Childbirth in Saudi contains all the factors that you should consider before making the decision to have a child in Saudi Arabia.
26 September 2013| Last updated on 17 July 2017
Many young couples move to Saudi Arabia in order to earn a tax free salary and save up for their future. There comes a time in every young couple’s life where the decision to have children becomes more and more pressing. The first decision that future parents have to make is whether to have their child in Saudi Arabia or to fly to their home country to give birth. If you decide to give birth in Saudi Arabia here is what you have to consider:
Make sure that your medical insurance covers childbirth: Private hospitals in the Kingdom are notoriously expensive. Childbirth in public hospitals used to be free for expatriate mothers; however that is no longer the case. Double and triple check with your insurance what hospitals are covered for childbirth as some five star hospitals like Saad hospital are not covered by standard insurance policies.
Choose your doctor: opinion is often divided when it comes to maternity doctors. The best thing to do is look at various forums, like the ExpatWoman.com forum and ask fellow expats about their experience, make your decision from that point on.
The birth: The government hospitals in Saudi Arabia do not allow men into the childbirth area at all. This is because the childbirth occurs in the ladies section of the hospital where men are not allowed. If you do not want to go through the process of giving birth alone then have a female family member accompany you for the birth. If you are giving birth in a private hospital your husband may be allowed to be in the room with you. It depends on the hospital. The facilities and equipment in Saudi hospitals are top of the range so that should not be a worry.
The birth certificate: There is quite a procedure to get the birth certificate for a newborn in Saudi Arabia. Once you have given birth the hospital will issue you with a birth notification. This is NOT a birth certificate. It just notifies the relevant authorities of the birth. The notification will contain the following information-
- The personal information of the parents including their nationalities, passport and iqama numbers.
- Footprints of the newborn child
- The first name of the newborn child
This document has to be taken to the department of Civil Affairs. This department will issue the official birth certificate. Ask the hospital staff where the nearest Department of Civil Affairs in your city is. Make an appointment with them online.
Click here>> to make an appointment with the Department. You will be taken to a screen to provide your ID and date of birth. Next, it will give you option to select the sector, district, city, office and service for your appointment. Even though there is an option for English language, the contents of drop-down lists will still be in Arabic. You can also choose your preferred time slot. It will give you a grid for all reservation windows in a week. You can choose one that suits you and proceed. Take a print of the reservation confirmation.
Non-Saudis requirements for obtaining Birth Certificate:
1. Original Birth Report by the relevant hospital.
2. Parents' original passports and a copy of each.
3. Parents' original Residence Permits and a copy of each.
4. All documents provided must be valid.
5. The specified # (87)-application form duly filled.
A provisional Birth Certificate valid for one year will be issued for the newborn. The original Birth Certificate is issued after a year having required medical vaccinations are completed.
Take all the required documents to the appointment. You will be issued a provisional birth certificate for your child. You can now use this birth certificate to apply for your child Iqama and passport.
The Department of Civil Affairs issues the birth certificate free of charge, however if you do not pick up the birth certificate for more than a year you will have to pay a fine.