When the thrill of becoming first-time parents kicks in, getting a birth certificate for your newborn is probably the least of your concerns.
However, taking this critical document for granted will most likely cause your child to start off on the wrong foot.
The PSA birth certificate is the most important proof of someone’s identity and age so you can’t afford to spell your child’s name incorrectly, provide the wrong gender, or commit other blunders that could have easily been prevented.
In this article, we’ll discuss how new parents can get a birth certificate for their newborn regardless if the baby was born in a Philippine hospital, at home, or abroad.
Read the main article: How to Get Birth Certificate in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Get a Birth Certificate for Your Newborn?
How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born in the Hospital or Maternity Clinic
- 1. Choose a name for the baby
- 2. Prepare the requirements in advance
- 3. Fill out the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) Form
- 4. Get a personal copy of your baby’s Certificate of Live Birth (COLB)
- 5. Obtain a copy of your child’s PSA Birth Certificate
- Optional: Advance Endorsement
- How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born at Home
- How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born Abroad
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. My baby was born out of wedlock (i.e., an illegitimate child). What should the father do if he wants to acknowledge the child and allow it to use his surname in the birth certificate?
- 2. How can I register the birth of an illegitimate child born in the Philippines?
- 3. How can I register/report the birth of an illegitimate child born abroad?
- 4. How and where should I register the birth of an illegitimate child born on an airplane?
Why Should You Get a Birth Certificate for Your Newborn?
Most parents apply for their child’s birth certificate only when the need arises.
For example, you can’t travel to countries like Japan or Korea with your baby unless you get him/her a Philippine passport and tourist visas, all of which include the birth certificate as a core requirement.
But just because you’re not traveling overseas doesn’t mean it’s alright to delay getting your baby’s birth certificate.
By taking care of it now, you’re giving your child a wonderful gift of peace of mind that comes from not having to deal with late registration, spelling mistakes, and wrong information that shouldn’t have been printed.
How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born in the Hospital or Maternity Clinic
Since most Filipino mothers give birth in the hospital setting, we’ve decided to provide more details in this section.
If your child was born in a more traditional setting (a.k.a. at home) or in another country, please refer to the second and third parts of this article.
Related: How to Avail of PhilHealth Maternity Benefits: An Ultimate Guide for Pregnant Women
1. Choose a name for the baby
A few weeks or months before the baby is due, decide as a couple on what name to give the baby.
Remember, this name will stay with your child for the rest of his/her life so put careful consideration into choosing one.
Don’t pick outlandish names that are hard to spell.
Aside from potentially embarrassing your child, it will also increase the likelihood for the baby’s name to be misspelled by anyone tasked with filling out the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) Form.
After agreeing on a final name for your baby, ensure that you and your spouse know how to spell it correctly to avoid problems later on.
Ideally, write the name down on a piece of paper and distribute multiple copies to everyone who will accompany the mother to the hospital on the day of delivery.
2. Prepare the requirements in advance
After childbirth, the hospital staff usually ask the parent/s (in most cases, the father) to fill out the COLB Form and present the necessary documents to prove their parental authority over the child.
It’s best to prepare these requirements while the baby isn’t due yet.
For married couples
If the couple is married to each other, keep the following important documents handy:
- Certified True Copy of Marriage Contract/Certificate.
- Photocopies of your valid IDs.
- SSS, PhilHealth, and health insurance/HMO claim forms.
For unmarried couples
In addition to the requirements mentioned previously (except the marriage contract), unmarried couples wherein the father acknowledges the child and agrees to let the baby carry his last name must also submit the following documents as per Republic Act No. 9255:
- Affidavit of Admission of Paternity (at the back of the child’s Certificate of Live Birth) filled out and signed by the father or a Private Handwritten Instrument, an official document that is handwritten and signed by the father to prove that he wholeheartedly recognizes the paternity of the child during his lifetime
- Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father filled out and signed by the father (the blank form of which will be provided by the hospital)
To learn more about the process of acknowledging an illegitimate child, please go this article: How to Acknowledge an Illegitimate Child: A Quick Guide for the Father
Once finalized, the affidavit will be permanently attached to the child’s birth certificate.
A stamp that reads “With Attached Affidavit of Admission of Paternity” along with the signature of the civil registrar can be seen at the upper left margin of the document.
3. Fill out the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) Form
According to Sec. 1 of Presidential Decree 651, registering the birth of a baby is the responsibility of the attending physician, nurse, or hospital administrator.
The registration process begins soon after the mother gives birth to the baby.
You will be provided with a Certificate of Live Birth Form (COLB) which is partially filled out with the date and hour of birth, name of the nurse and doctor, weight and sex of the baby, etc.
The parent’s task is to fill out the rest of the form with the complete name of the baby, the complete names of the parents (as they appear on the parent’s marriage certificate and individual COLBs) as well as the parents’ religion, occupations, citizenships, date, and place of marriage (for married couples).
To avoid committing mistakes, don’t fill out the form when you’re groggy, especially if you’re the mother who just came out of the delivery room.
Instead, ask your husband or any trusted relative (for single moms) to fill out the form for you.
After accomplishing and signing the form, return it to the hospital or clinic administrator. The latter, in turn, will forward the document to the local civil registrar within 30 days from birth.
Failure to send the COLB to the local civil registrar within 30 days after the birth results in late registration.
4. Get a personal copy of your baby’s Certificate of Live Birth (COLB)
As soon as your baby’s documents and medical records reach the local civil registrar, you will be notified by the hospital when the personal copy of your child’s Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) is ready for pickup.
