Congratulations on the birth of your child! You will find tips on everything from pregnancy to day care for your child here.
Every birth must be reported to the register office (Standesamt) of the place of birth and registered there.
If your child enters the world in a Cologne hospital, the clinics will deal with the formalities of registration with us. Otherwise the midwife, family doctor or emergency doctor will issue a notice of birth, which you must present to us at the time of registration.
The following are required:
- Notification of birth (Geburtsanzeige) from the hospital, midwife, family doctor or emergency doctor
- Personal identity card or passport
- Certificates of civil status (Personenstandsurkunden)
Depending on the civil status of the mother, various certificates must be presented. You will find details of this under "Information about the registration of births".
- If applicable, proof of previously registered acknowledgement of paternity in the case of unmarried mothers
- If applicable, declaration of joint parental custody in the case of unmarried mothers
Depending on the civil status of the mother, various certificates must be presented:
- Married mother
Familienstammbuch (family register) or photocopy from the marriage register and the birth certificates of both parents. In the case of marriage abroad, the marriage certificate translated into German, the birth certificates of the parents translated into German if necessary and, if applicable, a copy of the national identity card.
- Single mother
Own birth certificate.
- Divorced mother
Own birth certificate and a certified copy of the marriage register with notice of dissolution. In the case of marriage abroad, the marriage certificate translated into German, as well as a decree absolute and, if applicable, the recognition of foreign divorce for German law.
- Widowed mother
Own birth certificate, certified copy of the marriage register with notice of husband's death or family register (Familienstammbuch) and death certificate.
Information for unmarried mothers
If the father is to be entered on the birth certificate directly at the time of registration, and if this has not been acknowledged prior to the birth, please come to the register office together. Please bring your identity cards and your birth certificates with you.
Should you need any certificates from Cologne register office for your registration, you can order these online.
In principle, no interview is required if the birth has been registered by the relevant hospital administration. Birth certificates are also handed over to you there.
In the case of a birth in the Kölner Geburtshaus (Cologne maternity hospital) or at home, a personal interview with the mother or father is necessary.
There is no charge for registering a birth. Certificates are issued free of charge for statutory purposes such as christenings, child allowance, health insurance or parental allowance.
Charges only arise when additional certificates are ordered. In this case the first certificate costs 10 euros, each additional one 5 euros.
A child of foreign parents acquires German citizenship by being born in the country if, at the time of birth, one of the parents
- has been lawfully and habitually resident in the country for eight years
- is entitled to freedom of movement as an EU citizen or a citizen on equal terms of an EEA country, or
- is a Swiss citizen in possession of a residence permit on the basis of the freedom of movement agreement between the European Community and Swiss Confederation dated 21 June 1999, or
- has an EU residence permit or a permanent residence permit.
The acquisition of German citizenship is recorded by the official responsible for registering the birth of the child.
As your child also takes the nationality of its parents, it is a basic requirement that you also register the birth with the relevant consulate. In the interests of legal security, we recommend that you do this as soon as possible, as checks on the acquisition of German citizenship take a few weeks. If you are entitled to asylum, it is recommended that you contact the relevant aliens authority (Ausländeramt) beforehand.
An interview with the register office is not necessary. Official checks are carried out on the acquisition of German citizenship. Once your child has acquired German citizenship, you will be notified automatically.
There are no charges for checking the acquisition of German citizenship on the basis of birth in the country.