Relationship between Children and their Unmarried Parents

Nine months ago, I spent a wonderful night with my boy friend. I just gave birth to the cutest girl you have ever seen. Who gets legal custody?

This one is easy. You will have sole custody of the child if your boy friend chooses not to publicly declare that he will care for your joint child (§1626a BGB). Now, do not worry about publicity, the law does not mean that he has to literally tell it to the world. The two of you have to see a notary public (Notar), and have him certify your declaration (§1626d BGB). If you get married, you can forget the declaration.

My boyfriend and I are arguing about whose last name our child shall get. He even insists on giving his name to the girl even though he hasn’t even spent any money to help me out with her. I think he should get lost!

Well, losing him is your problem… The law offers you a pretty painless solution (§1617a I BGB): you, the mother, determine her last name. If you decide to give the child her father’s last name, then you must meet some formal requirements. You must visit a public notary and declare in front of him that your child shall receive his last name. This certified declaration is to be handed to the office of recording (Standesamt).


Relevant Checklists:

The checklist(s) below are not just a repetition of any table above but they also cover(s) further hints to help you make the office easy and avoid a second visit because you missed something!

Where to Register Your Newborn Child  – containg further details

Additional information