Registering a birth in Germany

Registering a birth in Germany

Any child born in Germany needs to be registered at the local Standesamt (registry office) in order to receive a birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde). This needs to be done within one week of childbirth.

Registering a child born in Germany

You can either register the birth yourself, or it can be done by your partner, a member of your family, the midwife, your doctor, or a friend. You need to attend the registry office in the town where you gave birth. You can find a list of Standesämtern in Germany here.

How to register your child

To register your child, you simply need to attend a short appointment. If you cannot speak German, you should be accompanied by an interpreter. At the appointment, the official will check through your paperwork and, if all is in order, issue the birth certificate.

Documents required for registering a birth in Germany

You need to bring the following documents to register the birth:

  • The record of birth, signed by the midwife or doctor
  • Valid IDs, such as passports, for both parents (not a driver’s licence)
  • Marriage certificate (if married)
  • Acknowledgement of paternity (if unmarried - see below)
  • Both parents’ birth certificates (if unmarried)

Once your child’s birth has been registered, the registry office will automatically inform both the local citizens’ office (so that the child can be registered as a resident) and the tax office (so they can issue a tax ID and update the parents’ details for income tax).

You will receive multiple copies of the birth certificate. You can also request extra ones, as you may need quite a few to apply for things like child benefit, maternity benefit and parental allowance, as well as health insurance. If you need, you can also request an international birth certificate, which is produced in French, German and English.

Getting a German passport

As a child born on German soil, your newborn child has a right to German citizenship and a German passport.

Acknowledgement of paternity (Vaterschaftsanerkennung)

Under German law, if a couple is married at the time of a child’s birth, the father is automatically granted paternity. If you and your partner are not married, the father will need to officially acknowledge paternity in order to become the lawful father. This can also be done at the registry office, during the pregnancy or after birth. There is no cost involved but you will need to provide the following:

  • Valid IDs, such as passports, for both parents
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Mother’s passport (Mutterpass), if acknowledging before the birth
  • The child’s birth certificate, if acknowledging after the birth
  • Translations of foreign documents

Registering a child born abroad

If your child was born outside of Germany but you wish for them to have a German birth certificate, you can choose to register the birth in Germany. In general, there is no deadline for registering a birth (except for parents who were also born abroad - see below).

To register a foreign birth, you need to arrange a meeting with your competent German mission. You will usually need to bring the following:

  • Valid German passports for both parents
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Child’s birth certificate (full version, with details of parents)
  • Marriage certificate (if married)
  • Divorce decree (if divorced)
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals
  • Registration certificate showing last registered address in Germany

Child born to parents who were born abroad

If you were born abroad after December 31, 1999, and then your child is also born abroad, you need to register your child’s birth within one year in order to qualify them for German citizenship.

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