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Which registry office do I belong to?

Each maternity hospital in the Czech Republic falls under the administrative authority of a certain birth registry office.

If you choose from one of the three hospitals in Brno (FN Obilní trh and FN Bohunice or Nemocnice Milosrdních Bratří), you will belong to the birth registry office Matrika Brno-Střed.

An important official requirement is the presence of a court interpreter at the parents’ own expense for the actual registration, especially in case of the declaration of the father which is a legal act. Only if the foreign parents of the baby are fluent in Czech, they can come without the interpreter. However, they will be asked to write an official declaration in Czech right on the spot.

In case you decide to give birth in any other maternity hospital in the Brno-venkov area, you will need to contact the registry office to which that hospital is assigned to.

What is a birth certificate and how do I get it?

A birth certificate issued by a Czech birth registry office serves as a proof of birth, not as a confirmation of residential status. Once issued, your baby’s birth certificate can be picked up in person by the parent(s) (with an ID card / passport), by grandparents or children (with an ID card / passport and a certified copy of their birth certificate or the marriage certificate of the parents) or anyone with a notarized power of attorney. You can also have it sent by post about fifteen days after the registration. Registering a baby at the birth registry is free of charge.

On request, the registry can issue one or more official birth certificate duplicates that might be needed for example when dealing with your home embassies. You will be asked to fill in a form (see the link above, point 11) and pay 100 CZK per duplicate. Officially, the duplicate(s) should be issued within thirty days. In practice, if the office is not very busy, they are often issued immediately.

Registering the birth of a baby at the birth registry office is, especially in case of foreign parents, a rather specific procedure. The ways of obtaining birth certificates slightly differ depending on the marital status of the baby’s parents.

Note: Especially when both parents are foreigners, it is highly recommended to get multiple copies of the birth certificate right away as obtaining copies of the Czech birth certificate from overseas is usually impossible without engaging a local lawyer to represent the parents at the registry office.

How to register a newborn baby if we are married?

From practice it seems that registering a baby as a married couple can be a considerable advantage:

It is enough to visit the registry office once the baby is born. However, we always recommend you contact the office in advance and make sure you have all the necessary documents.

The list of documents and requirements is shorter than in other cases:

  •       sworn translation2  into Czech of the marriage certificate
  •       each parent should have their ID card or passport
  •       parents from EU countries should bring their residential status confirmations – temporary residency certificate or permanent residency permit – if they have them3 .
  •       filled-in forms and possibly other documents needed to choose the name, second name and the desired version of the surname of the baby.

Some of the official requirements are usually not fully enforced in practice:

  •       the marriage certificate does not usually need an apostille or superlegalization although they are officially required from one or both countries of origin
  •       a court interpreter for the actual registration is usually not needed either

If the parents decide to visit the registry office before the birth of the baby anyway:

  •       the mother needs to bring her pregnancy booklet (těhotenský průkaz)4

2. In order to get a sworn translation of any document (marriage certificate, birth certificate, marital status confirmation etc.) you will first need to get a notary copy of this document and then have it translated. Most translation companies, such as Correct Language Centre or Language Hub that we can recommend, can take care of the whole procedure including the notary copy. Note: You can get a notary copy from a notary´s office or at any post office marked as a Czech POINT. ­Sworn translations can take up to three workdays and when being handed over they should be bound with a notary copy of the original and an interpreter´s notice, all with a round stamp.

3. For EU citizens, a temporary residence certificate or a permanent residency permit represent a right, not a legal obligation.

4. This document is issued by the mother’s gynaecologist in about the twelfth week of pregnancy and it serves as record of all necessary information. The maternity hospital asks for it when the mother comes to give birth. So, in order to keep all the information concerning the pregnancy, it is better to scan the pregnancy booklet beforehand.

How to register a newborn baby if we are not married?

In comparison with married couples, registering a baby as an unmarried couple entails some extra paperwork and procedures:

It is highly recommended to make sure you have all the necessary documents ready well in advance (several months before the due date) and visit the office before the baby is born.

