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Acknowledging parenthood of your child in the Netherlands

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.

This is how it works for you

Your (future) place of residence falls under:
Informatie:

Here is some information from your municipality.

Municipality of Stichtse Vecht: Acknowledging parenthood of your child

Acknowledgement before the birth

You can acknowledge the child before it is born, so the name of the recognizer will appear directly on the birth certificate.

  • acknowledgement means that you assume legal parenthood of a child
  • you must acknowledge the child in person
  • in order to do this, make an appointment
  • the mother must attend the appointment in person, if it is the first child from the same relationship
  • bring valid identification documents of you and the mother
  • The mother must always give her consent
  • Each child must be acknowledged separately

Acknowledgement after the birth

  • acknowledgement means that you assume the legal parenthood of a child
  • make an appointment
  • bring valid proof of identity

  • you must be 16 years of age or older in order to acknowlegde the child
  • you must not be related to the mother
  • there must not already be 2 parents

Before birth

Bring:

  • a valid proof of identity from yourself
  • A valid identity document of the mother
  • The mother must come with you if it is the first child in your relationship.
  • If it is not the first child in your relationship, the mother does not have to come along to the appointment. However, the form "Consent to recognition of unborn child" must be completed and brought to the appointment if the mother does not come along.

After the birth of the child

If the child is younger than 12 years old

  • a valid identity document from yourself (recognizer) and the mother
  • personal or written consent of the mother. The mother must come along personally if you want the child to be given the surname of the acknowledger
  • If your child was not born in Stichtse Vecht, please also bring a recent copy of the birth certificate.

If the child is between 12 and 16 years old

  • a valid identity document of yourself (recognizer) and the mother
  • personal or written consent of the mother and child. The mother must come along personally if you want the child to be given the surname of the acknowledger
  • If your child was not born in Stichtse Vecht, please also bring a recent copy of the birth certificate.

If the child is 16 years old or older

  • the child himself/herself. He or she must choose what his/her surname will be
  • a valid identity document of yourself and the child
  • personal consent of the child. The mother does not have to give permission anymore when the child is 16 or older
  • If your child was not born in Stichtse Vecht, please also bring a recent copy of the birth certificate.

Before the birth

Are you expecting a child and are not married to your partner or in a registered partnership? Then the father or duo mother can acknowledge the child. You do not have to be the biological parent to do this.

Acknowledgment means that you assume legal parenthood of a child. You get a duty of care and education for the child. The child receives inheritance rights and can take your last name upon acknowledgement.

Acknowledging during pregnancy

  • This has the advantage that legal parenthood is already established at that time. The surname of the child can also be established.
  • The child also has two parents, even if something happens to the person who acknowledged the child before the birth registration. Therefore, we recommend choosing this option. Even with a subsequent child from the same relationship.
  • For the first child: the mother must come along in person if you want the child to have the surname of the acknowledger. If you want the child to have the mother's last name, the mother can give written consent.
  • For a second or subsequent child: the mother must again give consent. This can be done in writing. A second or subsequent child from the same relationship automatically receives the same last name as the first child.

Choosing a last name

When acknowledging the 1st child you always record the child's last name. Children from the same relationship automatically get the last name of the 1st child. See also Choosing a child's last name.

You want the child to be given the surname of the acknowledger.

Then the mother must come along in person when recognizing the 1st child. For a 2nd and subsequent child from the relationship, written consent from the mother is sufficient.

You want the child to have the surname of the mother

Then the mother does not have to come along personally to the acknowledgment. She can also give written consent. For a 2nd or subsequent child from the relationship, the mother can give written consent in both cases.

Arranging custody separately

Acknowledgement does not give you parental authority over the child. This must be arranged by the court. You can register custody with the court after the birth of your child. You can do this at www.rechtspraak.nl.

After the birth of the child

Acknowledge your child at the time of birth

You must do this in the municipality where the child was born. The mother must come in person if you want the child to carry the surname of the acknowledger. This only applies to the first child in the relationship.

Acknowledging your child after the birth declaration

You can still acknowledge a (older) child in any Dutch municipality after the birth registration. The recognition is valid from the date you recognize the child, not from the birth.

  • If the child is younger than 12 years old: personal or written consent of the mother. The mother has to come along personally if you want the child to be given the acknowledger's last name.
  • if the child is between 12 and 16 years old: personal or written consent of the mother and the child. The mother has to come along personally if you want the child to have the surname of the acknowledging person
  • if the child is 16 or older: the child must be present in person at the recognition. He or she must choose what his/her last name will be. The child gives consent in person. The mother no longer needs to give consent when the child is 16 years of age or older

Choosing a last name

When acknowledging the 1st child, you always record the child's last name. Children from the same relationship automatically receive the surname of the first child. See also Choosing a child's last name.

You want the child to be given the surname of the acknowledger

Then the mother must come along in person when acknowledging the first child.

You want the child to get the surname of the mother

Then the mother does not have to come along personally at the recognition. She can also give written consent for the acknowledgement. With a 2nd or subsequent child from the relationship, the mother can give written consent for acknowledgment in both cases.

Questions about this topic?

Contact the Municipality of Stichtse Vecht

Visiting address

Endelhovenlaan 1

3601GR Maarssen

Opening hours
Monday
8:30 - 17:00
Tuesday
8:30 - 17:00
Wednesday
8:30 - 17:00
Thursday
8:30 - 17:00
Friday
8:30 - 17:00
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed
Last updated on 23 December 2022