Acknowledgement of paternity
An acknowledgement of paternity („Vaterschaftsanerkennung“) must be notarised by the father who is not married to the mother of his child.
These acknowledgements of paternity can be made at the Registry Office (“Standesamt”), at the notary (“Notar”) or also at the Youth Welfare Office (“Jugendamt”).
The acknowledgement of paternity clarifies who the father of the child is. This also has an impact on the relationship to the father under inheritance and maintenance law.
Acknowledgements of paternity with corresponding declarations of consent (by the mother) can also be notarised before the birth of the child.
The current identity papers and, if applicable, a birth certificate of the child – if this certificate has already been issued by the Registry Office – are required for the visit at the Youth Welfare Office.
If the parents do not have sufficient knowledge of the German language, an interpreter is required for the notarisation. The interpreter can be a person trusted by the parents and should be brought along to the appointment. However, the interpreter must not be a relative or in-law of either of the parents, but rather should be a friend or acquaintance, work colleague or neighbour. The interpreter must also be able to identify himself or herself at the notarisation with a current form of ID.
Declarations of custody
Declarations of custody („Sorgerechtserklärungen“) can be made by parents who are not married to each other.
With the joint declaration of custody, the parents jointly regulate all matters concerning their child. These include for example “which school should the child attend?”, “where should the child stay?”, “should financial assets be formed, and if so which kind?” and so on. Parents can already clarify a differentiated range of questions about joint custody in advance at the local branch offices of the Youth and Social Welfare Office (“Sozialrathäuser”, see mapExternal Link for the locations and districts) of the City of Frankfurt am Main at the respective Child and Youth Welfare Social Services (“Kinder- und Jugendhilfe Sozialdienst”).
Joint custody begins on the day of notarisation at the notary or the Youth Welfare Office. Given that the declaration of custody can also be notarised before the birth of the child, in that case it shall only begin upon the birth of the child. As a rule, the declaration of custody is valid until the child reaches legal age, unless one parent wishes to have the declaration of custody amended or revoked. A modification of joint custody can only be applied for at the family court.
If the parents do not have sufficient knowledge of the German language, an interpreter is again required, who can be from the parents’ circle of friends or acquaintances, but must not be related to the parents by blood or marriage.
For the notarisation of joint custody, the parents need their current forms of ID and a birth certificate of the child, in which the father’s name is listed. (Alternatively, the acknowledgement of paternity with the mother’s consent).
Appointments at the Youth and Social Welfare Office of the City of Frankfurt am Main
Notarisations for acknowledgements of paternity, declarations of consent and declarations of custody take place at the Youth Welfare Office and Social Welfare Office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments for notarisation can be made using the contact details above.