The list of documents and requirements needed:

  • sworn translations into Czech of the birth certificates of both parents7  (the originals need an apostille or superlegalization if required for one or both countries of origin)
  • each parent should have their ID card or passport
  • parents from EU countries should bring their residential status confirmations – temporary residency certificate or permanent residency permit – if they have them8
  • the declaration of the father of the baby9  via a special form (see the point 11) is free of charge. It has to be delivered to the registry office by the father himself and handed in in the presence of both the mother of the baby and a court interpreter
  • the mother’s pregnancy booklet (těhotenský průkaz)10
  • the mother‘s confirmation of your marital status and residency (potvrzení o rodinném stavu a pobytu) issued by either her Embassy of her country of origin. It must not be older than 6 months.
  • divorced mothers or widows need to bring sworn translations into Czech of the official documents11 : final divorce judgement or the death certificate of the deceased husband (the originals need an apostille or superlegalization if required for one or both countries of origin)
  • filled-in forms and possibly other documents needed to choose the name, second name and the desired version of the surname of the baby.

An important official requirement is the presence of a court interpreter at the parents’ own expense for the actual registration, especially in case of the declaration of the father which is a legal act. Only if the foreign parents of the baby are fluent in Czech, they can come without the interpreter. However, they will be asked to write an official declaration in Czech right on the spot.

An important official requirement is the presence of a court interpreter at the parents’ own expense for the actual registration, especially in case of the declaration of the father which is a legal act. Only if the foreign parents of the baby are fluent in Czech, they can come without the interpreter. However, they will be asked to write an official declaration in Czech right on the spot.

7.If, for some reason, the father of the baby does not manage to get the paperwork needed (e.g. his birth certificate with Apostille) on time, the birth certificate can be issued without the name of the father on it at first. The father can be officially added on the birth certificate later on.

8. For EU citizens, a temporary residence certificate or a permanent residency permit represent a right, not a legal obligation.

9.If the mother or the father of the baby do not agree about the fatherhood and want to claim or deny it, they have to file a paternity suit within 6 months after the birth.

10.This document is issued by the mother’s gynaecologist in about the twelfth week of pregnancy and it serves as record of all necessary information. The maternity hospital asks for it when the mother comes to give birth. So, in order to keep all the information concerning the pregnancy, it is better to scan the pregnancy booklet beforehand.

11. Please, note that according to the Czech law more than 300 days need to pass since the final divorce judgement in order to be able to enter the biological father into the birth certificate of the baby as his / her father. If the baby is born within the 300-day protection period, the former husband of the mother is entered into the birth certificate. His paternity then needs to be denied and that of the biological father confirmed through an official trial. A similar legal procedure is required in case of a widowed mother whose husband’s death certificate was issued less than 300 days before the day the baby is born.

How do I register a newborn baby if I'm a single mother?

For single mothers, the requirements, as well as the procedure of registering their baby, are identical with those for unmarried couples (see the question above). The only difference is that the mother can choose not to declare the father of the baby. If she does so and the father is not declared, the presence of a court interpreter is not a must anymore.

In case of artificial insemination, the mother will also need to present at the registry:

  •       a written agreement with the artificial insemination provided by the facility which carried out the insemination
  •       the declaration about the baby’s name, second name and surname (for details about the name, see the question below)
How do we register a newborn baby if we are a homosexual couple?

Paid surrogate motherhood is illegal in the Czech Republic and the unpaid one is not mentioned in the Czech legislation and thus is unclear and risky for the surrogate mother as well as for the future parents.

In reality, the possibility of having a baby therefore only concerns lesbian couples.

Although registered partnerships and cohabitation of partners of the same sex are possible and accepted in the Czech Republic, when registering a new-born at the registry, the partner of the same sex (registered or not) cannot be declared as the ‘father’ / ‘second parent’.

The biological mother of the baby will thus be considered as a single parent and has to fulfil the requirements for the single mothers (see the question above).

How can we choose the baby's name?

