Registration of children

Registration of children

    • A notification of birth is sent to Registers Iceland from a healthcare institution or midwife.
    • The child is registered in the National Registry if he/she is an Icelandic citizen. In instances where the parents are foreign nationals, the child is registered in the National Registry if its mother is listed there. If not, the child is allocated a system ID No. but is not registered in the National Registry.
    • Information on the child’s parents is recorded. The child’s mother is registered according to the information in the birth notification. If the mother is married to, or in registered cohabitation with, the child’s declared father, her spouse is listed as the child’s father. The child is then automatically identified with its father when registered in the National Registry. Other rules apply if the child has two mothers who are married or in registered cohabitation; see Custody and registration of parents. If the mother is unwed or not in registered cohabitation when the child is born, the child’s paternity is considered to be unestablished. A mother is under obligation to make the paternity of her child known, see Custody and registration of parents.
    • Information on the child’s custodians is recorded. Joint custody for the mother and her spouse is registered upon the child’s birth if she is married to or in registered cohabitation with the declared father. The mother retains sole custody of the child if she is neither married to nor in registered cohabitation with the declared father when the child is born. Custody does not change automatically even if paternity is established later, see Custody and registration of parents.
    • Naming of a child. A child must be named before it reaches the age of 6 months, see Custody and registration of parents.
  • Is the child an Icelandic citizen?

    Icelandic citizens residing abroad can have their children registered in the National Registry. If there is doubt as to whether a parent is an Icelandic citizen, documents to confirm the citizenship of the parent are requested. If a married man who is an Icelandic citizen has a child abroad with a foreign national, an application for the child’s registration is directed to Registers Iceland. If an unmarried man who is an Icelandic citizen has a child abroad with a foreign national, an application for the child’s registration has to be directed to the Directorate of Immigration.

    Registration in the National Registry.

    If the mother is an Icelandic citizen, Form A-170 (Application form to register a child born abroad to the National Registry) must be filled out. The same applies if the father is an Icelandic citizen and married to the mother of his child. In other instances, the Directorate of Immigration sends a request for registration in the National Registry once the child’s citizenship has been established. All attached documents specified in A-170 must accompany the request and fulfil the requirements for foreign documents. Birth certificates must be issued by the registration authority in the relevant country. The certification must contain information on the child’s date of birth, names of parents and the name of the child. A certificate from a hospital is not satisfactory.  In some instances, a birth certificate is not sufficient, in which case Registers Iceland reserves the right to request further documentation on the child, e.g. on its mother’s hospital stay, birth report, pre-natal medical examinations and other data considered satisfactory by Registers Iceland. This applies in particular to children born in the United States, India and the Ukraine, but it can also apply in other instances.

    Information on the child’s parents is recorded.

    The child’s mother is registered according to the information on the birth certificate. If the name of the father is not stated on the birth certificate, the paternity of the child will not be recorded in the National Registry unless further data is received. In the event of a child born to two mothers who are married, documents showing which one of them gave birth are required.

    Information on the child’s custodians is recorded.

    Joint custody for the mother and her spouse is registered upon the child’s birth if she is married to the declared father. Otherwise, custody is not determined unless the child moves to Iceland and documents are submitted regarding custody of the child; see registration of child custody.

    Naming of children born abroad.

    The name of the child is recorded in the National Registry as it is written on the birth certificate.  If a child has not been named at the time of the registration, the birth certificate or other documents from the relevant foreign authority that confirm the registration of the child’s name must be sent again. If the child’s legal domicile is in Iceland, his/her name must comply with the provisions of Act No. 45/1996 on Personal Names. For further details, see: Names

    A child adopted from abroad

    The adoptive parents report the child to Registers Iceland when they have arrived in Iceland. Form A-170 (Application form to register a child born abroad to the National Registry) must be filled out. The date of the move to Iceland must be noted and the supplementary documents requested on the form submitted. Upon registration in the National Registry, the child is registered at the legal domicile of his/her adoptive parents and linked to their family registration code number. The name and citizenship of the child is registered in accordance with the birth certificate and passport. When a district commissioner has confirmed the adoption, the child’s citizenship is changed, along with the name if a change of name has been requested. The adoptive parents will also be listed as the child’s custodians. 

    Law and regulations - Personal names

Note

01

If a child is born in Iceland  a notification of birth is sent to Registers Iceland from a healthcare institution or midwife.

02

If a child is born outside of Iceland  the parents need to send a notification to Registers Iceland themselves