Establishing paternity means that the authorities are informed who is the father of a given child. The father is under obligation to pay child support to the child if he does not live together with the child´s mother. The child has right of inheritance from the father.
Care and Responsibility Declaration
If the father and the mother jointly sign a Care and Responsibility Declaration, paternity will be recognized. The couple is given this declaration by the midwife and it is sent to the parish register. The father´s signature must be certified by a lawyer or by two witnesses. If the parents wish to submit the Care and Responsibility Declaration before the child is born, the declaration is to be sent to the Regional State Administration instead of the parish register.
If the father has not reached the age of 18, a permission from his guardian is required and the father must appear in person before the Regional State Administration. When paternity has been acknowledged, this has similar effect as a Court order, and therefore acknowledgement of paternity cannot by withdrawn. During the first 6 months following birth the father and the mother may, however, raise objections to the information registered.
Paternity issuesIf the father and the mother do not submit a Care and Responsibility Declaration, the mother is required to inform the Regional State Administration of the name of the father or the possible fathers within a month. This information may also be given to the county or the municipality who will then forward the information to the Regional State Administration. The name of the father may be given already during pregnancy.
Acknowledgement of paternityPaternity is considered to be established if the Regional State Administration receives acknowledgement of paternity in writing from the man designated by the mother. The parties must themselves see to it that the father´s signature is certified by a lawyer or by two witnesses.
If the father has not reached the age of 18, a permission from his guardian is required and the father must appear before the Regional State Administration in person.
When paternity has been acknowledged, this has similar binding effect as a Court order, and therefore acknowledgement of paternity cannot by withdrawn.
In certain cases a man may file a paternity suit, if he believes he is the father of a given child although he is not married to the child´s mother.
If the woman refuses to state the name of the fatherIf a woman refuses to state the name of a possible father, she will be called in for an interview and guidance by the Regional State Administration. If the mother continues to refuse, the case is referred to the courts of law.
If the man denies paternityIf the man pointed out by the mother denies paternity, the Regional State Administration may decide whether biological proof is to be procured, e.g. through DNA testing.
If the Regional State Administration cannot resolve the case, the Regional State Administration will refer the case to the courts of law. The mother and the man or the men pointed out by the mother will have to appear in court and explain if and when they have had intercourse. Both the mother and the possible fathers are under obligation to testify, and if they do not turn up in court, they may be brought in by the police. The court may also decide that DNA testing is to be carried out.
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Senest opdateret 11. mar 2010