Names and second names

In many cultures, one or more names are traditionally placed between the first name (jméno) and the surname (příjmení). This practice has been becoming more common in the Czech Republic, as well.

A child born in the Czech Republic can have one name and one second name – two words in total. If, however, one of those names is hyphenated (e.g. Anna-Maria), it is counted as one word. The second name can be included in the baby’s birth certificate via a form Prohlášení o volbě druhého jména pro nezletilé dítě  (point 11) handed in in person at the registry office by the parents of the baby. If needed, the procedure can be retroactive, and it is free of charge.

If both parents are foreign citizens (EU or nonEU), any suggested form of the baby’s name and second name will be accepted.

If, however, one of the parents is Czech, and the desired name and/or second name for their baby is not on the list of officially recognised names and second names, the parents need to

  • either prove that such form of a name (and/or second name) has already been used by some member of the foreign family. This can be done e.g. by bringing a certified translation of the birth certificate of this person (the original needs an apostille or superlegalization if required for the country of origin).
  • or provide an expert opinion done by a Czech linguist at their own cost. Such a linguist can be found through the official website of the Ministry of Justice16 or through the Czech Language Institute.

Surname without the suffix -ová

When a baby girl is born in the Czech Republic, in accordance with the Czech grammar a suffix –ová is automatically added to most surnames. However, if a new-born girl is a foreigner, her permanent residence is planned to be abroad, or at least one of the parents is a foreigner or if the baby’s nationality is other than Czech, it is possible to apply for a record of the surname without the suffix –ová via a special form Žádost o zápis příjmení v mužském tvaru (point 11).

The procedure is retroactive, free of charge and has to be initiated in person by the mother of the baby in the presence of the father or with his notarized written agreement.

If the foreign parents are not fluent in Czech, an interpreter is required. In the case of unmarried couples, it needs to be a court interpreter.

As the procedures connected with choosing the name, second name and surname of the baby might involve some extra administrative work, it is highly recommended to contact the registry office in advance.

16. When looking, select ŠKOLSTVÍ A KULTURA à Jazykověda in the section Odbor / odvětví, and leave Všechny kraje in the section Kraj or select the region of the Czech Republic you are interested in.

Which registry office do I belong to?

Each maternity hospital in the Czech Republic falls under the administrative authority of a certain birth registry office.

If you choose from one of the three hospitals in Brno (FN Obilní trh and FN Bohunice or Nemocnice Milosrdních Bratří), you will belong to the birth registry office Matrika Brno-Střed.

An important official requirement is the presence of a court interpreter at the parents’ own expense for the actual registration, especially in case of the declaration of the father which is a legal act. Only if the foreign parents of the baby are fluent in Czech, they can come without the interpreter. However, they will be asked to write an official declaration in Czech right on the spot.

In case you decide to give birth in any other maternity hospital in the Brno-venkov area, you will need to contact the registry office to which that hospital is assigned to.

What is a birth certificate and how do I get it?

A birth certificate issued by a Czech birth registry office serves as a proof of birth, not as a confirmation of residential status. Once issued, your baby’s birth certificate can be picked up in person by the parent(s) (with an ID card / passport), by grandparents or children (with an ID card / passport and a certified copy of their birth certificate or the marriage certificate of the parents) or anyone with a notarized power of attorney. You can also have it sent by post about fifteen days after the registration. Registering a baby at the birth registry is free of charge.

On request, the registry can issue one or more official birth certificate duplicates that might be needed for example when dealing with your home embassies. You will be asked to fill in a form (see the link above, point 11) and pay 100 CZK per duplicate. Officially, the duplicate(s) should be issued within thirty days. In practice, if the office is not very busy, they are often issued immediately.

Registering the birth of a baby at the birth registry office is, especially in case of foreign parents, a rather specific procedure. The ways of obtaining birth certificates slightly differ depending on the marital status of the baby’s parents.

Note: Especially when both parents are foreigners, it is highly recommended to get multiple copies of the birth certificate right away as obtaining copies of the Czech birth certificate from overseas is usually impossible without engaging a local lawyer to represent the parents at the registry office.

