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Birth declaration or child acknowledgment?

Updated: Jun 30

It is important to understand the difference when it comes to declaring the birth of a child or acknowledging them as such.

Birth declaration is a mandatory procedure that every parent must undergo to obtain a birth certificate for the child. This vital step ensures that the child's existence is officially recognized and documented, with significant implications for their future. Once registered, the child receives a birth certificate, an official document confirming their identity and date of birth. The birth certificate can be used as proof of identity when applying for a passport, driver's license, and other important documents. It also serves as crucial evidence when establishing a person's citizenship application.


The declaration of a child is mandatory under penalty of criminal sanction. It must be carried out within 5 days following birth by anyone who attended the delivery (such as the father, for example). You can declare the birth of the child at the town hall of the place of birth.

How does the recognition of a child work?

Recognizing a child is a voluntary process that allows parents to officially register their child with any town hall. While the birth declaration is required to obtain a birth certificate, recognizing a child is not necessary for obtaining citizenship. In fact, parents can choose to recognize their child at any time during their lives.

For same-sex couples:

The joint recognition of a child by a same-sex couple can be done in person at the same time as signing the sperm donation consent. The biological mother and the second mother must submit the joint recognition to the civil registrar when declaring the child's birth by one of the following individuals: biological mother, second mother, person responsible for declaring the birth. This process ensures that both mothers have the same rights and responsibilities towards the child. It also allows both mothers to be listed on the child's birth certificate. In some cases, the father may also be included on the birth certificate if he provides a notarized statement accepting joint recognition. Ultimately, joint recognition has many advantages for the mother and the child. It helps build a stronger bond between the mother and the child, providing legal protections and ensuring that both mothers are equally responsible for the child's well-being.

Anonymous Birth:

An anonymous birth is a non-recognition of the child by the mother at birth. Pregnancy is a life-changing event, and it's understandable that some women may be unsure of their ability to care for a child. In such cases, it is possible to give birth anonymously, whether in a public or private facility. To do this, the mother simply informs the medical team of her choice, and the child will be entrusted to the child protection agency. However, it's important to note that the mother can change her mind within two months and reclaim her child if she wishes. Ultimately, anonymous birth is a personal decision that should be made based on what is best for the mother and the child.

Child Recognition (Unmarried Couple):

The parentage of a child born to unmarried parents is not always automatic. In most cases, if the mother's name is on the birth certificate, maternal parentage is established. However, for the father to be legally recognized as the child's parent, he must take steps to recognize the child. This can be done through a simple declaration to the authorities or, in some cases, by signing the birth certificate. Once parentage is established, the child has the right to inherit from both parents and receive child support from both parents. Additionally, the child's legal relationship with both parents is recognized, which can be important for matters such as custody and visitation rights.

What to do in case of the father's death before birth?

While the death of a father is always a tragedy, it can be particularly challenging when the father dies before the child's birth. In such cases, it is still possible to establish a filial link between the child and the father. If the child was conceived during the marriage, the mother's husband is presumed to be the father of the child. This is known as the presumption of paternity. If the couple was not married, you need to visit a notary to establish an act of notoriety. This document will establish the child's right to inherit from the father. Although nothing can replace a loving parent, taking these measures can help ensure that the child can receive their legitimate inheritance.

What are the consequences of recognizing a child late?

Parental authority is the legal right and responsibility to make decisions for a child. This includes decisions regarding the child's education, health, and well-being. When parents are not married, a father who recognizes his child after the age of one does not have parental authority.


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