Legal documents for your baby

  • The child's surname must be composed of his/her parents' names and may be either single or compound. It cannot have more than two components.
  • A surname cannot have numbers or initials.
  • If both parents have single surnames, the child may be given one or both names, preferably joined by a hyphen.
  • If both parents have compoud surnames, you may give the child a single name taken from one component of these surnames. If you want to give the child a compound name, you must make a choice, because the child's surname can be composed of only two parts, preferably joined by a hyphen.If the mother or the father is the child’s only known filiation, then the child’s surname must be the one of the parent on the Birth Declaration document.
  • If only one filiation (maternal or paternal) of a child is established, he/she will bear all or part of the surname of the parent whose filiation is declared in the Declaration of Birth.

In 1981, when a law from the Réforme québécoise du droit de la famille was voted and accepted, only 1% of the population had compound surnames. By the mid 1990’s, 20% of children born in Quebec and registered into the Quebec’s register of civil status had compound surnames. In 1997, the wind turned, and the percentage has since dropped and is now stable at around 8%. (Source: La Presse, April 24th 2006)

Child's given name(s)

First, determine the usual given name. In addition to being indicated on the act of birth, your child will use this name on a daily basis to introduce himself/herself and establish his/her identity. In addition to the usual given name, you can give other given names to your child. However, it is recommended that you limit the number to four (4).

  • If one of the given names is a compound name, the two components may be joined by a hyphen.
  • The spelling of the given names entered in Québec's register of civil status accurately reproduces the spelling you used when you completed the Declaration of Birth.
  • It is important to indicate all of the given names you wish to give your child, especially if the child is baptised later, as the Declaration of Birth constitutes the civil act.

If you are looking for first name ideas, go to our baby names section.

Québec health insurance card

Registering your child's birth in Québec's register of civil status will allow you to receive your child's first health insurance card following verification of his/her eligibility for the health insurance plan.

For more information on the Québec health insurance card, visit the website: Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec

Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is not mandatory for children, but it will be at one point in their lives. However, if you wish to contribute to a Registered Educations Savings Plans (RESPs), a social security number is required. You must also have a valid and official Birth Certificate. These documents must be originals and written either in French or English. Parents requesting these documents for their children must also show their own Birth Certificates. Your documents will be returned to you with your Social Security Card. There are no fees when asking for a Social Insurance Number the first time. A $10 fee will be required for a substitute card.

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