Having a baby is an exciting and transformative experience for any couple, regardless of where they are located.
The same is true for couples giving birth in Turkey. However, in addition to the joy and anticipation of welcoming a new life, it’s important to plan the process carefully and within a timely manner.
This includes researching detailed food guides during pregnancy, finding the right obstetrician, and considering available health insurance options.
It’s crucial to make informed decisions in order to ensure a smooth and successful experience.
As an expat in Turkey, if you are curious about the rights and regulations related to having a baby in Turkey, this article will provide information on the healthcare system, costs associated with giving birth in Turkey, and insurance options for pregnant expats in this country.
The healthcare system for pregnant women in Turkey.
When planning to give birth in Turkey, one of the first steps is to choose the right hospital for your needs. You have the option of private or public hospitals.
Generally, private hospitals are more expensive than public hospitals but offer a higher quality of care.
Public hospitals provide this service for free if the mother does not have health insurance or social security.
Keep in mind that you can choose your personal doctor from any clinic or hospital to take care of you and your baby after the birth, regardless of the hospital you initially chose.
Most hospitals in Turkey offer prenatal care, which is essential for the health of the newborn baby.
Once pregnancy is confirmed, doctors typically perform blood and urine tests to check for any genetic issues.
Risk levels are calculated, and the mother is informed about the baby’s wellbeing throughout the pregnancy.
Other medical examinations include various tests for diabetes, Hepatitis B, HIV, blood glucose, blood count, rubella, and more.
Turkey offers both natural and C-section births, but it’s important to consult with your doctor to determine the best option.
In 2012, a new law called the “Caesarean Law” was implemented to prevent unnecessary C-section surgeries.
According to this law, doctors who perform an excessive number of cesarean births will be inspected.
However, C-section is still the most common method of birth in Turkey, and the country has the highest c-section rates among all OECD countries.
The cost of having a baby in Turkey
Having international health insurance during pregnancy and after birth can be beneficial as it allows for reduced or no-cost delivery in private hospitals in Turkey.
Due to fluctuations in the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies, it is helpful to provide average hospital fees in foreign currency for expats.
Typically, C-section birth at public hospitals in Turkey costs around $300. Natural birth is a free service at these state hospitals.
If you choose to have a C-section birth in a private hospital, the cost can range from $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the location.
Keep in mind that additional services can increase the fees at private hospitals.
Pregnancy insurance coverage in Turkey
It’s important to check with your insurance provider to see if they have an agreement with the hospital you plan to give birth at.
If they do, verify if the plan has partial or full coverage for the associated fees.
You can contact the hospital’s front desk and provide the name of your insurance company.
The baby will be covered under the mother’s insurance for the first 30 days after birth. Beyond this period, new health insurance will be required for the baby.
If you have social security from SGK as a foreign citizen, you can give birth at public hospitals for free without the need for any additional private insurance plans.
Find a gynecologist and obstetrician in Turkey
One of the most effective ways to find a reputable obstetrician and gynecologist is through word-of-mouth recommendations.
As an expat, your options may be limited, as you may not have close relatives among the local population.
However, you can still find the best doctors in your area by checking review websites such as bookimed. Additionally, these websites allow you to chat with obstetricians online and research doctors on your own.
Postpartum care in Turkey
Postpartum care in Turkey is not vastly different from that in most Western countries. The primary focus is on maintaining the health of both the baby and the mother, which includes various medical examinations. These begin immediately after birth.
It’s important to note that there are mandatory vaccinations for both the newborn baby and the mother.
The first one is given to the baby within 48 hours of birth to protect against Hepatitis B.
The process of registering the birth of a newborn in Turkey
It’s important to remember that you need to register the birth of your baby. This process is typically handled by the father at the local Population Registry Office.
You will need to provide information about the parents’ residency status and a marriage certificate.
Alternatively, you can also register the birth of your child at the embassy of your home country.
Regardless of your nationality, any child born in Turkey has the option to acquire Turkish citizenship by birth.
Procedures for obtaining a residence permit for children born in Turkey.
The following rules apply to residence permit applications for children born in Turkey:
- The child’s birth certificate grants them the right to stay in Turkey for six months, based on the date of the parent’s residence permit.
- If the parent’s residence permit is less than six months, the child’s right to stay in Turkey will be based on that date.
- Children who have the right to stay in Turkey due to their birth certificate must obtain a suitable residence permit within six months.
- A birth certificate does not grant the right to exit or enter Turkey without a residence permit.
- Children who stay in Turkey with a birth certificate and do not apply for a residence permit within the specified period will be charged a fine for overstaying.
Obtaining Turkish Citizenship through Family Ties
To obtain Turkish citizenship, the requirements for family ties must be met.
In this case, there will be no obstacles in issuing a birth certificate for a child who acquires Turkish citizenship by birth.
To issue a birth certificate for a child who has acquired Turkish citizenship by birth, the notification obligation must also be fulfilled.
The required documents for this process are:
- Application form
- 2 biometric photographs with a white background
- Registration of the mother or father with Turkish citizenship
- Document proving the identity of the mother or father if they have foreign citizenship (with a notarized Turkish translation)
- Document proving the identity of the applicant (with a notarized Turkish translation)
- Document proving the marital status of the applicant (such as a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or death certificate of the spouse if widowed)
- Statement report signed by the applicant’s relatives if the mother and/or father is deceased
- Birth certificate (with a notarized Turkish translation)
- Birth report
- Additional documents that may be requested by the Ministry of Interior to prove citizenship
If the Ministry of Interior determines that the applicant is of Turkish descent, their citizenship status will be recorded in the family register. If it cannot be determined that they are Turkish, the application will be denied.
In recent years, a new trend called “Doğum Odası Süsleme” or “Birthroom Decoration” has become popular in Turkey.
This involves decorating the hospital room with various items such as chocolate, candy, cakes, balloons, Turkish sherbet, flowers, vases, and small gifts for visitors.
The mother’s hospital bed is decorated in either blue or pink, depending on the baby’s gender. Many hospitals offer services such as hairdressers, gift planners, and photographers to assist with this trend.
In conclusion, having a baby is an indescribable feeling, a special journey, full of mixed emotions such as stress, joy, fear, and more.
It can be a bit challenging at first, but it all comes together in a magical and peaceful way in the end.
For expats in Turkey, giving birth in a foreign country adds an extra layer of adventure. But with the information provided, you can navigate the process with ease.