For members


How to register your new baby in Spain and apply for a passport

Having a new baby is an exciting time, but it can also be very overwhelming, especially when you have to add Spanish bureaucracy into the mix too. Read on to find out how to register your infant and how to apply for a passport for them.

new baby
Registering a new baby in Spain. Photo: AntoniaRusev / Pixabay

Registering your child’s birth is mandatory in Spain and can be done two different ways – either at the hospital or at the Civil Registry.

Births can be registered at most hospitals in Spain and must be done so within a period of 72 hours. If this time has elapsed and you still haven’t registered, you have a further 10 days to do it in person at the Civil Registry.

At the hospital

If you chose to do register your child at the hospital, both parents must complete and sign a standard form, which will be sent off electronically to the Civil Registering, along with a signed medical report, the IDs of the parents, and any other documentation that may be required. 

Once completed and processed, you will receive your baby’s birth certificate from the Civil Registry. You can also download a digital birth certificate from the digital headquarters of the Ministry of Justice found here

Civil Registry  

There may be several reasons you need to go to the Civil Registry in person to register your baby instead of at the hospital. One may be that your baby was born in a different municipality to the one you reside in.

Some foreigners may also be required to go to the Civil Registry in order to provide extra documentation, for example, if both parents are of a different nationality to each other and neither of them is Spanish. The hospital should be able to inform you if you need to go in person or not. 

When the birth has not been notified by the maternity unit, you can do it at the Civil Registry within 10 days. However, this can be extended to 30 days when there is a specific reason. For example, some readers have told us that they couldn’t get an appointment in time to register their child within 10 days and the authorities told them they were able to extend it to 30 days.

In-person registration can be made at the Civil Registry of the place of birth. In order to register your child, you will need the following documents:

  • Your DNI, NIE, green residency card and passport with your current address
  • A marriage certificate or other document which proves marriage, if you are married. (If parents are not married, they must both go in person to the civil registry).
  • The maternity medical report from the hospital
  • The birth declaration form completed by the parents. This can be obtained from the hospital or the Civil Registry itself.

Where else do I need to register my baby?

In many places in Spain, the Civil Registry will automatically inform the Town Hall of the baby’s birth and it will automatically be added to the padrón, however if it’s not then you will also need to go in person and register your baby as living in the same property as you.  

The next step is to go to a service office of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) to register the new member of the family, so that you can register your baby as a beneficiary of social security. Registration can be done online through your social security portal or in person.

READ ALSO – Empadronamiento in Spain: What is it and how do I apply?

Registering your baby with your home country

If you are a foreign resident in Spain, then typically your baby will acquire the same nationality as you or your spouse or partner, they will not automatically be granted Spanish nationality. If both of you are foreigners, you may need to register the birth of your child at the embassy or consulate of your country too.

READ ALSO: How children born in Spain to foreign parents can obtain Spanish nationality

For example, British citizenship is normally automatically passed down one generation to children born outside the UK.

On their website, the British government states “You do not need to register with the UK authorities but it means the birth will be recorded with the General Register Offices or at the National Records Office of Scotland. You can also order a consular birth registration certificate”.

This will need to be done at your country’s embassy or consulate. You will need to take all the documents with you that you took to the Civil Registry, as well as your child’s birth certificate. The birth certificate also needs to be translated and certified if it’s not in the language of the country you want to register your baby in.

Applying for a passport for your new baby

If you are married to a Spaniard, then your baby can acquire Spanish nationality and will be eligible to apply for a Spanish passport. This can be done through a national police station. 

You will need: 

  • Your baby’s DNI if they have one
  • The birth certificate issued no more than six months prior to the appointment 
  • Your child’s certificate of empadronamiento, issued no more than three months prior to the appointment
  • A recent photograph
  • A fee of €30

According to the British government, you can still apply for a UK passport for your child even if you do not register the birth in the UK.

