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Report the name of the child to the registry office after birth

You must inform the registry office of your child's name.

Prerequisite

You have the following options for the name:

First names

If both parents have custody, they can jointly determine the first name of their child.

If only one parent has custody, that parent may choose the first name.

You can choose the first name yourself. Not permitted are names

  • which by their nature are not first names, such as names of goods, fantasy names, disparagements or
  • which are detrimental to the welfare of the child.

Tip: First names contained in first name directories are unproblematic. These are available in bookshops or on the Internet.

Surname (birth name)

When determining your child's surname (also called birth name), you as parents must consider the following:

  • You are married to each other and have a married name. The child will then be given your married name as its birth name.
  • You are married to each other but do not have a married name. You can then determine either the mother's or the father's surname as the child's name at birth.This provision then also applies to all further children.
  • They are not married to each other and one parent has sole custody of the child. In this case, the child is given his or her family name. As the parent with custody, you can also give the child the surname of the other parent. However, this is only possible with the other parent's consent.
  • You are not married to each other but have joint custody. In this case, you can choose either the mother's or the father's surname as the child's name at birth.

Note: In the case of children with foreign citizenship, the naming is usually regulated by the law of the state to which they belong. Detailed information can be obtained from the embassy or consulate of the respective country.

Responsible department

for the certification: the registry office of the child's place of birth

Procedure

Give the desired first names and the surname of the child to the birth centre. The birth centre will forward the information to the registry office when the birth is announced.

The registry office of the place of birth of your child is always responsible.

If you report a home birth to the registry office, inform the registry office directly of the desired first names and surname.

The registry office will issue the child's birth certificate.

Deadlines

If the name has not yet been decided at the time of birth, you must announce it within one month afterwards.

Required documents

Find out from the relevant registry office which documents you need to submit.

Costs

for the declaration of name and the first issue of a birth certificate: none

Miscellaneous

If the child's birth name has not been determined after one month, the registry office is obliged to inform the competent family court.

The family court assigns the right to determine the name to one of the parents.

Appeal

You can lodge an appeal against a negative decision. You will find the responsible office in the instructions on appealing the decision.

Release note

09.01.2024; Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg