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Birth registration in the civil registry establishes the existence of a person under the law and lays the foundation for establishing one’s legal identity including nationality and safeguarding civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. It is therefore imperative that every child is registered at birth. To register new-born children in Iraq, parents must:
- Obtain a birth certificate from the hospital where the child was born, or from the obstetrician, licensed nurse or midwife in case of birth outside of health facilities.
- Bring the birth certificate to the Directorate of Health for validation and recording in the Birth and Deceased logs.
- In Central & Southern governorates: A copy of the endorsed birth certificate should be delivered by one of the parents to the Civil Affairs Directorate to maintain the family record.
Under Iraqi law (Law no.148 for 1971), birth registration procedures must be completed within 15 days in case of hospital birth, and 30 days in case of home birth. If parents miss the deadline, a court procedure is required to obtain a birth certificate and a nominal fee must be paid.
It is important to bring other relevant documentation – e.g. residency permit or refugee document issued by UNHCR, or any other official documents the parents have.