On this page
Enlarge image (© colourbox)
There is no legal obligation to register the birth of a child to a German parent abroad, nor to request a German birth certificate.
However, there is one exemption:
children who were born outside of Germany to one or more German parent(s) who themselves were also born abroad on or after January 1st, 2000, will no longer automatically acquire the German citizenship through the sole principle of descent from a German parent unless the German parent(s) register(s) the birth with the competent German mission abroad within one year of the birth of the child.
The Canadian birth certificate corresponds in content to the German birth certificate and is therefore recognized (if necessary with legalisation and translation) by German authorities. A German birth certificate is no proof of German nationality.
You also do not need a German birth certificate to apply for a passport for your child.
In certain cases, you may need a declaration of your child’s name when applying for a passport. This declaration differs from the birth certificate, but it can be given as well together when you register the birth.
It is recommended that you register the birth or request a German birth certificate under certain circumstances – for example, if the child is to live in Germany in the foreseeable future.
Who is entitled to register a birth or request a birth certificate?
The parents of the child, the child him-/herself
and his/her spouse, partner and children are entitled to register the birth of a German citizen born abroad. Any one of these people can independently submit a request to have the birth registered.
Which registrar’s office is responsible for children born abroad?
The registrar’s office responsible for children born abroad is the registrar’s office in the place where the child or the applicant (the child's parent, spouse, partner or own child) has his/her residence in Germany.
If none of the above mentioned persons has a residence in Germany, the primary registrar's office in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the birth and issuing a birth certificate. (2)
If you are still registered as living in a particular place in Germany, you can also register the birth of your child with the local registrar’s office personally. You need to appear there in person. For the Canadian birth certificate to be recognized by the German registrar’s office, it needs to be legalised by a German mission abroad. The registrar’s office will then enter the birth of the child in the register of births on the basis of the Canadian certificate and issue a German birth certificate if you so wish.
If you live permanently in Canada, you can register the birth of your child at your local German mission abroad and request a German birth certificate. Please make an appointment if you wish to do so.
Which documents do I have to bring along to register the birth?