Last updated on 5 February 2024

If you are expecting a child or you recently had a baby in Bulgaria, there are a few things that the law obliges you to do. In this article we will lead you step-by-step through the process.

Step 1: Registering the birth of your baby in Bulgaria

The birth of your baby will be recorded in the registry of the hospital where you gave birth. Within 5 days (without counting the day of the actual birth) the hospital has the legal obligation to send a birth announcement to the civil registry office at the municipality where your child was born. This civil registry will later prepare and issue a birth certificate for your child (see Step 2).

The birth announcement can only be done by:

  • the head of the hospital where the birth took place;
  • competent medical personnel, when the birth did not take place in a medical institution (e.g. the pediatrician of your child);
  • a civil registry official (that could be the mayor of the place where you live), when there is no competent medical personnel in the town/village where you gave birth.

Name of the child

To do the birth registration, you need to choose a name for your child.

The name of a child who is not a Bulgarian citizen, born on the territory of Bulgaria is recorded as declared by the parents.

If one of the parents is a Bulgarian citizen, then, according to the laws in Bulgaria the child would receive 3 names – first name, father’s name and a surname (that of the farther). The father’s name and the surname will end with a suffix -ov/-ev or -ova/-eva depending on the gender of the child. Unless the father’s name or the surname do not permit these endings or they conflict with the family, ethnic or religious traditions of the parents.

If the father is unknown, then the child will receive the mother’s name and surname instead.

Who will be recorded as the father of my child?

If you are married

According to the law in Bulgaria the father is the husband of the mother. Therefore, if you are married automatically your husband will be rеcorded as the father of your child.

To prove that you are married you need to present a translated marriage certificate in case the marriage took place outside of Bulgaria.

If you got divorced less than 300 days ago

In this case, if you have not remarried, automatically your ex-husband will be recorded as the father of your child. If more than 300 days have passed your ex-husband will not be recognized as the father.

To prove how many days have passed since the divorce, you might need to present an official divorce decision. This decision has to be translated, in case you got divorced outside of Bulgaria.

If you are neither married, nor divorced

In this case, the biological father can recognize the child before the civil registry officials.

The father can recognize the child:

This declaration needs to be submitted to the civil registry official. It can also be submitted through the manager of the medical facility where your child was born upon its birth.

In addition to the above-mentioned documents here are some other papers that you would need:

  • Valid identity documents of both parents such as a passport or residence permits.

If you are in a procedure for granting international protection, then you can present your asylum registration card, if you do not have any identity documents.

  • A consent form signed by the mother in which she agrees with the recognition. This will speed up the process of recognition

This consent form is included in the sample recognition application, provided above. The mother needs to sing the application too, therefore, both parents should be present in person when submitting the application. If the recognition is done with a notarized declaration, ask the notary to include such a clause. Again, both parents need to be present at the notary to put their signatures.

If the father is unknown

Then in the birth certificate the father will be recorded as unknown.

Step 2: Issuing a Birth Certificate

Within 7 days after the birth of your baby (without counting the day of the actual birth) the municipal civil registry official has the legal obligation to issue your child a birth certificate.

The birth certificate will generally look like this:

birth certificate

In order to receive this certificate both parents (unless you are a single parent) need to go to the respective civil registry in the municipality where the baby was born and apply for it.  This service is free of charge and you do not need to pay a fee.

In the town of Sofia, for babies born to foreigners the birth certificate can be obtained at the Triaditsa Municipality, 54 Alabin Street, 2nd Floor. When you get there, you need to get a number from the machine and wait for your turn. 

The respective civil registry will normally issue the birth certificate at the day of application, however, sometimes you might be requested to wait a few days. The first birth certificate that you receive will have a stamp “ORIGINAL” on it. Every other birth certificate you issue after that, will be called a “DUPLICATE” and you would need to pay a fee from 3 to 10 leva to issue a new one.

What documents do I need to issue a birth certificate?

You need:

  • An application form. This form will be given to you at the civil registration desk.
  • Valid identity documents of both parents or asylum registration cards (unless you are a single parent);
  • If applicable, a recognition application by the father or declaration with a notarized signature by a notary (See above, section “Who will be recorded as the father of my child?”)

What if a birth certificate is not issued within 7 days?

If a birth announcement was made or a civil registry official was informed about the birth, a birth certificate will be issued within the same calendar year of which the birth happened.

If the 7-day period and the calendar year have expired, a birth certificate can be issued only on the basis of a court decision upon request of the parents, the child or the prosecutor. In this case, we advise you to consult a lawyer.

Legal services

Will my child obtain Bulgarian citizenship?

Your child cannot become a Bulgarian citizen only because he/she was born in Bulgaria. What happens usually is that the child is recorded with the citizenship of the mother or the father on the basis of the identity documents that were presented.

If one of the parents is a Bulgarian citizen, then the child would also be recorded as a Bulgarian citizen.

Stateless children can also become Bulgarian citizens if:

  • they were born on the territory of Bulgaria; and
  • they cannot obtain the citizenship of either of the parents or if both parents are stateless.

If your child is at risk of being stateless, please read this article:

Stateless children born in Bulgaria

STEP 3: Registering your child at the State Agency for Refugees

If you have an ongoing procedure for international protection, you also need to register your child with the State Agency for Refugees as soon as possible.

Both parents need to go to the refugee camp where their asylum case is reviewed and submit an asylum application for the newborn baby.

If you are a single parent in Bulgaria, you can submit this application alone. Otherwise, both parents need to be present.

What to bring

  • The child’s birth certificate
  • Both parents asylum registration cards, or if you are a single parent – only yours.