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  • Birth: acknowledge paternity at the registry office and determine paternity

Birth: acknowledge paternity at the registry office and determine paternity

Would you like to acknowledge paternity at the registry office?

If the mother is married, her husband is generally considered to be the father of the child and is entered on the child's birth certificate.

If the mother of a child is not or is no longer married, the father may be entered on the birth certificate only if he has validly acknowledged paternity or if paternity has been established by an order or judgment of the court.

Recognition of paternity:

Effective recognition of paternity is established when

  • No paternity of another man exists,
  • a man acknowledges paternity to the child in a publicly certified form, and
  • the mother agrees to the acknowledgement of paternity in a publicly certified form.

Special regulations apply for underage parents.

The recognition of paternity is possible even before the birth of the child.

Recognition of maternity:

Under German law, the woman is the mother of the child who gave birth to the child. Recognition is not required.

If the foreign law of the mother's or father's country of origin (e.g. Italy) requires recognition of maternity, it can be officially certified (regulations as for the recognition of paternity).

Revocation of an acknowledgement of paternity:

If the recognition of paternity has not become effective after one year, the person acknowledging paternity may revoke his declaration. The revocation must also be publicly notarised.

Judicial determination of paternity:

If the father is not willing to acknowledge paternity voluntarily or if paternity is unclear, a judicial paternity test is required.

The mother, the child or the biological father can submit an application for a determination of paternity to the competent family court (district court). The court at the child's place of residence has jurisdiction.


If an explaining person does not understand the German language or does not understand it sufficiently, he/she must bring along an interpreter. This interpreter must be of full age and may not be related or related by marriage to the persons involved.

Priority should be given to proceedings with sworn interpreters. If the interpreter has not been sworn in by a court, the registry office will take an affidavit in lieu of the interpreter for the declaration to be notarised with him/her. The affidavit in lieu of oath is subject to a fee.

What documents do I need?

  • valid identity cards or passports of parents
  • in the case of foreign nationals, additional proof of residence for the purpose of later establishing the acquisition of German nationality
  • birth certificate of the child, if the child was not registered at the registry office that certifies the declaration
  • Birth certificate of the father of the child (can also be handed in later)
  • If the father is or was married, his marriage certificate (can be submitted later)
  • Additional documents may be required in individual cases.
  • Foreign documents must be accompanied by a translation by a sworn translator.