What’s the difference between the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) and the Birth Certificate issued by the PSA?
Whereas the COLB declares that the baby is alive at the time of birth, the birth certificate is the official record showing your baby’s date and place of birth.
If the COLB isn’t available yet, keep following up to ensure the civil registrar receives the documents on time.
5. Obtain a copy of your child’s PSA Birth Certificate
After receiving the baby’s documents from the local civil registrar, the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA (formerly NSO) will start encoding the data.
Two to four months later, you can now order a copy of your child’s PSA-authenticated birth certificate on SECPA (security paper).
As soon as the birth certificate becomes available for order, it means the process has been completed.
Optional: Advance Endorsement
In case you urgently need the baby’s birth certificate and are unable to wait for 2 to 4 months, you can fast-track the process through “advance endorsement.”
In this method, you will personally claim the Certificate of Live Birth at the hospital where the baby was born and have it authenticated/stamped at the municipal or health office.
You will then bring the authenticated COLB to the PSA within 3 to 4 days to initiate the electronic endorsement.
By doing so, you can get your child’s PSA birth certificate after only 3 weeks instead of the standard waiting time of 2 to 4 months.
How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born at Home
Home birth or the traditional method of giving birth at home was and still is being practiced in the Philippines despite the modern advances in medicine.
For some mothers, the comfort and familiarity of their homes can’t compare to the cold, intimidating ambiance of the hospital delivery rooms.
Others, especially the impoverished women in the provinces, resort to home birth for a lack of better option.
If the baby was born at home with the help of a midwife or manghihilot, a different set of procedure and requirements will be followed.
Since the mother didn’t give birth in the hospital, the responsibility of registering the birth of the child now goes to the mother or the midwife/manghihilot who helped with the childbirth.
According to Sec. 2 of the Presidential Decree 651, the mother or the midwife/manghihilot must register the baby’s birth with the local civil registrar within 30 days from the date of delivery. Failure to do so will result in late registration of birth.
The parent/s will be required to fill out the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) Form and obtain a copy of it from the local civil registrar.
To be issued the birth certificate, the parent/s of the baby must first submit or comply with the following requirements:
- Certification from the Barangay Captain of the barangay where the baby was born, validating the facts and circumstances surrounding the baby’s birth.
- Signature of the midwife/manghihilot/attendant affixed on the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB).
- Personal interview with the local civil registrar prior to the issuance of the birth certificate (if applicable).
How To Get Birth Certificate for Newborn Babies Born Abroad
Children born abroad can also get a Philippine equivalent of their foreign birth certificates, provided that at least one or both of their parents are Filipino citizens (i.e., Filipinos who have not been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country).
Also known as the Report of Birth, this document is an official declaration that a Filipino citizen was born abroad and that the said birth is recognized by and included in the database of the Office of the Civil Registrar General in Manila.
Having a Report of Birth issued and authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA (formerly NSO) enables the child to enjoy the privileges of a Filipino citizen despite being born abroad.
These privileges include staying in the Philippines for a long period of time to travel or to study without visa restrictions.
To obtain the Report of Birth (ROB), it is important for the Filipino parent/s to report the birth of their child to the Philippine Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over the place of birth.
Ideally, reporting must take place within 1 year from the date of birth. Failure to do so results in late registration of birth which requires additional documentary requirements (see the list of requirements below).
When reporting your child’s birth to the Consulate, expect to present/submit the following core requirements:
- Duly accomplished Report of Birth Form executed and signed by one or both of the Filipino parents or the attending nurse/physician. Submit four copies–one for each parent, one for the Consulate, and another copy for the Office of the Civil Registrar General in Manila.
- The applicant’s foreign birth certificate (original and photocopies) bearing both of the parents’ names and authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country where the child was born. If written in a foreign language other than English, a notarized and authenticated English translation made by a certified translator must be provided along with the original birth certificate.
- Photocopies of the data page of the Filipino parent/s’ Philippine passport/s which prove that the parent/s are Filipino citizen/s at the time of the child’s birth.
- For parents who are married: Marriage contract or certificate (original and photocopies) printed on Security Paper (SECPA) and issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA (formerly NSO).
- For delayed or late registration (i.e., Report of Birth is filed more than one year after the child’s/applicant’s birth date): Original and photocopies of the Affidavit of Delayed Registration of Birth, notarized and executed by the parents who should state the reason/s for the late registration.
- For parents who are not married but agree to have the child use the father’s surname: Signed original and photocopies of the Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (executed by the mother) and Affidavit of Admission of Paternity (executed by the father). Failure to file the aforementioned affidavits will result in the child automatically bearing the mother’s surname.
- Processing fees may vary from one Consulate to another. Take note that the processing fee for the Report of Birth is different from the fees for the affidavits.
Although you should expect to see the documents above on the checklist of requirements of different Philippine Embassies, there are cases when the Consulate will request additional or supporting documents.
This is especially true for applicants who may have unique or complicated issues related to their birth, civil status, citizenship, etc.
Make sure to visit the nearest Philippine Embassy for a more detailed and updated list of requirements. You may apply personally or through the mail.
Upon receiving your child’s documents from the Consulate, the Office of the Civil Registrar in Manila will begin encoding the data and including them in their database.
So by the time you order your child’s Report of Birth, PSA can already provide you with an authenticated copy printed on SECPA (Security Paper).
This Report of Birth, similar and equivalent to the ordinary birth certificate, can then be used when applying for a Philippine passport, enrolling in a Philippine school, or getting other government-issued valid IDs.
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