January 30th, 2009 by Francis

In the UK, you have about a month in which to register the birth of your baby. It’s at this point that he or she gets a name, and becomes “official”. It is unclear what happens if you neglect to register your baby. The local government are certainly informed of the birth, so perhaps they send you a reminder… and then a red letter… and then they send bailiffs to reposess your child?

We took Cillian to be registered in Cambridge  this afternoon. Daddy was not in the best of moods, since he had already had to spend almost all of the morning at the car dealership, waiting for a new key to be programmed for the car. In the end, the engineer  found that they had been sent the wrong key by the manufacturer, so it wouldn’t work, and we’d have to come back. Grrr.

Anyway… registration. This was a painless experience, and took about 30mins. The nice lady asked us where we were born, what we do for a living, and please can we remind her how to spell “Cillian”. She hadn’t heard of Senegal (Karyn’s birthplace), and had a bit of difficulty with he name of my Welsh birthplace. Dad’s a web designer, and mum’s a scientist, so that bit’s easy.

In order to get a UK passport, your kid needs a full birth certificate, which is a legal document, as opposed to the short version, which is decorative. The full one cost us £3.50. We bought two, because we’ll also need one so that we can get his French ID card, even though I know a bloke called Christophe who swears he can get us a fake one for 50 Euros :) Just kidding.

So, that’s all done, and Cillian is officially our parental responsibility now. *phew* He’ll be relieved to know that we have to take care of him! While we were at the Registration Office, I asked the lady if we could have called him anything. In France, they sensibly restrict parents to choosing real names… there is some system by which you have to prove that whatever you choose is a real name, and means that your kid doesn’t end up being called, for example (and this is real), Chocolate Merrimount Marmite. Eeek.

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