Pregnant in Spain!
Posted by Sammie
Information about the pregnancy process in Spain, how to get health insurance, finding out your benefits and rights and help for getting the best pre natal and post natal care
It might seem a bit daunting to get pregnant in Spain, especially if you’re not from here, don’t know the medical system or speak the language and on top of having to deal with the usual issues of being pregnant, having to sort out the legal and logistical ones as well.
However, unlike many things in Spain, when it comes to being pregnant and having a child, things often run quite smoothly, especially if you’ve done a bit of research ahead of time.
The first thing to make sure you have, once you find out you’re pregnant, is health insurance. Most maternity services are not covered by a European Health Insurance Card, so check with your social security and/or health insurance to make sure you’re fully covered. The Spanish Social Security system covers all Spanish nationals who reside and work in Spain, as well as foreigners with residence permits in Spain. Spanish nationals, who do not reside in Spain, are also covered under certain circumstances; protection also usually covers the entire family of the insured person.
As far as hospitals in Spain are concerned, there are both state-owned social security hospitals and private clinics throughout the country. Someone who is not entitled to social health care has the option of getting private care, which requires paying a monthly fee for private coverage . It’s a good idea, if you opt for the private health insurance and if you know you want to have a baby, to secure the insurance and have it in place at least ten months before becoming pregnant, just to simplify things.
There are a few places to look for private health insurance. For example check out:
- La Caixa-One of Spain’s most popular banks and it has quite an extensive private health insurance plan (many other banks have great programs as well) (lacaixa.es)
- Bupa International-provides expats with private health care (http://www.bupa-intl.com)
- Sanitas-The Spanish Arm of Bupa (http://www.sanitas.es)
- Asisa-One of the largest private health insurance providers (http://www.asisa.es)
- more on SpainExpat’s health insurance page
When it comes to finding a doctor in Spain, there are plenty of great obstetricians in Spain and the best way to find a reliable and credible one, is by word of mouth. Speak to people you trust, other mothers who have had children and ask them to recommend a doctor. You can also ask your General Doctor for some names. When the time comes to have the baby, if your Spanish isn’t necessarily up to par, it’s a great idea to bring someone with you to the hospital who speaks the language fluently, just in case. Most regions in Spain however, do provide translation services in the hospitals and clinics.
What to do after the baby’s Born:
Registering a Birth
Births must be registered within eight days (but up to 30 days is accepted) at the local civil registry office (Registro Civil). It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure this is done and it must be carried out in person by a parent or direct family member. In some cases the hospital, clinic or midwife may register the birth.
The birth registration includes:
- Name of the newborn
- Date, time and location of the birth. In the case of multiple births, when the exact time is unknown for each newborn, indication shall be given of the order in which they were born, or that this could not be determined
- Gender of the newborn
- The parents, when the relationship is legally recognized
- The number assigned to the birth or verification file
- The time of registration
Birth certificates must state whether a child is legitimate or illegitimate. Children born within 180 days of their parent’s marriage or within 300 days of a divorce, a marriage annulment or the death of the father are considered legitimate.
How to Register a child born within a marriage
A parent must take the following to the Civil Registry:
- Medical delivery report (this yellow form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
- NIE (Foreigner’s Identification Number) of the parents
- Libro de Familia (Family Book, if available) or marriage certificate legalized and translated
How to Register a child born outside of marriage
In this case, a declaration is required by both parents, with the father and the mother both registering the birth in person, providing the following documentation:
- Medical delivery report (yellow form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
- The parents’ NIEs
- Indication of the mother’s marital status
- If a prior marriage existed, the legal presumption of paternity must be removed by providing a marriage certificate and a separation certificate or divorce decree (witnessed) In the case of separation, two witnesses must accompany the parent to the Civil Registry.