When a child is born, their birth needs to be registered within 5 working days, according to Maltese Laws. In the eventuality that both parents are to be listed on the birth certificate, one or both parents would need to physically go to the Public Registry Office - located on the 1st floor at Evans Building, Merchants Street Valletta - with BOTH parents' Photo ID (National ID Card or Passport).
If the child's parents are married, and the marriage occurred abroad, the original marriage certificate needs to be taken along - and this needs to be in either Maltese or English.
Should there be a legal separation or annulment, the original contact/court sentence documents need to also be taken along.
If the child is born out of wedlock, you're better off making a phone call before you go to the Public Registry Office. Their contact numbers are 22209100 and 22220920.
The opening hours are Mon-Fri 07:30 - 14:00. On Wednesdays, they are also open between 15:00 and 18:00 and on Saturday between 07:30 and 11:00.
At hospital, you're given a form on which the midwife assisting your birth giving process writes down the time and date of your baby's birth, along with your name and ID Card number and some other details, and ultimately signs it. On that same form, you then get to write down your baby's name(s) separated by commas ( , ) unless you want all names written down to appear on your child's ID Card when they grow up (e.g. If your child is to be called Mark Anthony Charles Philip Elton, but you only want Mark Anthony to be on their ID Card when he grows up, you'd need to write Mark Anthony, Charles, Philip, Elton) as well as some of your own personal details (and the father's, if his name is to appear).
Now, this is where the fun part (i.e. Confusion) begins. If the child's father is to be left out, in spite of knowing who he is, he is very tastelessly listed as "Unknown Father" - however this _can_ be changed at a later date. How? That is what I'm trying to find out.
When I called the Registry people, I spoke to a manager who told me the Father would have to speak to a lawyer and get an Act issued from Court that would then enable the Birth Certificate to be changed.
On the other hand, when I physically went to register Morgan's birth, I asked about this again and got told a different story. _This time_, I was told that both parents would need to physically go to a _Notary_ along with the child's birth certificate and get the Notary to draw up some legal document that will allow the Birth Certificate to be changed.
Since I have no intention of wasting money talking to lawyers and/or Notaries needlessly, I'm going to ask about this another 3 times. The first option to be mentioned to me three times in total will be what I consider to be correct information until proven otherwise.
Oh, and you have to pay €2.33 as a registration fee. The reasoning behind this is a mystery to me. I wonder how impossible life would be for someone whose parent[s] opt not to register their birth because they don't agree with said charge. I know it is a highly unlikely scenario, but can you imagine never having existed to the world? Location would probably be key to how easy/difficult life can be for you.
The birth certificate can then be picked up within 10 working days from the Public Registry Office, or requested online via www.certifikati.gov.mt. There seems to be yet another charge to obtain the actual birth certificate via the website. If you request just an extract, the charge is €2.33, but if you request the full birth certificate, the charge is € 9.32.
Since there are a few details I still need to obtain confirmation about, as mentioned earlier, I will write up Part 2 of this blog once the certificate itself is ready for collection.
In the meanwhile, enjoy this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KANI2dpXLw - whilst I snuggle up to Morgan once more.
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