How to register a newborn baby if we are married?

From practice it seems that registering a baby as a married couple can be a considerable advantage:

It is enough to visit the registry office once the baby is born. However, we always recommend you contact the office in advance and make sure you have all the necessary documents.

The list of documents and requirements is shorter than in other cases:

  •       sworn translation5  into Czech of the marriage certificate
  •       each parent should have their ID card or passport
  •       parents from nonEU countries should bring their valid residency cards
  •       filled-in forms and possibly other documents needed to choose the name, second name and the desired version of the surname of the baby.

Some of the official requirements are usually not fully enforced in practice:

  •       the marriage certificate does not usually need an apostille or superlegalization although they are officially required from one or both countries of origin
  •       a court interpreter for the actual registration is usually not needed either

If the parents decide to visit the registry office before the birth of the baby anyway:

  •       the mother needs to bring her pregnancy booklet (těhotenský průkaz)6

5. In order to get a sworn translation of any document (marriage certificate, birth certificate, marital status confirmation etc.) you will first need to get a notary copy of this document and then have it translated. Most translation companies, such as Correct Language Centre or Language Hub that we can recommend, can take care of the whole procedure including the notary copy. Note: You can get a notary copy from a notary´s office or at any post office marked as a Czech POINT. ­Sworn translations can take up to three workdays and when being handed over they should be bound with a notary copy of the original and an interpreter´s notice, all with a round stamp.

6. This document is issued by the mother’s gynaecologist in about the twelfth week of pregnancy and it serves as record of all necessary information. The maternity hospital asks for it when the mother comes to give birth. So, in order to keep all the information concerning the pregnancy, it is better to scan the pregnancy booklet beforehand.

How to register a newborn baby if we are not married?

In comparison with married couples, registering a baby as an unmarried couple entails some extra paperwork and procedures:

It is highly recommended to make sure you have all the necessary documents ready well in advance (several months before the due date) and visit the office before the baby is born.

The list of documents and requirements needed:

  • sworn translations into Czech of the birth certificates of both parents12  (the originals need an apostille or superlegalization if required for one or both countries of origin)
  • each parent should have their ID card or passport
  • parents from nonEU countries should bring their valid residency cards
  • the declaration of the father of the baby13  via a special form (see the point 11) is free of charge. It has to be delivered to the registry office by the father himself and handed in in the presence of both the mother of the baby and a court interpreter
  • the mother’s pregnancy booklet (těhotenský průkaz)14
  • the mother‘s confirmation of your marital status and residency (potvrzení o rodinném stavu a pobytu) issued by either her Embassy of her country of origin. It must not be older than 6 months.
  • divorced mothers or widows need to bring sworn translations into Czech of the official documents15 : final divorce judgement or the death certificate of the deceased husband (the originals need an apostille or superlegalization if required for one or both countries of origin)
  • filled-in forms and possibly other documents needed to choose the name, second name and the desired version of the surname of the baby.

An important official requirement is the presence of a court interpreter at the parents’ own expense for the actual registration, especially in case of the declaration of the father which is a legal act. Only if the foreign parents of the baby are fluent in Czech, they can come without the interpreter. However, they will be asked to write an official declaration in Czech right on the spot.

12.  If, for some reason, the father of the baby does not manage to get the paperwork needed (e.g. his birth certificate with Apostille) on time, the birth certificate can be issued without the name of the father on it at first. The father can be officially added on the birth certificate later on.

13. If the mother or the father of the baby do not agree about the fatherhood and want to claim or deny it, they have to file a paternity suit within 6 months after the birth.

14. This document is issued by the mother’s gynaecologist in about the twelfth week of pregnancy and it serves as record of all necessary information. The maternity hospital asks for it when the mother comes to give birth. So, in order to keep all the information concerning the pregnancy, it is better to scan the pregnancy booklet beforehand.

