• Dr I L Vlad

Romanian Baptism Certificate: full guide

Last update: September 2018.

Do you wish to marry abroad? Do you wish to marry a Romanian citizen? Some countries will ask for a Romanian Baptism Certificate ('certificat de botez'). This blog posts explains what such a certificate is, and how you can obtain it.

RomanianDocuments.net can help you or your Romanian future spouse obtain a baptism certificate. The easiest way is to contact us, by using our smart form. When prompted, choose branch Religious Records, and then 'Baptism Certificate'.

Baptism Certificates are a type of religious record. RomanianDocuments.net can also obtain certificates of membership from religious organizations.

In Romania, the state authorities are not allowed to ask for the religion of a person. Therefore, within Romania, the Romanian Baptism Certificate cannot be used before the authorities. Only churches may request it, usually as the basis for a religious marriage ceremony. In Romania, religious marriage must always come after the celebration of civil marriage, and has no legal value in itself. If you wish to marry in Romania, here is our handy guide.

Romanian Baptism Certificates can be issued by any of the following recognized rites:

1. The Romanian Orthodox Church (Biserica Ortodoxa Romana);

2. The Serbian Orthodox Bishopric of Timisoara (Episcopia Ortodoxa Sarba de Timisoara);

3. The Roman-Catholic Church (Biserica Romano-Catolica);

4. The Romanian Uniate Church, Greek-Catholic (Biserica Romana Unita cu Roma, Greco-Catolica);

5. The Archbishopric of the Armenian Church (Arhiepiscopia Bisericii Armene);

6. The Russian Orthodox Church of the Old Rite in Romania (Biserica Ortodoxa Rusa de Rit Vechi din Romania);

7. The Reformed Church in Romania (Biserica Reformata din Romania);

8. The Evangelical Church in Romania - Augustana (Augsburg) Confession (Biserica Evanghelica C. A. din Romania);

9. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania (Biserica Evanghelica Lutherana din Romania);

10. The Unitarian Church in Transylvania (Biserica Unitariana din Transilvania);

11. The Baptist Christian Cult - The Union of Baptist Christian Churches in Romania (Cultul Crestin Baptist - Uniunea Bisericilor Crestine Baptiste din Romania);

12. The Christian Evangelical Church in Romania - The Union of Christian Evangelical Churches in Romania (Biserica Crestina Dupa Evanghelie din Romania - Uniunea Bisericilor Crestine dupa Evanghelie din Romania);

13. Romanian Evangelical Church (Biserica Evanghelica Romana);

14. The Christian Pentecostal Rite - The Apostolic Church of God in Romania (Cultul Crestin Penticostal - Biserica lui Dumnezeu Apostolica din Romania);

15. The Adventist Church of the Seventh Day in Romania (Biserica Adventista de Ziua a Saptea din Romania);

16. The Religious Organization "Jehova's Witnesses" (Organizatia Religioasa "Martorii lui Iehova").

The Mosaic and Muslim religious organizations do not practice baptism. To prove membership, a certificate could be obtained instead.

You should know that 'baptism' is viewed differently by the different rites (for example, some practice the baptism of children, while others believe that only adults, capable of freely understanding and accepting the rite, are to be baptized). Because of doctrinal and theological differences, baptism is not universally recognized from one rite to another. Therefore, when asked to present a Romanian Baptism Certificate, you should inquire with the church or institution whether the one you have received will be considered valid.

There may be other rites as well, issuing baptism certificates. However, only the ones above are recognized by the Romanian state, enabling the baptism certificate to receive an official attestation.

How is the baptism certificate issued?

Ideally, a baptism certificate would be issued after the performance of the baptism ceremony, either for the child or (with some rites) for the adult. However, this does not happen often. However, every church normally has a Registry, where every baptism is recorded. Baptism certificates can then be issued either on a standard form (for example, the Romanian Orthodox Church has such a special form), or as an attestation from the officiant or registry extract.

The baptism certificate is always requested at the church or parish where the baptism took place.

A typical Baptism Certificate (Certificat de Botez)

A typical Baptism Certificate of the Romanian Orthodox Church

Can I use my Baptism Certificate abroad?

Baptism Certificates, as religious records, have a dual status, depending on the country where you wish to use them. If you need to present them before a Church or other religious organization, you may be able to use them directly, without any other formality. However, if you need to present them to a state office, or if the church, in that country, is a state institution, then you might need to obtain the Apostille or Legalization, as for state documents.

If you are unsure, first you should discuss with the authority which requested the Baptism Certificate (for example, the parish priest). They will have their own requirements, and will be able to give you a definitive answer.

How can I obtain the Apostille or Legalization on my Romanian Baptism Certificate?

The easiest way to do so is to contact us through our smart form. If you need a Baptism Certificate, choose Branch E - Religious Records. We will automatically propose the Apostille or Legalization which may be needed.

To find out how to obtain the Apostille or Legalization yourself, and which one you might need, check out our Apostille and Legalization page. Be aware that, for religious documents, neither procedure can take place before you have obtained the stamp of the State Secretariat for Rites ('Secretariatul de Stat pentru Culte'), coordinated by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. Their address is 40 Nicolae Filipescu St., 020962 Bucharest (www.culte.gov.ro). Their stamp can be requested for free.

This concludes the Romanian Baptism Certificate guide. For any questions or issues, do not hesitate to write us an e-mail.

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