Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Norway and Iceland
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Registration of infants

Overview

  • Registration of a newborn - General guidelines
  • The filiation & local acknowledgement procedures
  • The Belgian nationality
  • Procedure - Registration of a newborn
  • Procedure - Declaration of nationality
  • The child's name
  • FAQ

Registration of a newborn - General guidelines

  • Nationality and civil status are complex fields, sensitive to nuances and details. The information underneath is therefore a general guideline. The procedure and required documents may vary depending on elements within each case
  • The embassy can only register newborns of Belgian citizens themselves registered in the consular registers.
  • The child must have a legal residence permit within the jurisdiction of the embassy (Norway/Iceland).
  • If a declaration of nationality or civil status is required, the petitioner (generally the parent) needs to be registered in the consular registers of the Embassy.

The filiation & acknowledgement locally (NO/IS)

Basic principle: the Belgian nationality is transferred from parent to child.

As the Belgian nationality is transferred from parent to child, clarity regarding the filiation of the child is the priority. Who are the legal parents of the child? Only after the maternal (mother) and paternal (father) have been legally established, can the nationality itself be considered.

(!) The filiation of a child is always established based on articles of law, not based on a biological connection.

The underneath frame indicates how and by who the filiation is established:

Legal determination of the parents

The Belgian International Private Law (bIPR) states: the parenthood is determined according the national law of the individual. If one of the parents is not a Belgian citizen, then the national law of said individual is the reference and the maternal/paternal filition is to be confirmed by the individual his/her respective authorities.

Example:
The presumed mother is a Belgian citizen, the presumed father is a Dutch citizen. As such, the motherhood is to be confirmed by the Belgian authorities whilst the fatherhood is to be confirmed by the Dutch authorities.

THE NATIONAL LAW OF THE PLACE OF BIRTH (e.g. Norway) IS NOT KEPT IN CONSIDERATION UNLESS ONE OF THE PARENTS IS A NATIONAL OF SAID COUNTRY.

It is perfectly possible that the local authorities, according their national law, recognise an individual as the father/mother/co-parent of a child whilst the national authorities of said individual do not recognise the filiation.
This happens most often when determining the fatherhood. It is  therefore vital to inform oneself before the birth of the child. You may save yourself an extensive administrative acknowledgement procedure.

The Belgian acknowledgement principles are as follows:

The mother is a Belgian?

The father/coparent is a Belgian citizen?

The Belgian private law states:

The woman mentionned as mother of the child in the birth certificate is recognised as the mother of the child.

Evidence:
Birth certificate

The Belgian private law states:

The determination of the father/coparent depends on the civil status of the parents, namely:

  • The couple is married?
    The husband/wife of the mother is automatically recognised as the father/coparent of the child, even if there is no biological connection, on the condition that the child was born within the marriage (wedlock).

    Evidence: Marriage certificate
     

  • The couple is not married?
    The father/coparent needs to recognise the child before or after its birth by means of an acknowledgement of paternity, mentionning the explicit approval (signature) of the mother

    If the signature/approval of the mother is missing, the acknowledgement cannot be accepted by Belgian law.

    Evidence: Acknowledgement of paternity

 

Local acknowledgement procedures (NO/IS)

Norway

Norway maintains in essence the same principles as Belgium, with the difference that the Norwegian acknowledgement certificate (Erklæring/Erkjennelse av farskapdoes not require the approval of the mother, only within certain cases. This is obviously in direct conflict with the Belgian condition which demands the approval of the mother under all circumstances. In order for the Norwergian Erklæring/Erkjennelse av farskap to be considered valid in Belgium, the mother must, regardless of her nationality, always sign the erkjennelseeven if the Norwegian authorities indicate it is not required.
More information on signing a Norwegian acknowledgement certificate is available on the website of the NAV.

Our advice: Considering the emotions and fatigue after the event of a birth, it is understandable if the erklæring is not completed properly. We therefore recommend that you sign a prenatal (before the birth) acknowledgement of paternity. The NAV can assist you with this.

Iceland

Iceland has recently equalized legal cohabitation and a marriage. As a consequence acknowledgements of paternity are no longer drafted in Iceland, unless the parents of the child do not live together on the moment of birth. The majority of our compratriots in Iceland, if not married, are therefore bound to undergo a Belgian acknowledgement procedure. The Embassy can provide the details. 

The Belgian nationality

Only after the filliation of a child and its parents has been legally determined, can the Belgian nationality be considered. A child is not necessarily Belgian at birth, despite a Belgian parent. The Belgian nationality is determined based on the following elements:

  • The place of birth of the Belgian parent.
  • The place of birth of the child.

The following frame elaborates:

 

1.
You, the Belgian parent, is born in Belgium.
2.
You, the Belgian parent, was born abroad.

The child is presumably Belgian the moment of birth.

