When you have a child, there are some formalities to deal with. You can sort out some things before the birth and others can wait. A checklist.
Before the birth
- Arrange childcare
Make a start on this as early as possible in the pregnancy. In cities in particular, childcare places are hard to find. Find out if your municipality has a registration system for municipal childcare initiatives.
- Inform your employer of your pregnancy
It's best to do so verbally first and then send in the declaration which your gynaecologist will give you.
- Apply for maternity allowance (lump sum on birth)
As a parent, you receive a lump sum on the birth of a child, known as maternity allowance. You can apply to the child benefit fund from the sixth month of pregnancy.
- Open a kids account
Put the account number on the birth announcement card in case anyone wants to give you a gift. Open an account now. You can put your savings account in your child's name after the birth.
- Recognise the child
If you aren't married, the father can recognise the child before birth at the municipal office. The mother has to give her consent to this.
- Find out about assistance for new mothers
If you would like a bit of extra help in the weeks after the birth, you can call upon assistance for new mothers. Various organisations provide assistance for new mothers. The health insurance fund reimburses some of the cost.
- Apply for maternity leave
Your doctor will fill in a declaration of incapacity for work. You give this form to your mutual insurance fund.
- Contact your mutual insurance fund
They'll often give you an extra lump sum following the birth and a gift.
After the birth
- Register the birth
After the birth, your doctor or midwife will give you a form with which to register your child at the registry office for the place of birth within 15 days. You'll be given several copies of the birth certificate, for applying for child benefit and a lump sum following the birth, etc.
- Choose a surname
Since 1 June 2014, you can give your child a double-barrelled name. The name of the father or co-mother, the name of the mother or a combination of both names. You indicate your choice when you register the birth.
- Notify your mutual insurance fund of the birth
Notify the mutual insurance fund after the birth and give them a copy of the birth certificate.
- If applicable, ask about a breastfeeding bonus from the mutual insurance fund.
- Notify the nursery
Notify the nursery of the birth and arrange to take a look around.
- Take out endowment insurance
Many parents love to give their child a good start as a young adult. With endowment insurance, you build up a lump sum for your child at your own pace. Ask your KBC Brussels branch for more information about the various types.
- Find out about insurance If you have supplementary health insurance, you can add your child to the policy. Ask your insurance company about this. It might be a good idea to add your child to other policies – for instance family insurance.
- Apply for child benefit
You need a copy of the birth certificate to apply for child benefit. If you're an employee, your employer will handle it for you.
- Apply for paternity leave for your partner
Your partner is entitled to 10 days' paternity leave during the four months following the birth. They apply through their employer.