Fatherhood begins during pregnancy or childbirth

Voluntary recognition of paternity

General information

If a child is born, its parents Not together married if the husband is or is not the father of the child, the biological father can acknowledge paternity by means of a personal declaration.

Paternity is recognized by a personal declaration in a domestic public or publicly certified document. To do this, the father must appear in person at the responsible office (see below) and sign the certificate. The acknowledgment only becomes effective when the certificate or the certified copy is sent to the responsible registry office.

The mother and child are notified of the recognition of paternity. You can lodge an objection to the acknowledgment at the court within two years.

The father can only be specified in the birth certificate if hevoluntarily recognizes paternity or youjudicially determined has been.

The recognition of paternity is, for example, a prerequisite for maintenance or the legal right of inheritance of the child.


A check of paternity can also be carried out voluntarily or out of court by means of a DNA analysis in a laboratory responsible for this.

If the mother is married but the husband is not the father of the child, a so-called qualified acknowledgment of paternity are present. To do this, the following prerequisites for acknowledgment of paternity must be met:

  • If the child is a minor, the mother must designate the recognizing person as the child's father.
  • The child must agree to the acknowledgment (in the case of a minor child, the child and youth welfare agency, formerly known as the youth welfare agency, is the child's legal representative).
  • The child must be an Austrian citizen.

Further information on acquiring Austrian citizenship through descent can also be found at oesterreich.gv.at

The recognizing person is then entered in the birth certificate instead of the mother's husband.

If the acknowledging father is a minor, he / she needs the consent of his / her legal representative for the acknowledgment of paternity. The man who was previously established as a father can appeal against the qualified recognition to the court.


Usually, paternity is recognized when the birth is reported. There are no deadlines for voluntary paternity recognition.

In principle, paternity can be recognized before birth. In practice, this is primarily intended for cases in which acknowledgment of paternity after the birth, e.g. due to a longer stay abroad or a serious illness of the father, would not be possible or would only be possible much later.

Competent authority

In Germany:

You can contact a registry office, a child and youth welfare agency, formerly known as a youth welfare agency, or a notary throughout Austria. If you want to carry out the recognition at the district court, the person responsible is usually the one in whose district the child - or, if recognition is given before birth: the mother - has the habitual residence. If a guardianship procedure is pending at the time of the acknowledgment of paternity, the district court appointed to manage the guardianship is responsible.

At the registry office, the acknowledgment of paternity, the birth certificate and the custody regulation can be done at the same time.


The Austrian representation authorities (embassy, ​​consulate)


For the issuance of the acknowledgment of paternity, the father must appear in person at a competent authority and declare paternity in a domestic public or publicly certified document.

However, the acknowledgment of paternity only becomes effective when the certificate of this declaration or its officially certified copy has been received by the registry office of the child's place of birth.

The acknowledgment must contain the exact designation of the acknowledging person, the mother and the child, if it is already born.

Required documents

As a minor father: additionally

  • Consent of the legal representative
  • Official photo ID of the legal representative

For foreign citizenship: additionally

  • Passport or other proof of citizenship and photo ID

Before the birth: in addition

If the birth is displayed at the same time: additionally

After the birth has been certified: additionally

  • Child's birth certificate


Upon request, the submission of the confirmation of the report can be replaced by querying the authority in the Central Resident Register (ZMR).

Foreign-language documents must be submitted in the original together with a translation certified in Austria.

Whether certified translations from other countries are recognized depends on the respective procedural regulations. For example, an apostille may be required to recognize the documents. Further information is available from the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.


If a foreign-language document has to be submitted in the original together with a certified translation, the translation may generally only be carried out by sworn and court-certified interpreters. A list of the sworn and court-certified interpreters (→ BMJ) in Austria can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice. Interpreters from other EU / EEA member states can also register on this list.


In principle, there are no costs for the recognition of paternity. However, there are regularly additional costs for the creation of the documents (e.g. for the notary).

Additional Information

Related Links

Certifications for international recognition of documents (→ BMEIA)

Legal bases

Last updated: January 25, 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice