Thursday, April 28, 2016

Greek Birth Certificate

Due to the itinerant nature of Phil's career, we had to start working on child's first government papers almost as soon as we cut the cord. In Greece, there are (at least) two steps to obtaining a birth certificate for your kid. The first step is to register the kid at the hospital. Phil did that last week. He had to give his full name, my first and last name, the full names of our fathers, the first and last names of our mothers, our translated marriage certificate, a copy of our passports and ID cards, a declaration of our religion, our favorite colors, candy bars, cars, political philosophies, and science fiction book series authors, and 15 euros. I might have made some of that up. In return, he received a certificate of the kid's birth. 

The birth certificate from the hospital does not formally declare the name of your baby, because that would take all the bureaucracy out of it. To give the kid a legal name, you have to obtain an entirely separate form from an entirely separate building at an entirely separate time. Earlier this week, we trudged to the local town hall to get the kid's christening certificate. It was everything you could ever expect from a government office, but in a language we couldn't understand.

These signs are telling you to take a number from this machine and wait. We had to be told by an employee. I still don't know which button you're supposed to push, but probably the signs explain that, too.

Here we are at the window, filling out naming paperwork. They did not speak much English.

Greeks get the hospital birth certificate within a day or two of their child's delivery. They tend to wait to get the christening certificate until later. Until they get the second certificate, they'll only refer to the child as "Baby," even if they have a name picked out. It's some sort of superstitious thing. We started referring to our kid by his chosen name before he was born, so we're toast. 

We got the christening certificate. Now we only need to apply for an American birth certificate, a passport, a visa, a...

I'm going to take a nap. Here's a blurry shot from baby's first walk:

I spy Bella.

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