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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby Paperwork: Getting an Argentine Birth Certificate

After giving birth to Gretchen in 2011, I considered myself a bit of an expert on registering a baby's birth in Argentina.  Low and behold, everything has changed in the last 2 years.

Now that we have our precious little boy, we need to go through the process all over again, and for that I need to re-learn the system. At least the order has remained the same, and the fact that the whole process is a domino effect, one step needs to be completed before you can begin the next step.

Here is a breakdown of the steps:

  1. Register for the baby's official Argentine birth certificate: Partida de Nacimiento
  2. Apply for the baby's Documento Nacional de Identidad (aka their DNI)
  3. Apply for the baby's Argentine Passport
  4. Register a "birth abroad" with the US Embassy; this step now combines the certificate of birth abroad (official US birth certificate), application for US passport and application for a social security number
  5. Have a permiso de viajar made for the new little one (this step is not required by law, but it allows each parent to travel with the child out of the country. A really good idea in case a emergency happens at home or while on vacation and parents need to travel separately with the baby.  Without this paper, both parents must be present to take the child out of Argentina - and here are stories of immigration agents that have refused travel even when both parents are present if you don't have the permiso.)
On to the Partida de Nacimiento (aka Official Argentine Birth Certificate).

In the hospital the doctor, midwife or attending nurse writes us a birth certificate that has all of the details of the birth along with a footprint and thumbprint from the baby. You are given a copy of this document, called the Partida de Nacimiento, and the original is sent to a central location for your hospital. Our hospital is located in Palermo, but Alex's birth certificate was sent to a building called "Comuna 11" way out in Villa del Parque. The hospital will give you information on how to obtain an appointment to get the official version of the birth certificate, there is a phone number to call or you can request an appointment online. Once you have your appointment, you need to bring the following items on the day:
  • DNI of the Mother and Father, and a photocopy of each
  • Original marriage license (with apostille seal) of parents (if married) along with a photocopy.
  • Passports of Mother and Father
  • Copy of the birth certificate document from the hospital
With these documents, the appointment was simple.  We went in at the allotted time, sat down with an employee and filled out a questionnaire (asking about education level, place of birth).  This process was easy and the employees were quite friendly (as opposed to the last time we had this pleasure...) but it would be a difficult appointment to complete if you did not have at least a basic understanding of Spanish.

Once the information was collected, they asked one parent to sign a document and then shuffled us to a different desk to sign the partida de nacimiento. The same person needs to sign both places, though it doesn't matter which parent signs.  We were given a slip of paper telling us to come back in 48 hours to pick up the completed partida, and sent on our way.  Only one person needs to return to pick up the completed document, and when I went to retrieve it I was in and out the door in under 5 minutes.

I am unclear as to if the baby needs to come with you or if both parents need to be present at the first appointment. All three of us went just to be sure.

One great perk about this new system is that the birth certificate has the baby's DNI number posted right on the back, so with the partida you can get the ball rolling elsewhere. You still have to apply for an actual DNI, but at least you have the number for things like adding the child to health care plans or purchasing plane tickets for Christmas travel :) And I'll save the DNI process for another post. 

Here is a picture of our little guy, complete with a birth certificate all his own! Precious boy!

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