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

Birth: acknowledge paternity at the registry office and determine paternity

Do you want to acknowledge paternity at the registry office?

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

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

Acknowledgment of paternity:

There is an effective acknowledgment of paternity if.

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

Special rules apply in the case of minor parents.

Acknowledgment of paternity is possible even before the child is born.

Recognition of maternity:

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

If the foreign home law of the mother or father (e.g. Italy) requires a recognition of maternity, it can be publicly notarized. (Regulations as for acknowledgement of paternity).

Revocation of an acknowledgement of paternity:

Insofar as an acknowledgment of paternity has not become effective after one year, the acknowledging party may revoke his declaration. The revocation must also be publicly certified.

Judicial determination of paternity:

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

The mother, the child or the biological father can file a petition for paternity establishment at the competent family court (local court). The court at the child's place of residence is responsible.


If a person making a declaration does not understand German or does not understand it sufficiently, he or she must bring an interpreter with him or her. The interpreter must be of age and must not be related to the parties involved by blood or marriage.

As a matter of priority, the procedure should be carried out with court-sworn interpreters. If the interpreter is not sworn by a court, the registry office will take an affirmation in lieu of oath with the interpreter for the declaration to be notarized at the registry office. The affirmation in lieu of an 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.