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Registering the birth of a child

The registration of the birth of a child is compulsory. It is free.

The time scale for registering a birth :

The birth must be registered within three working days at the register office at the Town Hall in the place of birth.
If the child is born after noon on Saturday, or on Sunday, a public holiday or a day-off, the deadline is extended to the first working day thereafter.

PLEASE BE AWARE: A birth which was not registered within the deadline can only be entered in the register of births on presentation of a judgement delivered by the district court in the commune where the child was born.

Who can register a birth :

The birth can be registered by the father or, failing that, by anyone who was present at the birth.
The birth must be registered at the registrar’s office at the town hall in the place where the child was born.
The birth certificate is drawn up and presented to you immediately by the registrar.

PLEASE BE AWARE: in cases where the child’s parents are not married, the registration of the birth does not constitute an acknowledgement of parentage, except in the case of the mother, if she is named in the child’s birth certificate. Therefore, the voluntary acknowledgement procedure must be instigated to establish parentage.

Required documentation:

The certificate drawn up by the doctor of midwife.
The parents’ identity cards (failing this, those of the declarant and the mother)
The choice of name declaration, if the parents wish to use this facility
The declaration of acknowledgement of parentage, if this was drawn up before the birth
the livret de famille (family record book), if the parent(s) already has/have one, so that the child can be added.


The declaration of acknowledgement of parentage relates to children born to unmarried parents. It should be pointed out that the child’s parentage is established in different ways for the father and the mother. Maternal filiation is established automatically when the mother’s name appears on the child’s birth certificate. On the other hand, paternal filiation can only be established if there is a voluntary declaration on the part of the father: he must acknowledge his child.
The declaration of acknowledgement of parentage can be made, by notarial deed, in any Town Hall in mainland France or in one of it’s overseas territories, and at any time, before or after the child’s birth.
The child will bear the surname of the first person to acknowledge him/her (the father or the mother).
If both acknowledge the child at the same time, it will take the father’s surname. At the request of the parent(s), a livret de famille may be issued. An identity card must be produced before this declaration can be drawn up.

PLEASE BE AWARE, there are several different forms of acknowledgement depending on your individual situation and you should, therefore, consult the website where all possible situations are listed and explained. You can also contact the City Council’s Register Office.