Every child born in Poland, regardless of the nationality of their parents, must be registered in the Civil Registry Office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego). The birth of a child must be reported to the Civil Registry Office territorially competent for the place of birth of the child. The documents necessary for the preparation of a birth certificate include:
- Written statement of birth issued by a doctor, midwife or health care facility;
- Copy of the marriage certificate if the child’s parents are married;
- Birth certificate of the mother, marriage certificate with an entry noting divorce, and an abridged copy of the death certificate of the spouse; if the child’s mother is single, divorced or widowed, respectively.
The Civil Registry Office which prepared a birth certificate applies for a PESEL (Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population) number for a child, which is then entered into the registry as well. The PESEL number is crucial in many areas of life including in the provision of health care, hence its registration is initiated by reporting a child’s birth.
Marriage is concluded in the Civil Registry Office of the choice of the persons concerned. The documents required to enter into a marriage in Poland are:
- Valid identity document;
- Birth certificate and a marriage certificate together with the annotation of divorce, if the person concerned was married before;
- Certificate issued by the country of origin that the person concerned has the capacity to enter into a marriage under the law of their country.
If the latter document cannot be obtained, the person concerned can apply to the court to be exempt from this obligation.
Generally, foreign documents have to be legalised or authenticated by an apostille. As a general rule, all documents presented in the Civil Registry Office should be translated by a sworn interpreter and a foreigner who does not speak Polish needs to complete all the formalities (including the marriage ceremony itself) accompanied by a sworn interpreter of a language they speak fluently. Certificates are drawn up immediately.
Problems occur when documents from the country of origin have to be submitted. However, the court procedure to exempt beneficiaries of international protection from this obligation is applied rather efficiently, as the experience of HFHR showed in the recent years.
 Law of 28 November 2014 on civil registration certificates.