Babies-Canada

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Medical Coverage

  • If you arrive in Canada while you're pregnant, your province's health care insurance plan may or may not cover the cost of your pre-natal care and delivery.
  • It depends on whether or not your province provides health care insurance coverage from Day One to new residents who arrive from outside of Canada.
  • Most Canadian provinces impose a three-month waiting period for provincial health care insurance.
  • New residents of those provinces are advised to buy private medical insurance to cover them in emergencies.
  • However, many private medical insurance companies do not provide coverage for pregnancy and delivery, because they classify pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.
  • Keep in mind that a normal delivery, without complications, can cost C$5,000 - C$7,000 if you don't have provincial health care insurance.
  • In many provinces, however, the provincial health care insurance plan does at least cover the baby as soon as he/she is born.
  • Also, there are a few provinces that do provide immediate provincial health care insurance coverage to all new residents who have arrived from outside of Canada, including pregnant women.


Medical care during delivery

  • In Canada, 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.
  • Midwifery is not as common in Canada as it is in the UK.
  • Most Canadian provinces have few midwives, and some provinces have none.
  • Reports on the forum suggest that, in the provinces in which midwives are private practitioners, 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

  • Each province is responsible for registering births in that province.
  • Just as you don't have a Canadian driver's licence (because you have a provincial driver's licence), your baby won't have a Canadian birth certificate (because he/she will have a provincial birth certificate).
  • However, that provincial birth will serve as proof of his/her Canadian citizenship.
  • If you are a British citizen (otherwise than by descent), your Canadian-born baby will be a British citizen by descent.


British Passport

  • In order for a British parent to get a British passport for his/her Canadian-born child, the parent has to send to the British High Commission in Ottawa:
    • a passport application form
    • the child's provincial birth certificate
    • the birth certificate of the British parent named on the child's provincial birth certificate
    • 2 photographs that conform to specified dimensions
    • a fee of $175 (note that an adult passport costs about 50% more)
  • 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.
  • 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
    • for a standard, 24-page passport that is valid for 3 years, a fee of $22


Provincial Health Care Insurance Plan

  • In many provinces, your baby automatically will be assigned his/her provincial health care insurance number while he/she still is in hospital.
  • In many provinces the child's provincial health care insurance card is mailed to the parents automatically.
  • However, it would be prudent for you to check how the system works in your province.


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 provincial birth certificate to
Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
P.O. Box 7000
Bathurst, New Brunswick
E2A 4T1


Immunization

  • Most Canadian provinces offer free vaccinations for children.