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Guardianship Institution

Guardianship may be established by operation of law or by the district court.

Guardianship is not a public "service" in the strict sense.

By including guardianship in Book VIII of the Social Code as a "different task", the competent authorities are obliged to keep staff available for the management of guardianships.

The management of a guardianship itself can be entrusted to a specific person, an association or a youth welfare office. The district court decides to whom the guardianship is entrusted.

The locally responsible youth welfare office "automatically" becomes a guardian when a minor unmarried mother has a child. This guardianship ends as soon as the mother reaches the age of majority. "Automatic" guardianship does not apply if the child's father is of legal age, paternity is established before birth and the parents have made a declaration of joint parental authority.

The actual management of a guardianship takes place within the framework of private law. The persons who lead the guardianship largely fulfil 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 he or she cannot decide for himself).


  • Opening of a passbook
  • Permission for surgery
  • Change of school
  • Determination of the place of residence

If a guardianship is led by a youth welfare office, this is called "official guardianship". A person employed by the Youth Welfare Office will be commissioned accordingly. The tasks associated with guardianship are carried out by this person on his own responsibility.

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

Who should I contact?

Jurisdiction lies with the district court, the district, the district-free city and the municipality belonging to the district.


A guardianship is not a benefit that is applied for in the strict sense. Guardianship is established when the district court becomes aware that guardianship is required.

The following are some of the requirements for entering into or establishing guardianship (the following list is for examples only and is not exhaustive):

  • the parents of a child are unknown (foundling/delivery of a child in a "baby hatch"/unaccompanied child)
  • both parents have been deprived of parental authority by decision of a court
  • the mother of a child is herself a minor
  • both parents are deceased
  • the parental authority of the biological parents is suspended after consent to the adoption of a child.

is an indispensable prerequisite for the establishment/entry into guardianship,

  • that it is not clear who has parental authority over a child, or
  • that both parents are actually unable to exercise parental authority, or
  • that both parents have been deprived of parental authority, or
  • that the mother is a minor.

Which documents are required?

No documents are required.

What are the fees?

There are no fees.

If legal representation is deemed necessary by the parties involved, the costs of this representation must of course be borne. It may be possible to make use of legal aid services.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There are no deadlines to be observed.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Amtsgericht Osnabrück
Address: Kollegienwall 29-31 , 49074 Osnabrück
Telephone: 0541 315-0
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes


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)