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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Legalizing Your Baby: DNI and Certificado de Nacamiento

Now that we have a beautiful baby girl, we need to make her legal. 

As I promised in my Buenos Aires Birth Day post, I will keep you updated on the paperwork processes of documenting a birth abroad.  As with any international paperwork, there are lots of steps - and like most processes in Argentina, everyone has a different rendition of what was required so we had our fingers crossed on Monday when we began the process. 

The first step is to get a DNI (Documento National de Identidad) and Certificado de Nacimiento (Birth Certificate).  This process varies by hospital, in Sanitario de la Trinidad if at least one of the parents are Argentine nationals they can register at the hospital.  In our case, we're both extranjeros so we have to go to the Civil Registry and apply for our documents in person.  Here is the step by step:
  1. Call to make an appointment with the Civil Registry (4373-8441/45).
  2. Bring the following items to your appointment:
    1. Both parent's original DNIs and Passports
    2. A copy of both parent's DNIs and Passports
    3. An original marriage license (if you were not married in Argentina the license has to have an apostille stamp - which is basically an internationally recognized notary stamp)
    4. The "Partida" form issued at birth.  This form is filled out by the midwife or doctor involved in delivery and there are very specific instructions on how to complete the form.  Be sure to check the form for completeness before heading to the registry office. 
  3. Our appointment was located at Uruguay 753, between Cordoba and Viamonte.
  4. Once inside the building, there is a main information desk that you check in with.  They will direct you to the correct window.
Here is where it got a little dicey.  We gave all of our documents to the clerk and she began by calling us up to answer a few questions.  We had a translator with us because although our Spanish is pretty decent, we didn't want to leave it to chance.  For reasons unknown (maybe because our guy wasn't a "certified" translator) the clerk said that we were not able to use the translator and one of us needed to answer the questions for ourselves.  I took the lead because my Spanish is slightly stronger than my husbands, and I filled out the first form she provided.  After this, she insisted on my husband answering the rest of the questions - and she added that if he asked me or the translator for help she would void our appointment and we would have to start over.  Por suerte, Jon passed that test with flying colors. (Side note: When Jon and I got married, I legally changed my last name to his but failed to change my passport to my new name.  Because of this, Argentina will not recognize my married name and instead of making it an issue I have continued to use my maiden name in all of my Argentine documentation.  I have been told that this is why Jon had to answer all of the questions regarding Gretchen, because in Argentina, legally, her and I have different last names therefore I am not her legal parent.  I don't know if this is true, but it was definitely an interesting point...)

We were given Gretchen's DNI on the spot and handed a receipt with instructions to return in two days to retrieve her birth certificate (we have up to a month to claim the certificate, according to the receipt). 

Now that we have her DNI number, we are able to make an appointment to receive her Argentine passport.  As soon as we have her birth certificate, we can make an appointment with the US Embassy to receive her American passport, so this first step was critical. 

To celebrate this important milestone, Gretchen and I celebrated by doing the most American thing we could find.  I got my first 30 cm sub from Subway.  It was delicious. 

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love the fact that you ate a 30 cm. sub. The metric system is so very un-American. Congrats on getting step 1 of the paperwork complete -- sounds intense!