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Acknowledgement of paternity

A declaration recognising paternity of a child, as well as the mother's declaration of consent, can be certified in any registry office, at youth welfare offices and before notaries. Effective recognition of paternity can take place if there is no paternity of another man to that child. The recognition of paternity and the mother's declaration of consent are certified in public form.

Recognition of paternity is already possible before the birth of the child.

Under German law, the woman who gave birth to the child is the mother of the child. In principle, recognition of maternity is not required. If a recognition of maternity or a declaration of consent from a legal representative is required, these must also be notarized by a registry office, by the youth welfare office, or by notaries.

If foreign homeland law requires the mother or father to recognise maternity, it can also be publicly certified. The same rules apply as for the recognition of paternity.

Process flow

The recognition of paternity and also the declarations of consent can be submitted in any stadesamt, at youth welfare offices and notaries.

  • The appreciative man declares to be the father of the child.
  • The registrar must examine the declaration of recognition in order to prevent ineffective recognition as far as possible.
  • In particular, tested:
  • The identity of the acknowledger, the mother and the child
  • The legal capacity of the parties involved
  • Any previous status determinations
  • The registrar clarifies the consequences of the name law.
  • Recognition is publicly certified

Competent authority

The responsibility lies with the municipality, the Samtgemeinde and the city.


  • Recognition and approval must be publicly certified.
  • The recognition of paternity can be handed in at any stadesamt, youth welfare offices and notaries.
  • Recognition does not require receipt and does not require receipt by a specific registry office or other authority in order to be effective.
  • The prohibition of abusive recognition of paternity according to § 1597a. BGB (German Civil Code) applies.
  • Recognition of paternity of a child is not effective as long as the paternity of another man exists (blocking effect).
  • An acknowledgement under condition or time determination is ineffective.
  • There must be no effective revocation by the acknowledger.
  • Recognition requires the consent of the mother.
  • Recognition also requires the consent of the child if the mother is not entitled to parental authority in this respect.
  • The effectiveness of the declaration of recognition of paternity does not depend on the actual ancestry relationships; (legal) paternity arises solely through the effective submission of the declarations of recognition and all necessary declarations of consent. The recognition of paternity can also be given before the birth of the child.
  • Anyone who is limited in legal capacity can only recognize himself, but requires the consent of the legal representative. For incapacitated persons, the legal representative may recognize with the permission of the family court; if the legal representative is a supervisor, the approval of the care court is required.
  • The same rules apply to the mother's consent.
  • For an incapacitated child, or a child who is not yet 14 years old, only the legal representative can agree to the recognition.
  • Acknowledgements or consents cannot be declared by an authorised person.

Which documents are required?

  • Proof of identity (e.g. identity card, passport, Id Card)

What are the fees?

Fee: free of charge
Payment in advance: No
Recognition of paternity and declarations of consent at the registry office

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The declaration of recognition can be submitted for an unlimited period of time, even before the birth of the child (prenatal recognition), after his death (postmortem recognition) also for stillborn children.

Processing duration

  • Depending on the individual case

Legal basis

  • § 44 Civil Status Act (PStG)
  • §1594 to §1598 BGB , § 1599 BGB

Applications / forms

at the registry office


If the registry office rejects the certification of the declaration of recognition, you can submit an application to the competent court to instruct the registry office to issue you with the certificate.


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport

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

Landkreis Emsland

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
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Point of contact:
Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

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.