While the US embassy in Spain states “Parents of children who may have a claim to US citizenship can apply for the child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and US passport, at the U.S. EmbassyU.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or any of the five U.S. Consular Agencies in Spain”.

They strongly recommend that you report the birth of your child to the Department of State as soon as possible after the child’s birth.

Other nationalities will need to contact their embassy or consulate to find out more about applying for a passport. 

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For members


What childcare options are available over the summer in Spain?

Kids in Spain get around three months of holiday over the summer, but finding childcare options during this time can be challenging for parents, especially if they have to work. So what is available?

What childcare options are available over the summer in Spain?

Kids in Spain get to enjoy a ten to 12-week summer vacation, starting towards the end of June and lasting until around the second week in September. This is one of the longest summer holidays in Europe.

In the UK, kids get around half of this time with around five or six weeks, while in France they get around eight weeks and in Germany around six weeks.

Unless you are a teacher or are self-employed, most salaried workers in Spain, according to the Workers’ Statue, can only take up to two-weeks vacation at a time, meaning that parents are often stuck with what to do with the kids for the rest of the summer.

If you’re in this situation, what are your options for summer childcare and how affordable is it?

Summer school camps

Most regular schools in Spain offer campamentos de verano or summer camps. This means that your kids can carry on going to their normal school, even after the term ends. But instead of doing their lessons, they’ll get to do fun daily activities, crafts and games, as well as a variety of day trips.

If your children’s school doesn’t offer this option, then there’s always the possibility of signing up to a campamento at another nearby school.

Remember, you’ll need to enrol your kids in advance to make sure they’re able to get a spot.

The price for these is around €70 to €100 per week if your child is going all day, and this typically includes lunch. Be aware that these school summer camps are usually not available during the whole of the summer, so you may need to still organise childcare for the month of August or a couple of weeks in August, if you’re taking your vacation then too.

The advantage of these is that your kids will often get to be with their friends and will know the surroundings already, however it may not really feel like much of a holiday or a break from school for them, if they’re in the same environment. 

Specialised or themed summer camps

Another option, rather than going to a summer camp at a school, is a themed summer camp, based on your kids’ hobbies or the activities they love. There are many different summer camps across the country, focused on everything from sports and languages to music or even theatre.

For example, in Barcelona, the city zoo offers a summer camp, as does FC Barcelona, where kids can learn football from the pros all day.

In Valencia, the Bioparc offers a summer camp, as do a couple of the local outdoor swimming pools.

Try searching online for campamento de verano (summer camp) plus the name of the town or city where you will be, there are options across almost all of Spain.

As these are private companies, not sponsored by the state schools, they typically cost considerably more than the school summer camps.

Expect to pay anywhere upwards from €200 per week, and double this for popular summer camps. The general rule is that the better the facilities, staff and transport, the more expensive it will be. 

Temporary nanny or Au-pair

If summer camps or schools are not an option, or you’d prefer for your kids to get more attention or be around the house, hiring a summer nanny or au-pair is also a good choice.

There are many young people who want summer jobs in order to earn a bit of extra money and many career nannies who may be stuck without a job with their regular family in the summer.

This could be a good chance for your kids to learn another language, by hiring a native speaker from a different country. Many Spanish families hire native English speakers to look after their kids in the summer, so you could hire a Spanish nanny if your kids need to brush up on their language skills or even a French or Italian nanny, if you want them to learn new language skills.

According to Au-Pair agency, the salary of an Au Pair in Spain is €70 per week if you live in the countryside, and €80 per week if you live in the city, which means between €280 and €320 euros per month, if they live in and more if they live out.  In cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, expect to pay a nanny around €10 per hour.

Ask family members for help

Many Spaniards will rely on family members such as grandparents to help look after their kids during the summer holidays.

If you don’t have family members in Spain then during the summer, you may be able to entice some family members to come over and help look after your kids or your children might enjoy a holiday back in your home country, if family members are able to take them in.