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Acknowledgement of paternity

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

An acknowledgement of paternity is possible even before the birth of the child.

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

If the foreign national law of the mother or father requires an acknowledgement of maternity, it can also be publicly notarized. The same rules as for the acknowledgement of paternity apply.

Process flow

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

  • The appreciative man declares to be the father of the child.
  • The registrar must check the declaration of recognition in order to prevent ineffective recognitions as far as possible.
  • In particular, tested:
  • The identity of the acknowledgment, 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.
  • The recognition is publicly certified

Competent authority

The responsibility lies with the municipality, the Joint Community and the city.


  • Recognition and consent must be publicly notarized.
  • The acknowledgement of paternity can be given in any stadium office, at youth welfare offices and notaries.
  • The recognition does not need to be received and does not require acceptance by a specific registry office or another authority in order to be effective.
  • The prohibition of abusive acknowledgement of paternity according to § 1597a.
  • An acknowledgement of paternity to a child is not effective as long as the paternity of another man exists (blocking effect).
  • A recognition under condition or time determination is ineffective.
  • There must be no effective revocation by the acknowledgment.
  • Recognition requires the consent of the mother.
  • Recognition also requires the consent of the child if the mother does not have parental authority in this respect.
  • The effectiveness of the declaration of acknowledgement of paternity does not depend on the actual parentage; the (legal) paternity arises solely through the effective submission of the recognition and all necessary declarations of consent. Acknowledgement of paternity may 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 legally incapacitated, the legal representative may recognize with the permission of the family court.; if the legal representative is a supervisor, the approval of the supervision court is required.
  • The same rules apply to the mother's consent.
  • For a legally incompetent 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 authorized person.

Which documents are required?

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

What are the fees?

Fee: free of charge
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 issued for an unlimited period of time, even before the birth of the child (prenatal recognition), after its 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 refuses to certify the declaration of recognition, you can apply to the competent court to order the registry office to issue you with the certificate.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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