It is a legal requirement to register your baby. Before going home from the hospital you should collect a notification of birth from the hospital. This will state when and where your baby was born so that you can register your baby through your military unit. It’s very important you have this before you leave the hospital. If you need any assistance with this, please contact the Patient Support Officer on 0800 588 9936 (in Germany) / 0049 521 305 3960 (Outside Germany or from a UK mobile).
To register the birth you will need to complete an ORS1 form available from the GSU Welfare office. You will need to provide the following documents.
- Both parents' long birth certificates
- The birth notification issued by the hospital
- Marriage certificate, or ORS1A form if you are not married
Applying for a Passport
Parents are advised to apply for their baby’s passport as soon as possible after receiving the baby’s full birth certificate. Passport applications forms are available from your Unit Welfare or Admin Office. Once completed, Unit Admin Offices will process British passport applications, along with payment, to UK Authorities on the parent’s behalf; in due course, the baby’s passport will be returned to the parents. Passports are provided free to MOD-sponsored personnel living overseas so parents are advised to check with their Welfare Office.
As part of the passport application process, parents must obtain 2 passport photographs of the baby, one of which must be countersigned by a Commissioned officer or equivalent. Advice on reclaiming the cost of these can be obtained from your Unit Admin Office. Please bear in mind that passports are now Biometric and photographs have to be exact measurements.
Depending on the time of year, obtaining a British passport normally takes around 4–6 weeks, but during busy holiday times, such as Easter, summer and Christmas, this may be even longer.
Employed women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy are advised to obtain their employer’s maternity policy to ensure that they know their rights and can obtain the benefits and pay they are entitled to. Notifying employers of your pregnancy is important because measures designed to protect a pregnant woman and her unborn child only apply when notification of pregnancy has been given. For Service personnel, please see the current Defence Instructions & Notices: Revised Maternity Arrangements for Service personnel in the Regular Armed Forces for information on MOD Maternity Policy and the Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme, available on the Defence Intranet.
If you are a father-to-be, you may have the right to paid paternity leave providing you meet certain conditions. Paternity leave is extra to normal holiday allowance. It is not the same as parental leave, which is unpaid leave that working parents can take to look after children under the age of 5. Employers have their own paternity and parental leave arrangements, so fathers-to-be are advised to obtain their employer’s policy to confirm their entitlement. For civilian staff, this may be via their line manager, whilst military staff may source advice from their Regimental Admin Office.
EHIC “European Health Insurance Card”
This card covers the bearer for urgent and unforeseen treatment only in an EEA country outside the country of residence. In an emergency, the EHIC provides only the minimum level of local state treatment so it is strongly advised that parents obtain the EHIC and personal travel insurance for all family members before travelling across European countries. The EHIC is available on-line at http://www.ehic.org.uk or by calling the Application Line on 0044 300 330 1350. This is an answer-phone but you can let it continue to ring for personal assistance. Remember the EHIC is not valid in your country of residence (i.e. Germany, Belgium or Holland); however, it is if you cross European borders.
NHS Number for Babies Born to Service Personnel Based Overseas
The NHS Numbers for Babies project was introduced in October 2002 and now the allocation of NHS numbers for babies soon after birth is part of the UK statutory Birth Notification process.
The Ministry Of Defence has put in place arrangements to make sure an NHS number is issued for each baby born to service personnel, MOD sponsored civilians, entitled contractors and their dependents overseas. This includes those babies born to Foreign and Commonwealth families.
The baby’s NHS number is obtained after you have registered the baby at the UK Medical Centre SHAPE, Medical Administration Unit in Brunssum or Medical Centre in Sennelager, depending on where you are located and a medical record is created.
Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit Overseas
UK Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are subject to income. When claimed by Foreign & Commonwealth families, it must be claimed by the Head of Household. For more information please see your Unit Welfare Office.
UK Child Benefit forms are available from the Unit Admin Office. When claimed by Foreign & Commonwealth families, it must be claimed by Head of Household. Claims need to be processed as soon as possible as Child Benefit can only be backdated by three months. The original of the baby’s birth certificate is required.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
This is a one-off payment of £500 (2016 figure) for families on low income to help with the extra cost of having a baby. Whilst serving overseas, you may be eligible if you are expecting a baby within 11 weeks, or had a baby in the past 3 months, or adopted a baby, have residence or parental order for a baby who is under 12 months and are in receipt of Income Support, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. For more information, please see your UWO or https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant.
Service Families Accommodation
Once confirmed pregnant, unmarried Servicewomen may apply for a Married Quarter (MQ), and families already living in MQ may be able to claim larger premises due to an increase in family size. If this applies to you, you may ask the Community Midwife for Form Mat B1 in support of your application. Kindly note, Mat B1 forms cannot be issued earlier than the beginning of the 20th week before the expected date of delivery. If living in MQ and posted during maternity leave, please note you may be entitled to claim Disturbance Allowance, Packers and Removals. Please raise this matter with your Unit Admin Office.