Congratulations on your newborn baby!
According to the Italian law, it’s mandatory to declare the birth of a child to guarantee the identity and legal status of the newborn.
You can use this article to learn more on:
- How to register your kid and get the birth certificate
- What permesso your kid will have
- How to get Codice Fiscale and Tessera Sanitaria
- How to access healthcare
How can I register the birth of my child?
If your child was born in Italy, you must declare the birth to register your child in the Civil Registry of the Registry Office (‘Ufficio di Stato Civile’ in Italian) of the municipality. The Civil Registry records the vital events of citizens and residents, such as births, marriages, civil unions, deaths, and citizenship. If you need a certificate of your child’s birth to be used for administrative purposes, you can request the birth certificate from the municipality.
Dichiarazione di nascita
You must inform Italian authorities of the birth (‘dichiarazione o denuncia di nascita’ in Italian) in one of the following ways:
To the hospital management (‘direzione sanitaria’ in Italian) - within 3 days from the birth. In this case, the hospital is in charge of sending the declaration of birth to the Registry Office of the municipality where the birth took place, or to the municipality of the mother if you request it.
To the Registry Office of the municipality ('Comune' in Italian) where the mother has her residenza or where the child was born - within 10 days from the birth.
In both cases, you must bring with you the declaration of birth made by the hospital and a valid identity document (such as a passport or carta d’identità) of both parents or the parent who recognizes the baby.
If neither you or the other parent of your child has a valid permit of stay, the staff of the Registry Office or the hospital cannot ask you for a permit of stay, and cannot report you to the police if you are irregular in the country anyways.
Should I or my partner register the newborn?
Registering the birth of your baby also allows you and your partner to recognize the newborn.
If you and your spouse are married with a valid marriage, either the mother or the father can make the birth registration. You will be both considered the parents of the baby.
If you are not married, you must register the birth in order to attribute maternity and paternity. Basically, if you both want to recognize the child, you both must register the birth. Otherwise, If you alone recognize your child, you must be the one to register the birth.
In case one parent only recognizes the child at birth, the other will always be able to recognize the child with a special declaration after the birth in front of the officer of civil status, the Guardanship Judge ('Giudice Tutelare' in Italian) or a notary.
Birth certificates in Italy
For some administrative procedures (e.g. to register your baby’s birth at your Embassy), you may need to get the birth certificate released by the Comune.
In Italy there are different certificates that prove a person’s birth (copia integrale dell’atto di nascita, estratto di nascita, and certificato di nascita), depending on the details you need. You can request the certificate in person or online (if the Comune has the online service available), it is free of charge and lasts 6 months.
The most complete certificate is the ‘copia integrale dell’atto di nascita’, that is a copy of the birth act transcripted in the Civil Registry. However, it is common to request a summary of this certificate, which is called ‘estratto di nascita’. The ‘certificato di nascita’ indicates only the name, surname, place and date of birth, and birth act number.
What permit will my child have?
The permesso that your child will have varies depending on the type of permesso you or your partner hold and its status (valid or expired).
If you or your partner hold a valid permit of stay
If both or either one of the parents hold a valid permit of stay in Italy, the baby will obtain a permit of stay for family reasons (Permesso per Motivi Familiari). This permit will have the same validity of your permit and it will be renewable until your child turns 18 years old.
The permit of your kid will be linked to the permesso of the parent with whom he or she lives. If your child lives with both parents, the permesso of your child will be linked to the most favourable one in terms of rights and duration. For instance, if you have a 5-year refugee status and your partner has a 2-year protezione speciale, your baby will get a 5-years family permit!
Remember to renew the permesso of your child when renewing the permesso to which it is linked.
If you or the other parent hold the EU long-term permit (ex Carta di Soggiorno), your child can get the EU long-term permit after 5 years of residence in Italy.
If you do not hold a valid permit of stay
If you are pregnant or you have recently given birth, and you and the other parent of the baby do not have a valid permit of stay, you cannot be expelled and you can apply for a Permesso per Cure Mediche. This permit is only valid until 6 months after you give birth.
Afterwards, you may apply for a Permesso per Assistenza Minore, and provide your child with a family permit (Permesso per Motivi Familiari) once you obtain it. This permit will have the same validity as your permit and you should renew it when you renew your permit.
Unfortunately, if you do not meet the requirements for a permit and you receive an expulsion order from Italy, you and your child must leave the country.
Learn more: Permesso per Assistenza Minori
Once you register your child, the municipality will issue a codice fiscale. Codice fiscale is very important in order to register your baby with the public health system and get access to public and private services.
Generally, the plastic card will be sent automatically to your home address. However, some Comuni may request you to go to the Agenzia delle Entrate with your child’s birth certificate and fill out a form for the sending. The codice fiscale should arrive at your home within approximately one month.
Learn more about: Codice fiscale
Healthcare for newborns and children in Italy
Foreign newborns and children have full access to the medical care they need, to a pediatrician and vaccinations, even if their parents do not have a valid permesso to live regularly in Italy.
Remember: the staff of the public healthcare system cannot report you to the police if you are irregular in the country.
Get more info on: Your rights as a mother in Italy
After getting the codice fiscale, your child automatically receives the health card (‘tessera sanitaria’ in Italian) at the home address, without you having to make a specific request or contact any health service. This first tessera sanitaria will be valid for one year.
Within one year of receiving the tessera sanitaria, parents must also register their child with the public healthcare system. Afterwards, a new health card is sent with a validity of six years.
Learn more about: Tessera sanitaria
Registration with the public healthcare system
All children must register with the Italian public healthcare system, or 'Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN)' in Italian. This procedure is free of charge. If you want to register your child with the SSN you should go to the local health care office, called the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL). Most towns and cities in Italy have one of these offices.
Generally, the documents to register a newborn with the healthcare system are:
- A document with the personal details of your baby (e.g. birth certificate)
- Codice Fiscale of the child
However, the ASL may ask you for different documents. We suggest you check with your ASL first. To find the nearest ASL in your area, you should type on Google: ASL + [your municipality of residence].
Please note that you can request the exception to pay health costs ('esenzione ticket' in Italian) for your newborn until the age of 6 years.
To learn more about: The right to access the public health system
Registering with the public healthcare system gives your baby the right to have a pediatrician (‘pediatra’ in Italian), which is a doctor specialized in children’s health.
The pediatrician is your point of contact with the Italian health care system. If your child is sick, needs medication or to receive medical attention on a non-emergency basis, you need to seek the help of the pediatrician. The pediatrician will also guide you on how and when to get your child vaccinated.
You can choose or change your child’s pediatrician for free among those that are available at your local ASL. Since each ASL has its own and distinct procedure, we suggest that you look at your ASL’s website to learn how to do it. To find the nearest ASL in your area, you should type on Google: ASL + [your municipality of residence].
All children in Italy have the right to be vaccinated. Many vaccinations are free, while for others you may need to pay a 'ticket'. Some vaccinations are compulsory, others are only recommended. Your baby’s pediatrician will guide you on how and when to get your child vaccinated.
You can learn more (in Italian) about available and compulsory vaccinations here.
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