Government streamlines birth registration process for parents
Melanie Lynch (left) and three-month-old daughter Destiny were part of a government announcement Tuesday, which will streamline the process of registering newborns, combining four sets of paperwork into one. Making the announcement were Dr. Kellie Leitch (second from right), parliamentary secretary to Diane Finley, federal minister of human resources and skills development Canada; and Nick McGrath, provincial minister for Service NL. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Melanie Lynch remembers her first few days as a new mother — including all the paperwork necessary to register a birth.
“It was a lot of work. Same thing over and over again,” she says, holding three-month-old baby Destiny on her hip.
Lynch and partner Chris Sharpe were the first parents to officially receive the new bundled birth service, which aims to ease the stress for new parents when registering a newborn.
The integrated service, which packages together the social insurance number (SIN), Canada child benefits, medical care plan, and provincial parental benefits program, was announced Tuesday morning at the Janeway children’s hospital in St. John’s.
It was created through a partnership between the federal and provincial governments.
“As a parent myself, I’ve been through the process,” Nick McGrath, minister of Service NL, said at the news conference Tuesday.
“The old way was cumbersome. There were four separate sets of paperwork. Now we have one simple, easy-to-access birth services package.”
Dr. Kelly Leitch, parliamentary secretary to the minister of human resources and skills development Canada and an orthopedic pediatric surgeon, was also present for the announcement.
She said the new bundle makes it easier for parents to invest in their child’s future from the day they’re born. Leitch pointed to federal and provincial benefits parents can apply for through the form, such as the registered education savings plan and the provincial medical care plan.
“Parents of newborns already have enough to think about,”
Leitch said. “By integrating our application systems, we’re reducing red tape.”
For Destiny’s parents, the streamlined registration means more time to spend with their new daughter, born at the Janeway children’s hospital Sept. 24.
The new birth registration forms and information packages are available at all hospitals in Newfoundland and Labrador and are now in effect.