If your child is born in Saudi Arabia, 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 Saudi Arabia 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.
Birth certificates issued by a Dutch embassy
If you register the birth of your child at a Dutch embassy, you will receive 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 later 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.
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
Sequence of names
You can directly apply for a passport for your child with a legalised birth certificate from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi birth certificate does not make a distinction between first and last names. Instead, it contains a sequence of names.
This sequence of names will be transferred onto the Dutch passport as a last name. First names are not mentioned separately. The ID page of the passport will look like this:
Family name: the sequence of names mentioned on the Saudi birth certificate
First name: ---
First and last names
Do you want to apply for a passport that does mention first and last names? Then the last name needs to be determined by Dienst Justis. After that you can apply for a passport.
There is a difference between a name change and a first-time name registration. A first-time name registration can be requested from Dienst Justis. Unlike a name change, a first-time name registration is free of charge.
What do you need for this?
- A filled-out request form Naamswijziging en naamsvaststelling. Note at the top of the form that it concerns an NV. NV is an abbreviation of naamsvaststelling, the Dutch term for a first-time name registration.
- An original, completely marked transcript of the foreign birth certificate.
If the birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French, or German, it needs to be translated to Dutch by a certified translator. Depending on the country, you might also need a legalisation or an apostille. Visit the page Legalisation of foreign documents for use in the Netherlands for more information about legalisation.
You can then request a first-time name registration from Dienst Justis with the request form Naamswijziging en naamsvaststelling. Send the documents to:
2500 EH Den Haag
After 8 to 10 weeks you will receive a Royal Decree with the first and last names, as determined by Dutch law.
Registration with first and last names
You can register the birth of your child at the birth register of the embassy in Saudi Arabia. This must be done within 30 days after the birth.
The embassy wil register your child according to Dutch laws and regulations, with a first and last name, assuming that the father and/or mother has a family name. These names will be copied onto the Dutch passport.
Added to register
The Dutch consular birth certificate will be added to the register of the embassy in Saudi Arabia. The birth certificate will not be registered in a central register in the Netherlands.
If you need an official copy or extract of the birth certificate, you must request this at the embassy in Riyadh.