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German Law/Accepting Fatherhood of an Unborn Child


Hello, I was chatting with a person from the German Consulate in the United States about visas. He suggested I go to Germany and visit the Standesmat at my fiance hometown, and accept fatherhood of our unborn child. I would receive a certificate of some sort and then go to the Immigration Office to get a residency card. I really didn't understand all this and what documentation I would need at both offices. I have searched online for information, but really haven't come up with anything as of yet. My fiance is a german citizen and I am american. Thank you for your thoughts and time...Charles

Actually, that information is not quite correct.

Paternity of a German child does NOT entitle you to a residence permit in Germany.

Only (partial/shared/full) custody over a German child living in Germany does. For that, you need either the mother's consent or a Family Court order. I would advise to speak to the mother and if she is willing to sign a joint custody declaration, then you are indeed on track to a residence permit in Germany. If not, everything will be much more complicated because you would need to convince a German Family Court to give you shared custody. But first steps first.

Good luck!

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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