A birth certificate is a very important document. As a parent or guardian, you should ensure your child is issued with this identification document.
Every person needs a birth certificate when they are making various applications such as applying for a National ID, registering for Kenya Certificate of Secondary and Primary Education (KCSE and KCPE).
The document is also needed when one is applying for a passport and many more government applications.
Below are details of how you can obtain a birth certificate for a child who was born in hospital and for cases of those born at home.
How to get a birth certificate for a child born in hospital
This applies where the mother delivered the child whose certificate you intend to obtain at a recognized health facility. The process of getting the birth certificate begins at the hospital where the child is born.
For children born in hospital within the refugee camps in Kenya (Kakuma and Dadaab), the process is as follows;
- The nurse or designated staff at the hospital will fill the details of the newly born child in the B1 Form (‘Register of Birth’) in duplicate (so that there are two copies.)
- Mother/father or next of kin (applicant) is issued with the TOP section of the B1 Form (Original only) which is Pink in colour. This is known as Acknowledgement of Birth Notification (ABN).
- Ensure you get the ABN before you leave the health facility where the baby was born.
-The ABN is issued free of charge.
- The hospital will retain the duplicate details of the ABN as part of the health facility’s birth registration records. The hospital staff also temporarily keeps the BOTTOM section in duplicate to be submitted later to the Department of Civil Registration (DCR) and UNHCR for statistical purposes.
- The Hospital staff submit details of the birth registration details by filling of a ‘Dispatch Form’, to be shared with the UNHCR and the DCR for statistical purposes.
- The civil registry receives the Registers of Births from UNHCR, processes the birth certificates and issues them to UNHCR
- UNHCR submit the birth certificates to the applicants.
If the child was born in a hospital outside the refugee camps (e.g. in Nairobi, Mombasa etc.), the parent, guardian or caregiver applying for their birth certificate must present a copy of the ABN/TOP part of the B1 Form (Pink in colour) to the DCR. This document was also issued from the health facility to the DCR.
Once they receive the document, the DCR will conduct a search in that hospital and then process a Birth Certificate for the applicant after confirming that the birth took place.
How to get a birth certificate for a child born at home.
The process for obtaining a birth certificate for a child born at home is slightly different from that for children delivered in a health facility.
When the mother delivers outside the hospital (i.e. at home/blocks, roadside etc.), it will be presumed that the mother has been attending antenatal care clinics within the camps or outside the camps prior to the delivery.
This means that they are expected to have a clinical booklet/card/record confirming that they have been receiving antenatal care services (ANC) and should be having a valid ANC clinic booklet or card.
Here are steps to be followed to obtain a birth certificate for a child that was born at home.
- The mother of the child or the applicant should have the clinical booklet/card referred to as the ‘Mother and Child Health Booklet’ (Purple Book) and her identity documents. This can include the Refugee ID Card, passport or Proof of Registration. She should submit it to the Department for Civil Registration at the camp level.
- The Civil Registry shall require the applicant (together with the child) to be present and will receive the requisite documents. Upon receipt, the documents will be examined, and the particulars of the child confirmed as regards parentage, name, sex, age/date of birth, and place of birth.
- Once the registry has verified the evidence in support of application for registration of the birth, he fills in and signs the Form B1 in duplicate; the applicant is issued with the TOP section of the B1 Form i.e. Acknowledgement of Birth Notification (ABN), and the DCR will maintain the duplicate section as part of the birth registration records while a copy is maintained by UNHCR for its records.
- The civil registry proceeds to processes the Birth Certificate. Once processed, it will be sent to UNHCR.
- UNHCR will submit the birth certificates to the applicants.
Where do you find the Department for civil registration in the camps?
The Department of Civil Registration services officer visit the camps regularly to resolve registration issues. UNHCR and RAS often share detail of when the officers are available and Julisha.Info will share such updates via the Facebook page.
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