New 30 day birth registration law

Welcoming a new child into the world is one BIG celebration! I’m still floating on a cloud of joy [and sleep deprivation] from my daughter’s arrival into the world; but unfortunately there has been some admin to attend to…

According to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), all children born in South Arica must be registered within 30 days of birth (Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992). I’ve recently become a fan of the DHA, because last month, I applied for my smart card ID and three days later, I received a text message to say it was ready for collection; and then when my daughter was born 3 weeks ago, we registered her and again, in just 3 days it was ready for collection [not sure if this is the standard procedure, or just a clever part of an election campaign, but credit must be given where it is due].

You may be wondering what the point of a birth certificate is?! It basically serves as an identity document for children, and it becomes an important commodity once you start applying for medical aid, clinic cards, preschool, school, etc.

What you need to know:

• A parent, parents, guardian or any other person legally responsible for the child must complete the birth registration form – available at the DHA or at your hospital. [If you give birth at a private hospital, most of them will facilitate the registration process on your behalf – you only need to complete the form and provide certified copies of the parent/s ID].
• Upon registration, you will receive an unabridged birth certificate, free of charge within a few days of the registration. You may apply for additional copies of the unabridged certificate at any DHA office, or the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate if you are abroad.
• Children born within wedlock can be registered under the surname of yhe father and mother jointly, where both parents have given consent.
• Children born out of wedlock are registered under the surname of the mother. They can also be registered under the surname of their biological father, provided that the father acknowledges paternity and both the mother and father consent to the registration under the father’s surname.

If you do not register your child within the 30 day period, for any reason, it is considered a late registration of birth, and you will be required to submit additional documentation, namely:

Notice of birth form
An Affidavit giving reasons for late registration
Biometrics (palm, foot or fingerprint of the child)
Finger print of parent/s
ID/passport of parent/s

I hope you have found this information useful. With laws changing all the time, it can be difficult to keep up!

Modern Zulu Mom

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1 Comment

  1. Very very useful. My daughter wasn’t born in SA but we still had to ensure she was registered ASAP and also had to ensure she was added to our medical aid ASAP. So much admin but it all has to be done – sleep deprivation and all, but it is all for a good reason

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