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Guardianship institution

Guardianship may occur by law or be established by the district court.

A guardianship is not a public "service" in the strict sense.

The inclusion of guardianship in The Social Code VIII as an "other task" obliges the competent authorities to provide staff for the management of guardianships.

The leadership of a guardianship itself can be entrusted to a specific person, association or youth ministry. The district court decides who is given the leadership of guardianship.

The local youth office becomes "automatically" guardian when a minor unmarried mother has a child. This guardianship ends as soon as the mother comes of age. "automatic" guardianship shall not apply if the father of the child is of legal age, paternity is established before birth and the parents have made a statement of joint parental care.

The actual management of a guardianship takes place within the framework of private law. The persons who carry out guardianship largely perform the tasks that would have to be carried out by the parents without this guardianship. The actual care of the child is usually handed over to other persons and/or bodies. A guardian thus represents the person over whom guardianship is held in all matters (in which the latter cannot decide for himself).


  • Opening of a savings book
  • Permission to have an operation
  • School change
  • Determination of the place of residence

If a guardianship is conducted by a youth ministry, this is called "official guardianship". A person employed by the Youth Office is assigned accordingly. This person performs the tasks associated with guardianship on his own responsibility.

In the field of guardianship, there are more far-reaching provisions which, due to their complexity, cannot be described in detail here.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the district court, the district, the district-free city and the district-affiliated municipality.


A guardianship is not a service that is requested in the proper sense. A guardianship is established when the district court becomes aware that guardianship is required.

The following are some of the conditions for the entry or establishment of guardianship (the following list gives only examples and is not complete):

  • the parents of a child are unknown (findel child/delivery of a child in a "baby flap"/unaccompanied child entered)
  • both parents have been deprived of parental custody by a court's decision
  • the mother of a child is herself a minor
  • both parents have died
  • parental custody of the biological parents rests upon consent to the adoption of a child.

An indispensable condition for the establishment/entry of a guardianship is:

  • that it is not established who is exercising parental custody of a child, or
  • that both parents are not in fact able to exercise parental custody, or
  • that both parents have been deprived of parental custody, or
  • that the mother is a minor.

Which documents are required?

No documents are required.

What are the fees?

There are no charges.

If a legal representation is deemed necessary by the parties, the costs of such representation must, of course, be borne. If necessary, it is possible to use the services of the counselling/legal aid.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

No deadlines need to be observed.


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Gender Equality

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Jugend

Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen

Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62

Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes


Point of contact:
Ludger Sager
Telephone: 05931 44-1476
E 476
responsible for:

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen

Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover

Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.