Recognition/Establishment of Paternity

Every child must be registered with the municipality within 3 days after birth. If the mother is married or has a registered partnership, the mother’s partner is automatically regarded as the father (or as the co-mother if it concerns two women). But if there is no marriage or registered partnership, it is not immediately clear under the law who the other parent is.


A father needs permission from the mother to be registered as a father at the municipality. This registration is called recognition. If the mother does not want to give this consent, the father can, with the help of a lawyer, ask the court for alternative consent.


If the father is unwilling to recognize and refuses be registered as a legal parent, the mother can have the parental relationship established judicially with the help of a lawyer. This is called a parternity suit.


Sometimes, the person acknowledging a child is not the biological father. Although it’s not possible in all cases, such recognition can often be annuled with the help of a lawyer by contesting the paternity. The same applies if the partner who was automatically regarded as the legal parent due to the mother’s marriage or registered partnership is not the genetic parent. This legal parentage can be terminated.