Getting a birth certificate in Kenya can be confusing and time consuming. We had Claire in the UK, and we had her birth certificate in hand before we were discharged from the hospital! It was not that easy with Heidi – the registration of birth in Kenya is a complicated, bureaucratic process. Here’s how it worked for us…
If you give birth in a hospital, the standard procedure is for the hospital to notify the Kenyan government of your baby’s birth by sending a hospital birth notice to the registrar of your area City Hall. The hospital should provide you with a stub from the birth notification form before you’re discharged. DO NOT LOSE THIS STUB!
Once City Hall has processed the notification of birth, they will send your baby’s birth records to the Birth Registry, which is located in Bishop’s House in Upper Hill, opposite the NSSF building on Bishop’s Road. This will generally take 4 weeks or more. So about one month after your baby is born, you can go to Bishop’s House, present the birth notification stub you received at the hospital, and hopefully you will be presented with your baby’s birth certificate.
Before you leave Bishop’s House you should THOROUGHLY check the birth certificate for accuracy. Misspellings and typos are common, and correcting them after you’ve left the office is complicated. If you find any errors or misspellings, notify the agent immediately so they can re-issue the birth certificate.
We didn’t want to wait a full month for the birth certificate, so we decided that Jesse would bring the birth notice to City Hall himself. (Incidentally, this is the same procedure you would follow if you had a home birth.) Following this process, Jesse was able to get the birth certificate in ONE DAY. Of course, it required quite a lot of waiting, some cajoling and little sweet-talking (no bribes!), but he got it done.
We informed the hospital that we wanted to bring the notice ourselves prior to discharge, since it required a letter and some additional signatures. Jesse took the birth notice to the third floor at City Hall, downtown on Mama Ngina Street. He was given the birth records to bring to the Birth Registry at Bishop’s House. He presented the documents, waited (and waited and waited) for someone to type up the birth certificate, checked the details for errors, and was on his way. I won’t say it was easy, but thankfully it was a lot quicker than waiting a full month! If you aren’t in a rush, you can just let the hospital transfer the documents for you, to save yourself some hassle.
Getting your baby’s birth certificate in Kenya can be a complicated, time consuming bureaucratic process. Knowing how it should work before you get started can make it go a bit smoother. Hope this helps!
PPS – Just adding a note for readers who find this page via Google search. I am not an immigration offical, and unfortunately I cannot help you trace birth notices, locate birth certificate numbers for deceased family members, or in any other way assist with queries regarding birth certificate processing. This is simply a blog post about my own experience getting a birth certificate for our daughter. I hope it helps! 🙂