Having a Baby in Canada



The Canadian government provides assistance to expectant mothers and to those who have given birth in Canada regardless of nationality. Still, purchasing international health insurance is not a bad idea.

Medicare, Canada's universal healthcare system, provides free services related to childbirth in its 13 provinces/territories for its citizens and permanent residents. Coverage will vary per territory/province, but in general, it includes all medical and hospital services and physician services. Expectant mothers have the right to choose their doctors.

Those who do not have permanent residency status will have to pay hospital bills from pre to post-natal services. The cost of consultations with a gynaecologist can range from around $100-$150 CAD. Expats are advised to obtain international health insurance.

Maternity services

Qualified parents can apply for maternity and parental benefits provided by the federal government through Employment Insurance (EI) or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) in Quebec. Maternity and parental benefits can be up to 50 weeks that can be used entirely by the mother or divided equally between the parents. To be eligible, one must have worked for at least 600 hours in the preceding year before the claim and contributed to the EI during that period.

If a child is born in Canada, the infant will be granted Canadian citizenship, but only if the parents are citizens or hold permanent resident status. The government also allows dual citizenship depending on the laws of the countries concerned.

Newborn registration

Once the baby is born, parents can apply to their respective province or territory for a birth certificate and a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Residents of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, can use Newborn Registration Service to complete the baby's Birth Registration and SIN through electronic application. An option to apply for a birth certificate is available for BC and Ontario. See the Service Canada website for the complete links. One can visit the nearest Service Canada Centre for territories that do not offer online registration.

Once the birth certificate is issued, parents will need to register the child in the provincial/territorial plan for the baby to avail of healthcare services. Parents are advised to apply for healthcare immediately in the home province or territory. Most hospitals will provide the forms. Once the application is finalised, the baby can immediately use the coverage. Also, all province/territories will provide free vaccines for all children.


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Moving to Canada


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