The declaration of birth is a mandatory formalityThis must be done no later than 15 days after the birth at the civil registry office of the place of birth. However, many maternity hospitals in Belgium offer a decentralised service allowing the birth to be registered directly at the hospital.
If parentage in respect of both parents is established (by the presumption of paternity of the husband or by prenatal recognition), the declaration may be made by one parent only. If paternal filiation is not established on the basis of a marriage or prenatal acknowledgement, the child may be recognised immediately at the time of the establishment of the record or later in a postnatal acknowledgement.
- Prenatal recognition If the future parents are not married, they can carry out a prenatal recognition by going together to their local authority from the sixth month of pregnancy. Five working days after the acknowledgement of receipt of their application, they will be invited to come to the counter to carry out the prenatal recognition.
- Postnatal recognition If the parents are not married and have not performed a prenatal recognition, they can go together to the communal administration (with the child if he/she is older than 12 years) to perform the postnatal recognition. The mother must have been unmarried at the time of the birth or the original paternal filiation must have been legally dissolved.