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German Law/How to I bring my german daughter to the US?


Hello, I am in the USAF and while stationed in Germany I got a german citizen pregnant which I did not marry. After my child being two months of age we went to obtain a DNA test which tested the child was mine. I did not sign anything about custody, but I did get my daughter on weekends while I was in Germany I also pay child support for her. I was stationed back to the US in January of this year leaving my daughter behind. After leaving Germany I was having problems contacting the mother of my child. I found out through social media that my daughter was with Jugendamt in June of 2013; I finally got ahold of the mother of my child and was told she was back in her care and doing great. I received a letter November of 2013 from Germany that my daughter has been with Jugendamt since June of 2013 and they determined her mother to be unfit and will permantley be with Jugendamt. I want to bring my poor baby home and want her to be with me. What is the process I need to take to get my  daughter to the US with me?"

Hello Darla,

first of all we would need to obtain the paperwork from the Jugendamt to see if the mother lost custody. From what you say, it sounds like it.

Even though you did not have shared custody, if the mother lost custody, you should normally receive sole custody according to 1680 III BGB unless the Family Court thinks that this is not in the child's interest. As you have shown an interest in your daughter and took care of her when you still lived in the same country, I don't see any reason why the Family Court would deny your request.

Once you have sole custody, you would be free to take your daughter to the United States with you.

All of this is subject to you having legal paternity, for which you would have needed to sign an acknowledgement of paternity. If not, you can still do so however.

If you have the paperwork from the Jugendamt or if you need help contacting them, please feel free to e-mail me at

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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