Children born abroad

Is the child an Icelandic citizen?

Icelandic citizens residing abroad can have their children registered in the National Registry. If there is doubt as to whether a parent is an Icelandic citizen, documents to confirm the citizenship of the parent are requested. 

Registration in the National Registry.

If a child’s parents are Icelandic citizens, Form A-170 (Application form to register a child born abroad to the National Registry) must be filled out and submitted. Note! If an Icelandic, unmarried man has a child abroad before 1st of July 2018 with a foreign citizen, then the application process is within the Directorate of Immigration. In those instances, the Directorate of Immigration sends a request for registration in the National Registry once the child’s citizenship has been established. All attached documents specified in A-170 must accompany the request and fulfil the requirements for foreign documents. Birth certificates must be issued by the registration authority in the relevant country. The certification must contain information on the child’s date of birth, names of parents and the name of the child. A certificate from a hospital is not satisfactory.  In some instances, a birth certificate is not sufficient, in which case Registers Iceland reserves the right to request further documentation on the child, e.g. on its mother’s hospital stay, birth report, pre-natal medical examinations and other data considered satisfactory by Registers Iceland. This applies in particular to children born in the United States, India and the Ukraine, but it can also apply in other instances.

Information on the child’s parents is recorded.

The child’s mother is registered according to the information on the birth certificate. If the name of the father is not stated on the birth certificate, the paternity of the child will not be recorded in the National Registry unless further data is received. In the event of a child born to two mothers who are married, documents showing which one of them gave birth are required.

Information on the child’s custodians is recorded.

Joint custody for the mother and her spouse is registered upon the child’s birth if she is married to the declared father. Otherwise, custody is not determined unless the child moves to Iceland and documents are submitted regarding custody of the child; see registration of child custody.

Naming of children born abroad.

The name of the child is recorded in the National Registry as it is written on the birth certificate.  If a child has not been named at the time of the registration, the birth certificate or other documents from the relevant foreign authority that confirm the registration of the child’s name must be sent again. If the child’s legal domicile is in Iceland, his/her name must comply with the provisions of Act No. 45/1996 on Personal Names. For further details, see: Names

A child adopted from abroad

The adoptive parents report the child to Registers Iceland when they have arrived in Iceland. Form A-170 (Application form to register a child born abroad to the National Registry) must be filled out. The date of the move to Iceland must be noted and the supplementary documents requested on the form submitted. Upon registration in the National Registry, the child is registered at the legal domicile of his/her adoptive parents and linked to their family registration code number. The name and citizenship of the child is registered in accordance with the birth certificate and passport. When a district commissioner has confirmed the adoption, the child’s citizenship is changed, along with the name if a change of name has been requested. The adoptive parents will also be listed as the child’s custodians. 

Law and regulations - Personal names