Importance of birth registration
Birth registration is both a right and an obligation for foreigners, including refugees, in Turkey. Birth registration is the official recording of the birth of a child through a state’s administrative process. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence; it establishes a child’s legal identity and links the child with the country of his/her nationality.
Birth registration is important as it enables children to access rights such as education and health care. Without birth registration and documentation, children may have problems proving their nationality which puts them at risk of becoming stateless. Birth registration proves the age of the child and protects the child from being vulnerable to protection risks such as trafficking, child labour, child marriage, illegal adoption and sexual exploitation.
Birth registration also proves the parental linkage between the child and the parents and protects the unity of the family. It can also help family unification of the child with the parents in the future in case of family separation.
Registering the birth of your child
Births that take place in Turkey need to be notified to the Population and Civil Registry Departments under the Governorates. This includes children born out of wedlock. Notification shall be done by the mother, father or legal guardian of the child. In the absence of parents or a legal guardian, the child’s grandmother, grandfather, adult siblings or other persons accompanying the child shall notify the Population and Civil Registry Departments. According to Turkish law, notification needs to be made to the Population and Civil Registry Departments within 30 days. If the notification is done within 30 days, there is no fee.
After birth registration, a birth certificate will be issued for your child. The registration process and the issuance of the certificate are free of charge.
If you are unable to register the birth of your child with the Population and Civil Registry Departments, please contact UNHCR or UNHCR’s implementing partners.
Is it not enough to report the birth to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management?
Reporting the birth of the child to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management (PDMM) is important as the child will be issued with an identity document certifying his/her legal status in Turkey.
However, it is still necessary to register the birth of the child to the Population and Civil Registry Departments. This is because upon request, an internationally recognized birth registration certificate will be given to the notifying person. This birth certificate is recognized and can be used in other countries as well.
Please note that the identity documents certifying legal status in Turkey will be taken back upon termination of the status of the person in Turkey or when the person leaves Turkey; however, the birth registration certificate will remain with the family, even if the family departs Turkey.
Does birth registration mean that the child will acquire Turkish citizenship?
No. Birth registration does not itself confer nationality upon a child. The process for registering births is distinct from the process whereby individuals acquire nationality.