The administrative details you need to know if you are giving birth in Spain. The post-natal period: maternity leave, midwives and vaccinations

Registration of a Birth

Births must be registered within eight days at the local civil registry office (Registro Civil). It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure this is done and it must be carried out in person. In some cases the hospital, clinic or midwife will register the birth. Parent, grandparents, a brother or sister, aunt or uncle or cousin of the parents, may register the birth. The registered name must conform to Spanish regulations regarding compound names and also ensure that the name will not prove harmful or confusing for the child.

There are two types of certificate:

• short/abridged (un extracto de inscripción de nacimiento or certificado simple): contains the date of birth, the names of the child and parents and the inscription number

• full birth certificates (un certificado literal de nacimiento): full certificates may be needed for registration with the Consulate of a baby born to foreign national resident in Spain

The birth registration includes:

• name of the new-born

• date, time and location of the birth. In the case of multiple births, when the exact time is unknown for each new-born, indication shall be given of the order in which they were born, or that this could not be determined

• whether the new-born is male or female and the name given

• the parents, when the relationship is legally recognised

• the number assigned to the birth or verification file

• the time of registration

Birth certificates must state whether a child is legitimate or illegitimate. Children born within 180 days after their parent’s marriage or within 300 days of a divorce, a marriage annulment or the death of the father are considered legitimate.

Registering a child born within a marriage

A close family member can register the birth; the following must be taken to the Civil Registry:

• Medical delivery report (this form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)

• DNI (National Identification Card) of the parents

• Family Book (or marriage certificate duly legalised and translated, as appropriate)

Registering a child born outside marriage

In this case, a declaration is required from both parents, with the father and the mother going to register the birth in person, providing the following documentation:

• Medical delivery report (this form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)

• The parents DNIs

• Indication of the mother’s marital status

• If a prior marriage existed, the legal presumption of paternity must be removed by providing: Marriage certificate (with the corresponding note), and the separation or divorce decree (witnessed)

• In the case of a de facto separation, two witnesses must accompany the interested party to the Register

• The Ministerio Justicia English-language pages have a description of registering the birth.

• Birth certificates for specific regions can also be downloaded from this site

Post Natal Care

Post natal care tends to be very limited. Social security merely offers routine six week post natal examination (unless, of course, there are complications).

Statutory Maternity Leave

Statutory maternity leave in Spain is currently 16 weeks paid leave from work, which may be taken before or after delivery. This is increased by two weeks for each child in the event of a multiple birth from the second baby.

Fathers are entitled to paternity leave; it is as a shared part of the mother’s maternity leave. If there are complications for either the baby or the mother, the father is entitled to longer leave.


Confirm eligibility for social security care as soon as possible. If this is available it is often the best option to register with the social security provider and supplement that care with a private clinic. If the option is available, private clinics will invariably offer more intensive pre-natal and post natal care and support.

In order to encourage more births in Spain, mothers of children born after 00:00 on 3 July 2007 are entitled to a one-off payment of €2,500. Only mothers who are Spanish citizens or foreigners who have been resident in Spain for at least two years prior to the birth are eligible. Adoptive parents who adopt a child within Spanish territory are also eligible.

Working mothers are also entitled to a monthly allowance for childcare. Application for this monthly benefit automatically generates an application for the one-off €2,500 childbirth benefit. To apply, contact the local Social Security office (Seguridad Social).

The full article, including links to Social Security websites, the Tax Agency, registration of birth, birth certificate forms and more detailed information on this subject including the Pre-natal care, mid-wives, delivery and vaccinations are available at

Information supplied by Dawn Blythe S.R.N. R.M. (UK), a British trained midwife who has worked with expatriate communities worldwide. Currently with The English Medical Clinic, Albir.

Bill Boyd


AngloINFO Costa Cálida

Bill Boyd

Director AngloINFO Costa Calida

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