For further information please visit the UK Government pregnancy, birth, childcare and parenting website https://www.gov.uk/browse/childcare-parenting/pregnancy-birth.

How To Register Your Baby

It is a legal requirement to register your baby. Before going home from the hospital you should collect a notification of birth from the hospital. This will state when and where your baby was born so that you can register your baby through your military unit. It’s very important you have this before you leave the hospital.

To register the birth you will need to complete an ORS1 form available from the your NSE or Unit Welfare office. You will need to provide the following documents.

  • Both parents' long birth certificates
  • The birth notification issued by the hospital
  • Marriage certificate, or ORS1A form if you are not married

Applying for a Passport

Parents are advised to apply for their baby’s passport as soon as possible after receiving the baby’s full birth certificate. Passport applications forms are available from your Unit Welfare or Admin Office. Once completed, Unit Admin Offices will process British passport applications, along with payment, to UK Authorities on the parent’s behalf; in due course, the baby’s passport will be returned to the parents. Passports are provided free to MOD-sponsored personnel living overseas so parents are advised to check with their Welfare Office.

As part of the passport application process, parents must obtain 2 passport photographs of the baby, one of which must be countersigned by a Commissioned officer or equivalent. Advice on reclaiming the cost of these can be obtained from your Unit Admin Office. Please bear in mind that passports are now Biometric and photographs have to be exact measurements.

Depending on the time of year, obtaining a British passport normally takes around 4–6 weeks, but during busy holiday times, such as Easter, summer and Christmas, this may be even longer.

Maternity Leave

Employed women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy are advised to obtain their employer’s maternity policy to ensure that they know their rights and can obtain the benefits and pay they are entitled to. Notifying employers of your pregnancy is important because measures designed to protect a pregnant woman and her unborn child only apply when notification of pregnancy has been given. For Service personnel, please see the current Defence Instructions & Notices: Revised Maternity Arrangements for Service personnel in the Regular Armed Forces for information on MOD Maternity Policy and the Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme, available on the Defence Intranet.

Paternity Leave

If you are a father-to-be, you may have the right to paid paternity leave providing you meet certain conditions. Paternity leave is extra to normal holiday allowance. It is not the same as parental leave, which is unpaid leave that working parents can take to look after children under the age of 5. Employers have their own paternity and parental leave arrangements, so fathers-to-be are advised to obtain their employer’s policy to confirm their entitlement. For civilian staff, this may be via their line manager, whilst military staff may source advice from their Regimental Admin Office.

Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit Overseas

UK Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are subject to income. When claimed by Foreign & Commonwealth families, it must be claimed by the Head of Household. For more information please see your Unit Welfare Office.

Child Benefit

UK Child Benefit forms are available from the Unit Admin Office. When claimed by Foreign & Commonwealth families, it must be claimed by Head of Household. Claims need to be processed as soon as possible as Child Benefit can only be backdated by three months. The original of the baby’s birth certificate is required.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

This is a one-off payment of £500 (2016 figure) for families on low income to help with the extra cost of having a baby.  Whilst serving overseas, you may be eligible if you are expecting a baby within 11 weeks, or had a baby in the past 3 months, or adopted a baby, have residence or parental order for a baby who is under 12 months and are in receipt of Income Support, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.  For more information, please see your UWO or https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant.

Service Families Accommodation

Once confirmed pregnant, unmarried Servicewomen may apply for a Married Quarter (MQ), and families already living in MQ may be able to claim larger premises due to an increase in family size. If this applies to you, you may ask the Community Midwife for Form Mat B1 in support of your application. Kindly note, Mat B1 forms cannot be issued earlier than the beginning of the 20th week before the expected date of delivery. If living in MQ and posted during maternity leave, please note you may be entitled to claim Disturbance Allowance, Packers and Removals. Please raise this matter with your Unit Admin Office.