Children of married parents


General Information

If the parents are married to each other and one parent has the German citizenship, the child automatically receives German citizenship at birth. There are no further declarations of descent to be made.

It is also important to note that if the German parent was born abroad after December 31, 1999, the birth of the child must be registered in Germany before the child reaches the age of one so that the child acquires German citizenship.

What is my child's family name and how can I determine his or her family name?

In accordance with the German law, the child receives the married name of the parents as the maiden name if the parents were married to each other at the time of birth and shared a married name. In cases where the parents are married to each other but do not have a common married name, the parents must submit a name declaration, e.g. as part of the birth announcement, before a German passport can be issued for the child.

If both parents are exclusively German nationals, only German law is applicable for the name of the child. If one parent has a nationality other than German, the parents can choose the law of the home country of the foreign parent.

However, the choice of Ghanaian law cannot currently be recommended due to pending court proceedings in this area and the associated legal uncertainty. In this context, the responsible registry offices are currently examining whether Ghanaian naming law, which allows fantasy names without a recognizable family connection, can still be applied in choosing family names. It is irrelevant whether a fantasy name has actually been chosen in the individual case. The registry offices will therefore suspend the processing of applications with the choice of the Ghanaian naming law until a further court decision on the above-mentioned question has been made. Unfortunately, the duration of this procedure is unforeseeable.

What documents do I need for the birth announcement or the name declaration?

1. Child's birth certificate

2. Parents' marriage certificate

3. Mother's birth certificate

4. Father's birth certificate

5. Passport of any nationality of the mother

6. Passport of any nationality of the father

7. If applicable, naturalization certificate of the German parent

8. If applicable, divorce decree in the case of previous marriages of the parents

The original documents must be submitted with the application.

Documents that are not in German or English must be translated into German by a sworn translator.

What fees do I have to pay when applying at the embassy?

Birth announcement without name declaration 56,43 Euro
Name declaration 79,57 Euro
Certification of the copies for the registry office 22,92 Euro

How do I get an appointment and what is the procedure?

As soon as you have prepared all the documents for the birth announcement or the name declaration, please book an appointment here.

The embassy does not process any applications itself, but forwards them to the responsible registry office, if you wish. However, you also have the option of sending your application directly to the responsible registry office, provided no name declaration is required.

If you submit your application through the embassy, both parents with custody must be present in person at the appointment, as both signatures on the application form must be certified. If your child is 14 years old or older, the child's presence is also required.

The documents are then sent to the registry office. The registry office at the child's last place of residence in Germany or, if the child has never lived in Germany, at the last place of residence of one of the parents, is responsible for processing your application. If neither the child nor either of the parents had a residence in Germany at any time, the registry office I in Berlin is responsible. They will contact you directly after the completion of the examination. This can take a few months.

If you are planning an urgent trip with the child in the meantime, you can contact the embassy and enquire about the possibility of applying for a temporary passport.

Top of page