Are you having a child, and you and the birth mother are not married or in a civil partnership? You, as a father or the female partner of a birth mother, can become a legal parent if you officially acknowledge parenthood of that child. This can be done free of charge through your municipality.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child as the father
Are you a man who is married or formed a civil partnership with the birth mother of your child? Then you do not need to formally acknowledge parenthood of the child, as you will automatically be recorded as the legal father. This applies even if you are not the biological father of the child.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child as the female partner of the birth mother
Are you a woman who is married to, or in a civil partnership with, the birth mother? If so, you do not need to acknowledge parenthood if you used an anonymous sperm donor for the pregnancy. As the female partner of the birth mother, you will automatically be considered the child’s mother. However, you do need to prove, when registering the birth, that the sperm donor is not known to you.
Did you use a sperm donor who is known to you? If so, the female partner of the birth mother will not automatically be considered the child’s mother. In this case, you will have to acknowledge parenthood of the child yourself. This is the case even if you are married to, or in a civil partnership with, the birth mother.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child is subject to the following conditions:
- you are at least 16 years old;
- the birth mother has given her consent if the child is under the age of 16;
- you cannot acknowledge parenthood of a child if you are not permitted to marry the birth mother, for example because you are a close blood relative of hers;
- there must not already be 2 parents. Has the child been adopted by the birth mother’s female partner, for example? If so, the biological father will no longer be able to acknowledge parenthood of that child.
- Have you been placed under a conservatorship (in Dutch) on account of your physical or mental state? If so, you will first need to obtain authorisation from the regional court.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child during pregnancy
You can acknowledge parenthood of a child in any municipality in the Netherlands if they have not yet been born. This is referred to as acknowledging parenthood of an unborn child (erkenning van de ongeboren vrucht).
Will the expectant mother not be present when you acknowledge parenthood of your child? If so, she must give her written consent to the acknowledgement.
Is your partner expecting a multiple birth? If so, the acknowledgement applies to all the children with whom your partner is pregnant at that time.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child when registering the birth
You can acknowledge parenthood when you register the birth. You register the birth in the municipality where the child was born.
Will the expectant mother not be present when you acknowledge parenthood? If so, she must give her written consent to the official recognition.
Acknowledging parenthood of a child after registration of the birth
You can also acknowledge parenthood of a child if they are already older, or even an adult. You can do this in any municipality in the Netherlands.
Is your child over the age of 12? If so, you will need written consent from the child and their birth mother. If the child is over the age of 16, only the child’s consent is required.
- You must acknowledge parenthood of each child separately. This includes a second or subsequent child from a relationship. This does not happen automatically, unless you were married or in a civil partnership prior to the birth.
- When acknowledging parenthood of the first child officially, you choose whose surname the child will have: the birth mother’s or yours. All subsequent children from the same relationship are automatically given the same surname as the first child.
- Was the child legally acknowledged before 1 January 2023? Then the parents do have to apply to the district court for joint custody.
- When acknowledging a child if not married or in a civil partnership with the birth mother after 1 January 2023 then you will automatically be granted joint custody (in Dutch). There are exceptions (in Dutch) such as when acknowledging the child you both declare that the birth mother is granted sole custody.
This is how it works for you
Here is some information from your municipality.
Recognition and Dutch nationality
If the biological mother is not Dutch and the father or female partner is, the recognition may have consequences for the nationality of the child.
- Do you recognize the child before his seventh year?
The child automatically acquires Dutch nationality.
- Do you recognize the child after the seventh year?
You must prove your biological parentage within 1 year. You provide this proof with a DNA test. Don't have DNA evidence? And do you still want the child to acquire Dutch nationality? Then you can register the child for the option procedure. You must then have raised the child for at least 3 years.
You must have the DNA test carried out by a laboratory that meets the legal requirements. Please note that you have this done within 1 year after the recognition.
- proof of identity of both parents;
- the biological mother must give consent if the child is under 16 years old;
- the child aged 12 or older must give permission;
- the written result of the DNA test, if the child is older than 7 years.
You acknowledge your child at the municipality.
Make an appointment via: www.olst-wijhe.nl/nationaliteitenerkennen
Acknowledging a child costs nothing. Do take into account the costs for a copy or extract and the costs for the DNA test.
Jan Schamhartstraat 5b