If your child is born in Victoria, it's a legal requirement to register the birth within 60 days by sending us a Birth Registration Statement. There's no fee to do this.
- Helps parents to exercise their rights and responsibilities in relation to the child
- Enables the child to access their record once they’re 18.
When you register the birth, you don't automatically get a birth certificate. You can order a certificate at the time of registration or order one separately later.
1. Complete the birth registration statement
The hospital, medical facility or midwife will give you a birth registration statement when your child is born.
Both parents need to sign the form. If both parents can't sign the form, we need a statutory declaration explaining why. Refer to Registration by just one parent, below.
If you and the other parent can’t agree on the baby’s name, see Naming your child.
If you've had a donor treatment, see Donor-conceived births.
To order a birth certificate, complete Part 2 of the birth registration statement.
Request a replacement form
If you've lost your birth registration statement, contact us for a replacement form.
2. Sign the birth registration statement in front of a witness
The witness must sign the birth registration statement at the same time as the parents sign it.
3. Submit the birth registration statement
To the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM).
By mail: GPO Box 4332, Melbourne VIC 3001
In person: Ground Floor, 595 Collins Street, Melbourne, or at a Justice Service Centre .
If you ordered a birth certificate, include payment.
Births outside Victoria
In another state or territory of Australia
Register the birth in that state or territory. List of other registries .
On the way to Victoria
A child born during a flight to a Victorian airport, or onboard a ship on its way to a Victorian port, can be registered in Victoria. Otherwise the birth must be registered in the state, territory or country of birth.
If your child is born overseas but will be returning to Victoria, and you normally live in Victoria, their birth can be registered here, as long as both parents provide supporting documents. Otherwise the birth must be registered in the country of birth.
For more information about registering births outside Victoria, contact us.
Registration by just one parent
The law requires both parents to register a child's birth. This includes the name and other details of both biological parents.
However, there are circumstances where just one parent can register the birth.
This may include where:
- The father is unknown
- The other parent is unable to sign (e.g. has died)
- The other parent refuses to sign.
What you should do
If you can’t get the signature of the other parent, submit the birth registration statement together with:
- A statutory declaration explaining why the other parent is not participating
- Evidence of the circumstances of the birth, if the father’s details are not to be added.
If the other parent refuses to sign, submit the birth registration statement and BDM will contact them.
Registration by same-sex parents
The law requires both parents to register the child's birth.
BDM records parentage as 'mother' and 'father/parent'. On the child’s birth certificate the birth mother can be listed as 'mother' or 'parent' . A female partner will be listed as 'parent'. If you want the child's birth certificate to list 'parent' and 'parent' please tell us in writing when submitting the birth registration statement.
On all birth certificates it is BDM's standard practice to list the birth mother/parent first and the non-birth parent second. If a same-sex couple want a non-standard order of parentage (the non-birth parent listed first) please tell us in writing when submitting the birth registration statement.
What you should do
Both complete the birth registration statement. You will need to provide details of:
- The donor treatment
- The donor, if the treatment was not in a Victorian Clinic.
Refer to Donor-conceived births.
Donor details are not shown on the birth certificate.
For two fathers to register a birth, refer to Surrogacy.
Protecting your safety
If you can’t let the other parent know your address due to fears for your safety, submit the birth registration statement together with a statutory declaration explaining why the other parent is not participating.
BDM will need to contact the other parent. If you provide evidence of threat or violence, BDM will not pass on your contact details to the other parent without your written consent. You should attach this evidence to the birth registration statement.
If you need legal advice, contact: