A child with at least one parent who is a French national has automatic French nationality (whether born in France or abroad).
A child born in France, where neither parent is French may request French nationality at the age of 18 – if they are resident in France.
A child who has lived in France for at least five years from the age 11 onwards may request French nationality at the age of 18.
In France it is a legal obligation to register all births within three days of occurrence (not including weekends). The Déclaration de Naissance, (registration of birth) is made at the local Town Hall (Mairie) and registration is free.
Foreigners living in France may also wish to register the birth the Embassy of their country in France as proof of citizenship.
Notification to the Town Hall will require you to provide a signed birth certificate (extrait d’act de naissance) and proof of residence (utility bill is fine).
Paperwork for registering a birth in France
We recommend that you visit your local Town Hall for support with the paperwork and the requirements but these are the basics:
On the birth of a baby the doctor or midwife will sign the birth certificate.
Parents who have married in France or have been issued with a French family record book (Livret de Famille), should return to the town hall within three days of the birth with the birth certificate so that the child’s name can be entered – proof of residence such as a utility bill is also required.
If this is the first child born to the family a livret de famille is created (a family book).
There are different requirements for paperwork according to whether the parents of the baby are married, unmarried or in a civil partnership (Pacte Civil de Solidarité, PACS). Contact the Town Hall for guidance and advice, and the Embassy or consulate of your home country may also be able to assist if appropriate.