Family booklet: what is changing?

PMA, choice of name, death certificate, adoption reform…. The family book is modified to become more inclusive with regard to the new foundations which constitute and form a family unit.

Official document issued at the time of a marriage, birth or adoption, the new family book aims to be inclusive and adapted to changes in family structures. PMA, choice of name, death certificate... Update on its latest attributes according to a decree of May 3, 2022 published in the Official Journal.

New family booklet: what changes?

Adapted to the latest reforms of family law, the family record book now enjoys new prerogatives. These modifications take into account the new provisions concerning:

  • medically assisted procreation (PMA). For couples of women who resort to PMA, “filiation is established, with regard to the woman who gives birth, by her sole designation in the child’s birth certificate. With regard to the other woman, filiation is established by joint acknowledgment made before the notary concomitantly with the consent given to medically assisted procreation.” indicates the official site of the French administration
  • The reform on the choice of the namesimplified when the choice relates to a name resulting from filiation.
  • Adoption and its new reforms are also considered, in particular now possible for PACS couples or cohabitants, living together for more than a year, and over 26 years of age. Previously, unmarried couples had to use the single-parent adoption procedure.
  • Finally, if the parents wish, this family booklet will now be able to mention and name the children born deadand notify the death certificate of an adult child.

What is the family book used for?

At the time of your marriage or the arrival of your first child, you will receive a family booklet. It contains the birth certificates of the parents, that of the children, possibly the date and place of marriage, as well as information on family law. It provides proof of the composition of the family and the civil status of its members. It is used in particular to prove parentage and may be requested to carry out certain procedures. (registration in crèche, school, etc.). In some cases, the family record book can even replace the delivery of extracts from civil status documents or the certificate of French nationality.

When to get your family record book?

At the time of his marriage

To have a family book at the time of his civil marriage, there is no particular request to be made. It is automatically given to the spouses by the civil registrar of the town hall after the ceremony.

When her child was born

Couples who are not married are given their family record book at the time of the birth of their first child together.. It is issued when the baby’s birth certificate has been registered by a French authority, as well as that of at least one of the two parents. It can also be obtained when applying for a French birth certificate by transcribing the foreign birth certificate. It should be noted that, in the event of the birth of a dead child, his birth certificate can be added to the booklet or allow the creation of the booklet. The family book can be delivered to the town hall on presentation of an identity document or by mail.

At the time of an adoption

When a single person adopts a child, the family record book is given when the adoption judgment is transcribed in the civil status registers.

Updating the family book is mandatory when a change occurs, either in the civil status of the persons registered there (surname, first name, sex), or in the composition of the family (marriage, separation, birth, adoption, divorce, death, etc.). It’s up to the person who owns the original to make the updates. The process is free and must be done at the town hall. The civil registrar completes the booklet, then dates it, signs it and affixes the stamp of the town hall. Supporting documents may be requested in certain cases, such as a court decision confirming a change of gender, surname or first name.

A single family booklet is given to couples. In the event of separation, it is possible to request a second one, whether the parties were married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting. This process is free and can be done by the spouse who did not keep the original family book after the separation. When you live in France, you have to go to your town hall, with an exception for the city of Paris, where you have to fill out a document available online. For French people living abroad, the request must be made to the embassy or consulate. You can present the first booklet, which will then be reproduced. If you cannot provide it, the civil registrar will complete the birth certificate extracts available to him and possibly ask the other town halls holding certificates to complete it in turn.

  • Asking for a second family record book when you were married: People who were married must present an identity document, as well as proof of divorce or separation.
  • Asking for a second family record book when you were in a PACS or cohabiting relationship: The request is made on presentation of an identity document. The applicant must explain his interest in obtaining a second booklet and present proof (certificate from the other parent or witnesses, proof of separate domiciles, etc.).

What steps should be taken in the event of loss, theft or destruction of the family record book?

When the family book has been stolen, lost or destroyed, it is possible to request a duplicate from the town hall or, for persons residing abroad, at the consulate or embassy. The request can be made by the parents, or, with the agreement of the public prosecutor, by the guardian of a minor child. But when one or both parents are deceased, the children cannot request a copy of the family record book. To carry out this procedure, you must present proof of identity, proof of address, as well as information on the acts of the booklet to be reconstituted, namely the surnames, first names, date and place of birth of the persons who appear therein, and possibly the date and place of the wedding. In the event of theft, the town hall may ask you for a receipt of the declaration of theft, to be made to the police station or the gendarmerie brigade. The family booklet is free with the first request for a duplicate. On the other hand, some municipalities charge for it on the third issue.

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