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Registering a birth

This procedure enables you to register a birth with the relevant civil registry office.

Horaires de l'état civil: de 8h30 à 11h45 et de 13h à 16h

Who is this procedure intended for?

The people required to announce a birth within a deadline of three days are, in order:

  • the administrations of clinics or other such establishments;
  • the authorities who are aware of the birth;
  • the doctor and auxiliary medical staff who attended the birth in person;
  • the family members or persons authorised to make this announcement;
  • the other people present.

Civil registry office at the Geneva university hospitals (HUG)

If a child is born in the maternity ward, it is now possible to register a birth via the branch of the civil registry office located in the maternity ward of the HUG, the leading place of birth within the canton. Parents can visit the civil registrar here every afternoon and all day Monday.

Which first name?

Parents enjoy considerable freedom in choosing first names, while these must nevertheless not be detrimental to the child’s interests. It is in the child’s interest not to be given an ambiguous or misleading name.

The choice of first name is definitive, subject to a request to change a first name submitted to the relevant authority in the canton of residence.

Which surname?

The reform of the civil code which took effect on 1 January 2013 provides for the following situations:

In the case of married couples

A child whose parents bear different names acquires the unmarried name that the parents chose to give the children they have together when concluding their marriage. The parents can nevertheless still choose to give their child the unmarried name of the other parent for a period of one year following the birth of their first child by submitting a request to the civil registry office in the place of birth. This joint declaration by the parents is made for the first child and will apply to all future children the parents have together.

Parents who have been freed from the obligation of choosing their child’s surname must declare, at the birth, which of their unmarried names their child will bear.

If the parents have a common surname, the child inherits this name.

In the case of unmarried couples

The child is given the unmarried name of the parent who exercises exclusive parental authority.

In the case of joint parental authority, the parents choose together which of their unmarried names their children will be given.

If joint parental authority was established after the birth of the first child, the parents can, within a period of one year after this decision was taken, declare that the child will bear the unmarried name of the other parent. This declaration applies to all children the parents have together, independent of the assignment of parental authority.

If neither of the parents exercises parental authority, the child will bear the unmarried name of the mother.

Any change of name for a child over the age of twelve requires the child’s consent.

A minor acquires the cantonal and municipal rights of citizenship of the parent whose name he/she bears.

Parents of Swiss nationality resident abroad or parents of foreign nationality can request that the child’s surname be governed by their national law or by the law applicable in their place of residence. In this case, they must submit their request when declaring the birth and sign a declaration of surname intended for the civil registry office.

Which documents are required?

Child whose parents are married and are of Swiss nationality

  • duly completed and signed forename card;
  • Swiss family record book or family certificate;
  • residence certificate dated less than 6 months ago in the name of both parents (if the residence is located outside the Canton of Geneva). For persons resident in France, a sworn declaration of residence must be signed.

Child whose parents are married and are of a different nationality

  • duly completed and signed forename card;
  • family record book (if it is a foreign document, this document alone may not be sufficient) or family certificate, or full marriage certificate indicating the places and dates of birth of the parents and the surnames and first names of the child’s grandparents. In the absence of this information, please also provide a birth certificate for the child’s mother and father;
  • valid identity documents of the mother and father (passport or identity card);
  • residence permit or certificate dated less than 6 months ago in the name of both parents (if the residence is located outside the Canton of Geneva). For persons resident in France, a sworn declaration of residence must be signed;
  • original birth certificates of previous children dated less than 6 months ago;
  • valid identity documents of previous children.

Child whose mother is unmarried and of Swiss nationality

  • duly completed and signed forename card;
  • valid identity document (passport or identity card);
  • residence certificate dated less than 6 months ago (if the residence is located outside the Canton of Geneva). For persons resident in France, a sworn declaration of residence must be signed.

Child whose mother is unmarried and of a different nationality

  • duly completed and signed forename card;
  • full birth certificate dated less than 6 months ago indicating the surnames and first names of the parents;
  • current civil status certificate dated less than 6 months ago (issued by the embassy/consulate if resident in Switzerland or issued in the country of origin if resident abroad); if the mother is separated, divorced or widowed, please contact the civil registry office;
  • residence permit or certificate dated less than 6 months ago (if the residence is located outside the Canton of Geneva). For persons resident in France, a sworn declaration of residence must be signed;
  • valid identity document (passport or identity card);
  • original birth certificates of previous children dated less than 6 months ago;
  • valid identity documents of previous children.

All documents requested must be originals. When examining foreign documents, the civil registry office may request a translation and, depending on the issuing country, legalisation by the relevant authorities. 

The civil registry office reserves the right to request additional documents at any time with a view to entering the information relating to the parents and the child in the Infostar computerised register.

The child’s forename card must be signed by the mother and her spouse.

The child’s first name(s) must be written in lower case.

The choice of first name is definitive, subject to a subsequent request to change names to be submitted to the relevant cantonal authority. More detailed information is available on the State of Geneva website.

Contact

Service de l'état civil

37 Rue de la Mairie

1207

Genève

Suisse

Tél. +41224186650

Fax. +41224186651

Email

Service de l'état civil

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Article modifié le 22.09.2020 à 05:49