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Tumbit : Jo Green - Having a Baby in Spain

Jo Green, 34, has been living & working in Spain with her long term partner for 5 years. As a "Professional Career Woman" in the UK she always believed that being a Mum was something that happened to other women. However, on moving to Spain she has found herself succesfully managing a career and being a full time Mum to an unplanned (but much loved) Baby Daughter. Things in life change, things don't go to plan... Jo tell's how it's those that can and are willing to adapt to change that generally succeed in making a life in Spain.

Three is Family ....
17 June 2010 @ 13:24

Before we could all leave the Hospital I had to be given a check by the midwife, and my new baby daughter had to be given a hearing test. The tests came back indicating very poor hearing in her right ear , but the Doctor said that this was quite normal and to come back in a week’s time – when in most cases they found that the issue had resolved itself on it’s own ( Which it did ! )

Before we left the ward we were visited by the Hospital’s Registrar who issued her with her own SIPS Card (National Health Number). As we only had provisional ones ourselves, that had long since expired, she very kindly printed my partner and I off our own cards as well , which was great because we had been trying to get this done (Unsuccessfully!) For months. We were also issued with a document that we needed to present to the Town Hall in order to get the birth certificate. We still had the same Health Book that I had during pregnancy which recorded all my details, and now it was being used to record my Daughters health details instead. It listed all the important dates for appointments that I needed to make for her vaccinations and other tests and they had already made the first appointment at my local health clinic for me. Every time we had a check up or Vaccination they wrote the details in the book and automatically made the appointment for the next check up for us.

It got a little more complicated at the Town Hall because my Partner and I were not married and they were not sure of the procedure – but after a little head scratching and consulting with the mayor they managed to sort something out - and our daughter took my Partner’s surname , which we had agreed beforehand anyway. The Birth Certificate was issued and we also asked for a “Libretto de Familia “, which is basically an official record book that contains details of Birth, education and Marriage, family history etc... In many cases this is requested when you first register your child in school. We were told that we could not have this because we were not married! - I suppose we will just have to wait and see if this is a problem when we try to register her at school! It seems a little crazy in this day and age that the Spanish system just isn’t flexible enough to allow for any movement if 2 parents are unmarried.

Getting a British Passport was quite straightforward - all we needed to do was download the required form and procedure on the Embassy’s website and return the Form with 4 Passport Photo’s , Her Birth Certificate , My Partner’s Birth Certificate ( because she took his surname , he was registered as the next of kin ) , and the fee. The Passport was issued and couriered out in less than 2 weeks.

One big difference between the Spanish and English aftercare systems was the fact that no Health Visitor or Social Worker came to visit our family home to assess us and our home, and that all the health checks and so on, were done at the clinic.

My Partner had been living and working legally in Spain for about 2 Years at that time, and we thought that we may be entitled to claim some kind of Family Allowance – either from Spain or the UK, but it seemed not. Again, because we were unmarried, had lived away from the UK for so long, etc... etc... We were entitled to nothing! All we received was a change to my Partners Tax code, which was increasing his Yearly earnings before Tax by roughly 2.5k.

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