For the procedure, see

Procedure - Registration of a newborn
2a.
The child, however, is born in Belgium.
2b.
The child, as the parent, was born abroad.

The child is presumably Belgian the moment of birth.

For the procedure, see

Procedure - Registration of a newborn

The child is not have the Belgian nationality, but needs to receive it through a declaration of nationality, this before the 5th birthday of the child. 

For the procedure, see

Procedure - Registration of a newborn

Procedure - Registration of a newborn

If you've followed the above mentioned frames properly there is reason to assume that the child automatically received the Belgian nationality the moment of its birth. As such, in theory, it can immediately be registered in the Belgian National Registry. You forward us, by post, the following original documents (no copies unless marked otherwise): 

(!) Depending on elements within the file extra documents/procedure may prove necessary. Make sure to pay proper attention to the conditions which the documents must fulfill. If the delivered documents are incomplete, have expired or are not legalized accordingly, the Embassy cannot process the file and will return it to you immediately for correction. 

  • Registration form (.docx, available in NL / FR), completed (that which is applicable) in name of the child, signed by both (!) parents.
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate
    • Norway: Fødselsattest (Folkeregister, order here), less than six months old, legalized by means of an apostille (Fylkesmann)
    • Iceland: Fæðingarvottorð (ÞJÓÐSKRÁ ÍSLANDS, order here), less than six months old, legalized by means of an apostille (Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs)
    • Please contact the embassy for children born outside the Embassy's jurisdiction (Norway/Iceland) for specific instructions.
  • For non-married couples: An extract of the acknowledgement certificate.
    • Norway: rett kopi (Notarius Publicus) of the Erklæring om Farskap, legalized by means of an apostille (Fylkesmann)
    • Iceland: Certified copy of the Belgian acknowledgement certificate.
    • If a declaration of paternity has been signed outside the Embassy jurisdiction, please forward a scan of the declaration for evaluation.
  • For married couples: A copy of the marriage certificate. If the marriage was not yet registered in Belgium, this must happen firstly (see marriage).
  • A certificate of residence for all members of the family.
    • Norway: Bostedsattest (Folkeregister, order here)
    • Iceland: Certificate of residence (ÞJÓÐSKRÁ ÍSLANDS, order here)
  • Copy of the passports/ID cards of both parents. 
  • If the child has, aside the Belgian nationality, another nationality, a proof of the respective nationality (e.g. a copy of the passport).

If you wish to receive a travel-/identity document for the child, you may forward the required documents together with the documents necessary for the registration. The procedures/forms are available on their respective pages. 

Procedure - Declaration of nationality

The child does not bear the Belgian nationality but must receive this through a declaration of nationality by the Belgian parent, this at the latest before the 5th birthday of the child. As the procedure differs depending the country of origin of the parent, please contact the Embassy by e-mail for the specific instructions. Make sure to clearly mention the personal data of the child, the father and the mother, as well as their respective nationalities. 

E: oslo@diplobel.fed.be. (The link is interactive and provides a draft of an e-mail to be completed.)

The name

The Belgian International Private Law (bIPR) states that as of 01/01/2018, the Belgian name legislation is no longer favored over the national law of
(a) the country of which the concerned individual, aside the Belgian, bears the nationality, or
(b) the country where the concerned individual has his/her primary legal residence.
As a consequence, this entails that children, born in Norway and Iceland as of 01/01/2018, can have the local name legislations applied, unless the parents wish otherwise. Children born before 01/01/2018 are subjected to the stipulations of the bIPR in effect at the time of their birth.

Frequently asked questions

  • How long does the registration process take?

    Depending the situation of the child, one week (automatic transfer of nationality) or 4 - 8 weeks (declaration of acknowledgement/nationality) as of the moment all required documents are delivered to the Embassy. The work pressure of the Embassy is a factor that needs to be kept in consideration, which may cause additional delay. The delivery delay of travel -/identity documents is excluded. 

  • I'm a Belgian, the father/mother/coparent is not. Is the double nationality allowed/possible?

    Belgium allows the double nationality. The Embassy, however, can only express itself regarding the Belgian nationality itself. Knowledge/experience of the local legislations suggests the following:

    Norway: Yesif the child automatically receives the Belgian nationality (as in no declaration of nationality is signed). No, if a the child received the Belgian nationality through a declaration of nationality. As of 01/01/2020 Norway makes available the double nationality (Read more...). 
    IJsland: Yes.
    Other: Please consult your respective embassy.
     

  • Does my child ever need to chose between its several nationalities?

    As far as Belgium is concerned, no. However, it may have to conserve its Belgian nationality before its 28th birthday if it wishes to remain a Belgian citizen.