As everything in Japan there is an actual procedure for EVERYTHING and having a child is no exception. This week I went to renew my work visa, which I have to do every year since I came to Japan with a dependent visa (I call it the luggage visa, basically you have the right to eat and breath and that's all) and the nice lady that went with me said "Iddya -san you are pregnant, I will send you the procedure to follow via e-mail". True to her word she sent me the procedure and I found it A) hilarious that an actual procedure exists but not surprised at all since everything here has to be by the book, there is no cutting corners of any kind in any activity and B) overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to do!!! So I decided to share this interesting baby procedure, maybe some one will need it in the future or you can just see how different countries handle foreigner's births which reads as follows:
Procedures Related to Baby Birth
A. [After becoming pregnant]
1. Obtain a "Mother and Child Health Hand Book" at the Public Health Center
*The expectant mother should obtain a ""Mother and Child Health Handbook"" at a public health center by filling out a Notification of Pregnancy Form. The purpose of the handbook is to record the progress of the pregnancy, the medical condition of the baby after birth, and the vaccination information. An English version of this handbook is available.
B. [After having a baby]
1. "Within 14 days after birth" Birth Registration at the Ward Office
* You will need: Birth Certificate (Issued by the hospital) and Mother and Child Health Handbook.
2. "Within 60 days after birth" Alien Registration at the Ward Office
Fill out an application. This is available at the ward office.
* You should obtain: Baby's Alien Registration Certificate, Official copies of the Birth Certificate (You need 2 copies) @ 350 yen, Certified copy of Alien Registration (family information) @300 yen
3. "Within 30 days after birth" Status of Residence Certificate at the Immigration Office
*Fill out an application and questionnaire (for parents). These are available at the immigration office.
* You will need: An official copy of the Birth Certificate, Certified copy of Alien Registration (family information), Passports of the parents (and the baby if obtained) and the Mother and Child Health Handbook
C. [After finishing the Birth Registration]
*Obtain a passport for the new baby at the Consulate or Embassy
* You will need: An official copy of the Birth Certificate
D. [After obtaining a passport for the new baby]
1. Transfer of Endorsement - This procedure will transfer the baby's status of residence into the baby's passport at the Immigration Office
*Fill out a petition. This is available at the immigration office.
* You will need: Baby's passport, Baby's Alien Registration Certificate,
2. Re-entry Permit (multiple) at the Immigration Office
*Fill out an application form and Embarkation card. These are available at the immigration office.
* You will need: Baby's passport, Baby's Alien Registration Certificate. A revenue stamp @6000 yen.
3. Update the baby's Alien Registration Certificate at the Ward Office (with new status of residence, passport number, etc.)
* You will need: Baby's passport Baby's Alien Registration Certificate"
After all this stuff you can finally call your child "legal" in Japan. What a pain!!! Notice that all this stuff has to be done within 2 months of the baby's birth!!! I did not have a passport until I was like 15 years old!!!! I didn't actually use my passport until I was in college and actually got a cute stamp on it. My child will have a passport almost simultaneously as being able to distinguish colors and he's going to have a stamp (or various I don't know) before he is 1 year old. This is crazy, how times have changed. What ever happened to simply getting a birth certificate and a social security number? As always, nothing is simple in Japan.