15.  Please, note that according to the Czech law more than 300 days need to pass since the final divorce judgement in order to be able to enter the biological father into the birth certificate of the baby as his / her father. If the baby is born within the 300-day protection period, the former husband of the mother is entered into the birth certificate. His paternity then needs to be denied and that of the biological father confirmed through an official trial. A similar legal procedure is required in case of a widowed mother whose husband’s death certificate was issued less than 300 days before the day the baby is born.

How do I register a newborn baby if I'm a single mother?

For single mothers, the requirements, as well as the procedure of registering their baby, are identical with those for unmarried couples (see the question above). The only difference is that the mother can choose not to declare the father of the baby. If she does so and the father is not declared, the presence of a court interpreter is not a must anymore.

In case of artificial insemination, the mother will also need to present at the registry:

  •       a written agreement with the artificial insemination provided by the facility which carried out the insemination
  •       the declaration about the baby’s name, second name and surname (for details about the name, see the question below)
How do we register a newborn baby if we are a homosexual couple?

Paid surrogate motherhood is illegal in the Czech Republic and the unpaid one is not mentioned in the Czech legislation and thus is unclear and risky for the surrogate mother as well as for the future parents.

In reality, the possibility of having a baby therefore only concerns lesbian couples.

Although registered partnerships and cohabitation of partners of the same sex are possible and accepted in the Czech Republic, when registering a new-born at the registry, the partner of the same sex (registered or not) cannot be declared as the ‘father’ / ‘second parent’.

The biological mother of the baby will thus be considered as a single parent and has to fulfil the requirements for the single mothers (see the question above).

How can we choose the baby's name?

Names and second names

In many cultures, one or more names are traditionally placed between the first name (jméno) and the surname (příjmení). This practice has been becoming more common in the Czech Republic, as well.

A child born in the Czech Republic can have one name and one second name – two words in total. If, however, one of those names is hyphenated (e.g. Anna-Maria), it is counted as one word. The second name can be included in the baby’s birth certificate via a form Prohlášení o volbě druhého jména pro nezletilé dítě  (point 11) handed in in person at the registry office by the parents of the baby. If needed, the procedure can be retroactive, and it is free of charge.

If both parents are foreign citizens (EU or nonEU), any suggested form of the baby’s name and second name will be accepted.

If, however, one of the parents is Czech, and the desired name and/or second name for their baby is not on the list of officially recognised names and second names, the parents need to

  • either prove that such form of a name (and/or second name) has already been used by some member of the foreign family. This can be done e.g. by bringing a certified translation of the birth certificate of this person (the original needs an apostille or superlegalization if required for the country of origin).
  • or provide an expert opinion done by a Czech linguist at their own cost. Such a linguist can be found through the official website of the Ministry of Justice16 or through the Czech Language Institute.

Surname without the suffix -ová

When a baby girl is born in the Czech Republic, in accordance with the Czech grammar a suffix –ová is automatically added to most surnames. However, if a new-born girl is a foreigner, her permanent residence is planned to be abroad, or at least one of the parents is a foreigner or if the baby’s nationality is other than Czech, it is possible to apply for a record of the surname without the suffix –ová via a special form Žádost o zápis příjmení v mužském tvaru (point 11).

The procedure is retroactive, free of charge and has to be initiated in person by the mother of the baby in the presence of the father or with his notarized written agreement.

If the foreign parents are not fluent in Czech, an interpreter is required. In the case of unmarried couples, it needs to be a court interpreter.

As the procedures connected with choosing the name, second name and surname of the baby might involve some extra administrative work, it is highly recommended to contact the registry office in advance.

16. When looking, select ŠKOLSTVÍ A KULTURA à Jazykověda in the section Odbor / odvětví, and leave Všechny kraje in the section Kraj or select the region of the Czech Republic you are interested in.

General info

Having a baby is a very joyous event.

However, apart from regular medical check-ups and standard administrative procedures, becoming a parent in a foreign country creates a whole new list of obligations that need to be fulfilled before as well as after the baby is born.

That is why the parents (to be) should get in touch with a number of offices and familiarize with the procedures described in this guide.