You must register the birth of your child within three days at the civil register office at the place of birth.
The hospital, maternity clinic or medical staff attending a home birth will usually register the birth for you. You can do it yourself, or sign a power of attorney allowing someone else to do so on your behalf.
You will generally have to present the following documents when you go to the register office:
Proof of parental address
Parent's identity document
Child's birth certificate, supplied by the hospital or a doctor.
Children bear the maiden name or original surname of one of their parents. All of the children that a couple have together have the same family surname.
You can contact any civil register office in Switzerland if you have any questions about the choice of your child's surname.
You may request a birth certificate from the civil register office at your place of birth.
Birth certificates cost CHF 30 plus postage.
You must register the birth of a child abroad with the Swiss authorities if you are:
A Swiss citizen living abroad
A foreign citizen living abroad who has close ties with Switzerland.
The parents are responsible for registering the child, unless the country where the child was born registers them directly. This is the case in Germany, Austria and Italy, for example.
Swiss nationals living abroad may register a birth with the Swiss embassy or consulate. Please contact this representation to find out what documents are needed to register the birth in your particular case (identity document, possibly a certificate acknowledging paternity, etc.).
Birth abroad and Swiss nationality
A child born abroad of a Swiss parent loses their Swiss nationality at the age of 22 if their birth was not registered with the Swiss authorities, and they have another nationality.
To avoid this situation, you should notify the Swiss embassy or consulate in the country where you live, or with the civil register office of your place of origin as soon as possible after the birth of your child.
For further information on registering a birth, you can contact any civil register office in Switzerland or consult the FAQs and information sheets published (in German, French and Italian) by the Federal Civil Status Office.
Please contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in the country where you live for more information about registering a birth abroad.