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.

This is how it works for you

Your (future) place of residence falls under:

Here is some information from your municipality.

Acknowledging parenthood of a child

Why acknowledging parenthood of a child?

By acknowledging a child you arrange the following:

  • The child and the acknowledgment will have a family-law relationship.
  • You are responsible for the care and upbringing of the child until the age of 21. You also pay for study and food, for example.
  • You and the child become each other's legal heirs.
  • You choose which parent gives the child the surname. Think carefully about this. A surname once chosen cannot (usually) be changed.
  • The child may acquire the nationality of the recognizer (this depends on the law of the country of which the recognizer is a national).
  • You can only reverse the recognition in special cases. This can only be done through the court.

Are you not married or do you not have a registered partnership with the mother of the child? Or are you a co-mother? Then you can acknowledge your child by making an appointment at the Civil Affairs desk.

When do you acknowledge parenthood?

You can acknowledge your child before or after birth, but we recommend that you arrange this before birth. For example, your child legally has a father or a co-mother from birth.

Questions about this topic?

Contact the Municipality of Utrecht

Visiting address

Last updated on 23 December 2022