Recognizing Paternity in Berlin
How to get the father of your baby on the German birth certificate if you’re not married
What is a Vaterschaftsanerkennung?
If you are not married to your partner and you are expecting a baby in Germany, you will have to acknowledge paternity for Germany to legally recognize the father of your baby. This is done through a legally binding document known as a Vaterschaftsanerkennung. The name of the father will then be printed on your child’s birth certificate.
How to Get a Vaterschaftsanerkennung in Berlin
In Berlin, these are done in person at the Jugendamt (youth agency) or the Standesamt (registry office). There are several of them in Berlin, and you’ll need to go to the one responsible for your district. If you want to do a custody agreement at the same time, go to the Jugendamt. Red Tape Translation would be happy to let you know which one you should visit if you decide to take an interpreter with you.
You can make an appointment, and both the mother and father of the baby should be present. You can do it before the child is born. If you don’t have a good understanding of the German language, you can bring a professional German/English interpreter or a person that you trust along with you to translate. If taking a friend, just keep in mind, it’s not a walk in the park, particularly if you’re covering custody agreements while you are there. The language is complex, and they read passages from the German Civil code, which even Germans have trouble understanding. Take someone whose German is good enough to handle legalese.
The case worker at the Jugendamt will fully explain the obligations associated with recognizing paternity, according to German law. You will be given an opportunity to ask questions, and at the end of the appointment, you will both sign the agreement.
What about custody?
A custody agreement is a separate matter from acknowledgement of paternity. It can sometimes be handled at the same appointment (if you’re at the Jugendamt), through a different agreement.
What else do I need to know?
It doesn’t cost anything.
It is a legally binding document, and it’s complex.
The mother of the child must consent to the paternity agreement.
The father must be present to voluntarily acknowledge the obligations of legal paternity.
Parents, don’t forget to bring your birth certificates. You may need certified translations of them – send them to Red Tape Translation as a PDF if you like, and we’ll get you a quote.
Everyone shows ID and signs the forms – including the translator.
The whole appointment can take around an hour.
Want to take a translator with you? It’s a good idea if you are in Berlin and you don’t understand German. Contact Red Tape Translation to book a language expert for your appointment.