Did you know that by law, you need to register your baby’s birth with the Department of Home Affairs within 30 days? As you know, it’s a really important document because without it your baby won’t be able to be registered at a school, apply for an ID document or take on formal employment one day.
If you’re married, your baby’s birth can be registered by either you or your hubby at your nearest Department of Home Affairs office. All you have to do is bring the following:
- Identity documents of both parents
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of your baby’s birth from your hospital or clinic (If your baby was born at home, you’ll need a proof of birth affidavit.)
If you’re not married, both you and your baby’s daddy are expected to go to Home Affairs with your ID documents (and the stamped original proof of your baby’s birth from the hospital or clinic) so that you can both sign and acknowledge the paternity of your baby.
Once your baby has been registered, an unabridged birth certificate will be issued to you for free. You can apply for the extra unabridged birth certificate, but you will have to pay an additional fee for it. (You’ll need an unabridged birth certificate if you want to travel outside of the country with your child.)
What if my baby was born during lockdown?
If you’re worried because you couldn’t register your baby’s birth in this 30-day time frame because your Home Affairs office was closed during lockdown, don’t stress. According to a Government statement, parents whose children were born from February 26 2020 are allowed to register their children without the requirements of additional documents.
Late registration of birth
Under lockdown Level 3 rules, you had to make an appointment with Home Affairs to apply for any late registration of birth. All births are regulated by the Births and Deaths registration Act of 1992 and late registration is split into three categories:
- After 30 days but before 1 year
- After 1 year but before 15 years
- After 15 years
As no new announcement has been made by Home Affairs since Level 2 has been announced, it’s likely you’ll still have to make an appointment owing to lockdown restrictions and safety protocols. So do phone ahead to save time!
If you’re applying for a late birth registration because your baby was born late last year or earlier this year (before 26 February 2020), this is what you’ll need:
- Proof of your baby’s birth, completed by a medical practitioner who attended the birth and examined you after the birth.
- An affidavit giving reasons for the late registration of your birth.
- Biometrics (palm, foot or fingerprint) of your baby.
- Your and baby’s dad’s fingerprints.
- Certified copies of both you and baby’s dad’s ID documents (If one, or both of you, are not South African, you’ll need certified copies of your passports, visas or asylum documents).
- If you’re married, a marriage certificate.
- If a parent has died, a death certificate.
- Proof of payment of your application fee.
Another important thing to know is that Home Affairs can decide to interview you and your baby’s dad, and if one of you is not South African and you’re not married, they can ask for a DNA test.
If you’re having any difficulties with Home Affairs to register your baby’s birth, the following organisations can help:
- Legal Resources Centre, email@example.com, Johannesburg: 011 836 9831, Cape Town: 021 481 3000.
- Lawyers for Human Rights, Musina: 015 534 2203, Durban: 031 301 0531, Pretoria: 012 3202943, Johannesburg: 011 339 1960, Cape Town: 021 424 8561
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.