Rights of the child
277. Regarding the registration of children in the civil register, article 116 of the Family Code provides that: “Any birth in the territory of the Republic must be reported to the civil registrar in the place of residence of the father or mother within 30 days of the birth.” The declaration must be made by the father or mother, or, in their absence, by the ascendants or near relatives of the child, or by persons present at the birth. The declaration may be made by an agent bearing a written power of attorney, even if it is a private deed by the father or mother.
278. The obligation on these persons to report the birth is enforced by article 114 of the Family Code, which provides for seven days’ imprisonment or a fine.
279. The right of children to a nationality is guaranteed by various provisions of the Family Code. Thus, article 7 provides that any newborn found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Congolese.
280. Article 17 of the Code provides that: “By election, the following may acquire Congolese nationality: a child born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or abroad to parents where one parent is Congolese; a child legally adopted by a Congolese national; a child whose adoptive parents or one of whose adoptive parents has acquired or voluntarily reacquired Congolese nationality.”
281. Article 18, paragraph 1, of the Code provides that: “A minor child, not of full age, where the father is deceased, unknown or stateless, and the mother or father opted for Congolese nationality, automatically acquires the status of Congolese citizen at the same time as the parent.”
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