Acknowledgement of parentage
The acknowledgement of parentage is a statement where you officially acknowledge that you are the father, mother, or co-mother of a child. By acknowledging parentage, you have the same rights and obligations towards your child as your partner does.
Acknowledgement of parentage is not always necessary. A child born within a marriage, automatically has the partner of the mother as father or co-mother.
A child's parentage can only be acknowledged if the necessary consents are given. The person who has to give consent depends on the age of the child:
- If the child is under 12 years of age, the mother must give her consent.
- If the child is between 12 and 18 years old, both the mother and child must give their consent. However, if the child is an emancipated minor, only the child’s consent is required.
- If the child is 18 years of age or over, consent is only required from the child.
Acknowledging a child can be done:
- before the birth, with a certificate stating the expected due date of delivery. The gynecologist can deliver this certificate
- upon registration of the birth
- after the registration of the birth (there is no time limit).
In order to acknowledge a child, you have to have an authentic certificate drawn up by the officer of the civil registry at your municipality of residence, or at the municipality where the child will be or was born. Both parents have to be present.
If you register the child’s parentage before the birth of the child in a municipality other than where the child will be born, you must bring along a copy of the recognition certificate when the child's birth registration will be drawn up.
It is also possible to recognize a child with a notarial deed. For more information, please consult a notary.
If the father is married with someone other than the mother or if the mother is married to someone other than the father, the spouse must be informed of the recognition.
- Identity cards
- An extract or transcript of your birth certificates
- A doctor’s certificate, if you wish to recognise the child before birth. This certificate confirms the mother’s pregnancy and includes the estimated due date of delivery.
The recognition of a child is free of charge.