Frequently Asked Questions on family matters and their answers


Birth of German children

Children of German parents usually receive their German citizenship at the time of their birth. Often it is necessary to go through some procedures first, before a German passport can be issued to the child. Here are some examples:

1. Parents are not married

You need to do a German paternity recognition. All information on the procedure can be found here.

2. Parents do not have the same surname (it does not matter if they are married or not)

You need to do a name declaration, so that the child receives a surname that is valid in Germany. You find information on the name declaration here.

You can either come to the German embassy together with the mother and the child when you are visiting them in Ghana to do the paternity declaration and the name declaration. Or you can do the recognition of paternity at the German competent authority (child care service, registry office, notary public) and send it to the mother, who can do her declaration of consent and name declaration at the German embassy. The documents will be sent to the registry office in Germany, which will invite you to give your signature to the name declaration as well.

No. The name declaration needs to be sent to the registry office in Germany to become valid. Only after the registry office confirms officially that the surname of the child was registered, you can apply for the German passport.

The name declaration is necessary by German law when parents do not have the same surname at the time of birth of the child. Without the name declaration, the child does not have a surname by German law and cannot get a German passport.

If you do just the name declaration, the registry office will register the name and issue a name certificate.

If you apply for a birth registry, you do the name declaration in the birth registry application form. This form will be sent to the registry office, which will register the name of your child and the birth of your child in the German birth registry and issue a German birth certificate which is accepted in many countries without further verification.

The application process at the embassy costs the same, no matter if you do the name declaration or the application of birth registry.

The fees at the registry office in Germany may vary, though, as the registry process is more complicated and time consuming. For specific information on the fees at the registry office in Germany, please contact the office directly.


Ghanaian documents cannot be legalized. If a German authority has doubts about the validity of a Ghanaian document, it can ask for a document verification. You find information on the process in German here.

In general, a Ghanaian marriage is also valid in Germany without further registration, if the necessary formal steps have been followed before and during the ceremony.

If you want to receive a German marriage certificate to use it for German administrative matters (tax issues, inheritance etc.), you can register your Ghanaian marriage in a German registry office. You find all information on the procedures here.

You can apply for the registration of your marriage in a German registry office at the German Embassy in Ghana. The Embassy itself does not register the marriage but only sends the application to the relevant authority.

Should your spouse be in Germany, he or she can start the registration directly at the registry office. This saves time and fees. Please check directly with the registry office about the correct procedure.

You can do a name declaration after marriage at the embassy. You find all information on the procedure here.

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