Acknowledgement of paternity


Acknowledgement of paternity is generally necessary if the father’s name is not stated on the child’s birth certificate. This is usually the case if the child’s mother was not married at the time of the child’s birth.

As a rule, if the parents were married or the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth, an acknowledgement of paternity is not necessary. The mother’s husband legally counts as the child’s father.

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, and the child was born in the United Kingdom, paternity is formally acknowledged under British law by both parents registering the birth together at their local registry office. If on the British birth certificate both parents are referred to as an “Informant” (i.e. they registered the child’s birth together), separate acknowledgement of paternity is not normally necessary under German law.

Under German law, an acknowledgement of paternity must be publicly registered. In the case of a child born in Germany, it is advisable to make an appointment to file the acknowledgement of paternity at the same registry office where the child’s birth was registered. Acknowledgements of paternity can normally be filed free of charge in Germany, either at a registry office (Standesamt), or at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt), a notary’s office or the local court (Amtsgericht). An acknowledgement of paternity under German law also requires the registered consent of the child’s mother.

An acknowledgement of paternity and-/-or the consent of the mother can also be registered by specially authorised officials at a German mission abroad (embassy or consulate general). This is usually necessary when i) a child has been born abroad and the German father is resident abroad or ii) a child has been born in Germany but it is not possible to travel to the relevant German registry office.

The fee charged by the German Embassy in London for preparing and registering an acknowledgement of paternity or consent of the mother is approx. €210.

If you would like to have an acknowledgement of paternity or consent of the mother registered by the German Embassy in London, we would ask you in the first instance to provide the Embassy with details of the persons concerned using the form below so that preliminary checks can be carried out:

Form: Details for registering acknowledgement of paternity

We also need the following documents:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Copies of the mother’s and father’s passports
  • Proof that the child’s mother was not married at the time of the child’s birth (e.g. certificate of unmarried status or excerpt from the civil register stating marital status or, if applicable, divorce decree from a previous marriage).
  • Proof that the father is resident in the Embassy’s consular district (e.g. tax statement or utility bill)
  • Proof of residence for mother and child (e.g. tax statement or utility bill if in the UK, Meldebescheinigung if in Germany)

The Embassy advises that additional documents may be required.

Please email us the form and documents.

Please note that the Embassy can only work with clearly legible scans of documents – please do not send photos taken on your mobile phone. In addition, the email attachments must not total more than 10 MB.

Should you have any questions, please send us an email.

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