Having a baby
The Czech Republic takes consistent care of pregnant women and pregnancy requires regular compulsory check-ups with a gynecologist and several compulsory tests. As a foreigner you probably have compulsory health insurance which covers these steps, but it is worth checking with your insurance house.
It is very important if you are planning a baby to have not only health insurance, but also sickness insurance and to make sure with your insurance company that your childbirth care and the first three months of your child’s life will be covered by your health insurance, see also the specific paragraph further on.
Healthwise, there are highly recommended courses for pregnant women (and fathers) to prepare physically and mentally for childbirth. A visit to the hospital with a guided tour of the maternity ward and delivery room is now widely used by a great majority of pregnant women. The father, or any other close person accompanying the woman during the labour, also has a chance to prepare for their role.
Ostrava Expat Centre can arrange a visit to the Maternity Ward in English and courses for pregnant women in English. Contact your health insurance company or ask us for support if in doubt.
Children and the social conditions in which they are brought up are very much observed and protected by the Government in the Czech Republic. There are a few steps to be completed before the child is born to make sure that the newborn gets the best possible care and attention.
- Register at a pediatrician. Please find a pediatrician and register your child there even before the child is born. It is not only a duty, it is actually comfortable because the pediatrician might come for a visit to your place within the sixth week to support you. Check with your health insurance company which pediatrician close to your home can accept your future child.
- Recognition of paternity. This step has to be done ONLY if the mother is not married or is divorced. If the father wants to recognise the paternity it is wise to have it registered at the Registry Office (matriční úřad). It is also there where the parents register their agreement about the future surname of the child. For the married couples this step is not done.
- Application for Maternity benefits. The application is filled in by your gynecologist based on your request. The application is then handed in to the Employer. The Employer then fills in all the attachments and sends the whole application to the Czech Social Authority (ČSSZ). If the Mother is self-employed the gynecologist fills in the form and the Mother than hands it in at the Czech Social Authority (ČSSZ) herself.
- Application for the Parental allowance. Mothers who do not qualify for Maternity benefits (see the explanation of the conditions further on) applies directly for the Parental allowance.
- Application for the one-off Childbirth benefit. This benefit is not paid automatically and is reserved for parents with low incomes. You can find out if you qualify at the Employment Office (Úřad práce).
There are two things that may come in handy when you are getting ready for childbirth.
- A non-compulsory but highly recommended Birth Plan is a form with quite a number of choices as to what and how exactly things will be arranged during and after the childbirth in the Maternity Ward. It is a checklist with a specific form for each hospital, but generally is similar. The pregnant women is recommended to make and discuss the Birth Plan before childbirth with the Maternity Ward or to submit it in their form. It is also wise to let the Maternity Ward know if you do not speak Czech so that there could be an interpreter for you or English speaking staff.
- Contract about storage of the umbilical cord blood for possible later use. The health value of the umbilical cord blood has been proven and so many mothers choose for the blood to be stored. This step is commercially based and the prices vary based on how long the umbilical blood or tissue will be stored.
A child born to permanent resident parents, asylum seekers, applicants for international protection, EU citizens working or doing business in the Czech Republic is a member of the public health insurance from birth. The parent can register the child with his health insurance company immediately after birth. However, this registration will be temporary. The following documents are required for the child’s registration: the parent’s personal document, the parent’s insurance card and the child’s birth certificate.
Within 60 days of the child’s birth, a child’s residence permit must be applied for. After processing the application for a residence permit, the parent must bring the decision to the insurance company and only then will the insurance company make a permanent registration for the newborn child. A child who was born to long-term residence parents and will have long-term residence must have comprehensive health insurance. This can be arranged only after the birth of the child. Until then the child is uninsured and the parent or parents must pay for the care.
The story explains more specifics of pregnancy, childbirth and parental issues for foreigners (and it is long and in Czech). However, when knowing your particular case we can explain what applies to you and support you. the best choice is to make sure what applies exactly to you even before you actually get pregnant or as soon as possible.
The maternity hospital will announce the birth of the child to the local Registry office. In the case of a home birth, the parents must report the birth of the child to the registry. The registry office will issue the child with a Czech birth certificate within approximately one week (this is only a proof of birth, not residence).
It is necessary to apply for residence in the Czech Republic for a child within 60 days of the child’s birth. You can opt for the better version of the type of residence of the parents. If one of the child’s parents is a citizen of the Czech Republic and the other a foreigner, then the newborn child automatically has Czech citizenship, you do not have to apply for it. At the same time, the child may have the citizenship of the other state of which the other parent is a citizen if the legislation of the other state allows it. For more information, contact the appropriate state Embassy. If neither parent is a citizen of the Czech Republic, it is necessary to have the child registered in the parent’s passport or to have the child issued with his / her own passport at the Embassy (this does not apply to asylum and subsidiary protection). If the child’s parents are married, the father is entered into the birth certificate automatically.
- Go to the locally relevant registry office (according to the place of birth, not the place of residence) for the child’s birth certificate (it is necessary to have the identity card of both parents with you).
- It is necessary to deliver to the employers a copy of the child’s birth certificate – even to the father’s employer (for the application of the tax credit).
- Register the child for permanent residence at the office of the city district/municipality on the basis of the Birth certificate and the parent’s IDs.
- Register the child – if you do not stay at a house of your own – at the housing cooperative, an association of apartment owners, due to the altered number of people living in the apartment.
- Within 8 days of birth, register the baby with your health insurance company (it must be the same as the mother’s insurance company).