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Medical Coverage

  • Like all new residents of Alberta who arrive from outside of Canada, an expectant mother is covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) from her first day in the province.
  • But note that you do have to register with AHCIP, and you do have to pay their insurance premiums (until January 1st, 2009, when AHCIP premiums will be phased out). See the BE Wiki article entitled [Alberta - Health Topics].
  • In Alberta, most babies are delivered by doctors in hospitals.
  • Typically nurses care for the mother during most of her labour, and the doctor arrives near the end.
  • The doctor who has been monitoring you during your pregnancy will make every effort to be at your delivery, even if it's at 2.00 a.m.
  • However, a doctor sometimes does not make it to his/her patient's delivery, for a variety of reasons:
    • The doctor him/herself may be ill.
    • The doctor may be out of town.
    • The doctor may have two patients who are giving birth simultaneously, and he/she can't tear him/herself in half.
  • There are very few midwives in Alberta. The few that exist are private practitioners, and their services are not covered by AHCIP. It costs about $4,000 to be under the care of a midwife for the duration of your pregnancy and during delivery.

Registration of Birth

If the parents are married at the time of the child's birth, or if the parents are unmarried but the father signs the Registration of Birth form, the parents have the following options for the child's last name:

  • mother's maiden name only,
  • mother's currently used last name only,
  • father's last name only, or
  • mother's and father's last names, combined in any order, with or without a hyphen separating them.

If the parents are not married at the time of the child's birth, and if the father does not sign the Registration of Birth form, the father's information will not be recorded on the Registration of Birth form, and the parents will have the following options for the child's last name:

  • mother's maiden name, or
  • mother's currently used last name.

The parents typically sign the Registration of Birth form in the hospital, and the hospital sends it to the Vital Statistics Office on their behalf.

Birth Certificate

  • The parents do not automatically receive a Birth Certificate for the child.
  • They have to order it from the Alberta government.
  • They can do that from one of the many Registry Agents that are dotted around Alberta (the same places that renew drivers' licences, etc.).
  • Some provinces issue different kinds of birth certificates, long form certificates that indicate the parents' names and short form certificates that do not show the parents' names.
  • Alberta issues only one type of birth certificate, and it shows the parents' names and places of birth.

British Passport

  • In order for a British parent to get a British passport for his/her Alberta-born child, the parent has to send to the British High Commission in Washington:
    • a passport application form
    • the child's Alberta birth certificate
    • the birth certificate of the British parent named on the child's Alberta birth certificate
    • 2 photographs that conform to specified dimensions
    • a fee - costs (in U.S. dollars) can be seen here.

The High Commission's website states that 6 weeks should be allowed for the issuing of a first British passport.

Canadian Passport

  • If the parents want a Canadian passport for the child, it takes two weeks if the parents submit the application in person, and request the passport to be mailed to them.
  • If they pay extra, deliver the passport application in person, and collect the passport in person, they can get an urgent passport (within 24 hours).
  • If they submit the passport application by mail, it takes about 6 weeks for the passport to come through the mail.
  • There are two passport offices in Alberta:

Harry Hays Building
220 - 4th Avenue SE
(Office hours: 08:30 - 16:30)

Canada Place Building
9700 Jasper Avenue
(Office hours: 08:30 - 16:30)

  • The parents need to submit:
    • a passport application form
    • 2 photos that meet the size specifications
    • proof of the child's Canadian citizenship (e.g., Alberta birth certificate)
    • if the parents are separated, all documents pertaining to custody and access
    • a fee - current costs can be seen here.

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan

  • The baby automatically will be assigned his/her Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) number while he/she still is in hospital.
  • The child's AHCIP card will be mailed to the parents automatically.

Social Insurance Number

  • In many cases a child does not need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) until much later, but the parents may apply for one on the child's behalf, if they wish.
  • If they set up a saving's account in the child's name, for example, the child will need a SIN.
  • If you apply in person, the child will be assigned a SIN immediately, and his/her SIN card will follow later, in the mail.
  • There is no charge for a first SIN card.
  • You also may mail the Application Form and the child's Alberta birth certificate to
Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
P.O. Box 7000
Bathurst, New Brunswick
E2A 4T1


  • Most Alberta municipalities have Public Health Clinics, at which nurses weigh and check babies and adminster vaccinations to them for free.