statement before the mukhtar acknowledging parentage of the child.
The Civil Status Department may ask for other documents or initiate an investigation. As a result, registering the birth may take some time. You will not receive a declaration of acknowledgement of parentage. After you have signed to acknowledge parentage of your child, the child’s birth certificate will be drawn up.
The recognition only ensures that your child is not registered as an illegitimate child in Lebanon.
Acknowledging your child at the mukhtar in Lebanon does not automatically grant you parental responsibility for your child.
In Lebanon, the religious authorities (church or Islamic court) decide on parental authority, child care obligations, maintenance and inheritance rights. There is no acknowledgement of parentage under religious law. In Lebanon, acknowledging parentage is a legal act with the sole legal effect of registering the birth of unmarried parents.
If you live in the Netherlands or if you are Dutch and live abroad, you can always acknowledge parentage in the Netherlands of your child born in Lebanon. You can do this at the municipality or a notary. You can also authorise someone to do this in the Netherlands on your behalf. To do this, you must get a notary to draw up a power of attorney. You cannot acknowledge parentage of your child at a Dutch embassy or consulate-general. Acknowledging parentage does not automatically grant you parental responsibility for your child.
Acknowledgement of parentage in the Netherlands is legally valid in Lebanon. But it merely ensures that your child is not registered in Lebanon as an illegitimate child. Find out more about acknowledging parentage in the Netherlands on Government.nl.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.