If your child is born in Saudi Arabia, you must register the birth in Saudi Arabia. If you live in the Netherlands, you must also register the birth in the Netherlands. You cannot acknowledge parentage of a child in Saudi Arabia, but you can in the Netherlands.
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 Saudi Arabia, you must register the birth there. Following the birth you will receive a document from the hospital where your child was born. Use this document to register the birth with the local authorities in the place where the child was born.
Register of births at the Dutch embassy
You can also have the birth of your child recorded in the register of births at the Dutch embassy in Saudi Arabia. This can only be done within 30 days of the birth. In accordance with Dutch law, the embassy will register your child with their given name(s) and surname, assuming that the father and/or mother has a surname. These names will appear in the child’s Dutch passport.
The Dutch consular birth certificate will be entered in the embassy’s register of births. If in the future you need an official copy or extract from this document, you must request it from the embassy in Riyadh. The consular birth certificate will not be entered into any personal records databases in the Netherlands.
If you live outside the Netherlands, you can have the Saudi Arabian 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
If you have a legalised birth certificate for your child from Saudi Arabia, you can apply for a travel document for your child.
Saudi Arabian birth certificates don’t differentiate between surnames and given names. Instead, they give a chain of names. The full chain of names appears as the surname on the Dutch passport, and nothing is filled in under given names.
The personal details page of the child’s passport will then read as follows:
- Surname: [chain of names that appears on the Saudi Arabian birth certificate]
- Given names: ---
If you want your child’s surname and given names stated separately on their travel document, you must first have their surname registered with Justis. There is no cost for this.
What you need when applying to have a name registered
- A completed application form for changing/registering a surname. Under ‘type of request’ (type verzoek) at the top of the page tick the box for NV (naamsvaststelling).
- An original, certified official copy of the long-form foreign birth certificate.
- A statement of agreement from the parent whose surname the child will take.
- A copy of both parents’ passports.
- A copy of the child’s passport or identity document.
If the birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German, you must have it translated and legalised.
Acknowledging parentage of a child
You cannot acknowledge parentage of a child in Saudi Arabia.
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 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 Saudi Arabia. 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 not legally valid in Saudi Arabia.
Find out more about acknowledging parentage in the Netherlands on Government.nl.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.