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Costa Rica – Maternity and Giving Birth

In Costa Rica, the majority of births take place in hospitals, with home births being relatively uncommon. Pregnant women in Costa Rica have access to a range of prenatal care services, including regular check-ups with an obstetrician or midwife, ultrasounds, and access to educational resources and support groups.

Private hospitals are available for those who can afford them, but public hospitals also offer obstetric care. The quality of care can vary widely depending on the region and the hospital, and it’s recommended that pregnant women research their options and choose a hospital or healthcare provider that they feel comfortable with.

Registering a Birth in Costa Rica

If you give birth in Costa Rica, you will need to register the birth with the Civil Registry within 30 days. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Obtain a birth certificate from the hospital where the birth took place. This certificate should include information about the baby’s name, date of birth, place of birth, and the names and identities of the parents.

  2. Go to the nearest Civil Registry office and present the birth certificate, along with identification documents for both parents.

  3. Fill out the birth registration form.

  4. The Civil Registry will issue a birth certificate for the baby. This document is important for accessing social services, such as education and healthcare.

  5. Pay the registration fee. The fee varies depending on the region and the type of registration.

Attitudes and Legislation Surrounding Abortion in Costa Rica

Abortion is illegal in Costa Rica under most circumstances. The only exceptions are cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk or in cases of rape. Even in these circumstances, access to abortion services can be limited and difficult to obtain.

There is significant opposition to abortion in Costa Rica, particularly among conservative and religious groups. The country’s constitution recognizes the right to life from the moment of conception, and there have been numerous attempts to pass legislation that would further restrict abortion access.

Giving birth in Costa Rica is most commonly done in hospitals, with a range of prenatal care services available to pregnant women. Registering a birth in Costa Rica involves obtaining a birth certificate and filling out a registration form at the nearest Civil Registry office. Abortion is illegal in Costa Rica under most circumstances, with limited access to abortion services even in cases where it is legal.


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