Confirming the paternity of a father or the maternity of another mother
The person who gives birth is the mother of a child. If the mother has a husband when the child is born, this person will be the child’s father. If the mother and father are not married when the child is born, the father’s paternity will have to be confirmed separately. When a female couple receive a child with the help of fertility treatment, the non-biological mother can be confirmed as the child’s other mother.
For the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to be able to confirm a person’s paternity or another mother’s maternity, the person must acknowledge their paternity or maternity. The acknowledgement can be done during the pregnancy at the child health clinic or the office of the child welfare supervisor and, after the child has been born, at the office of the child welfare supervisor.
After the acknowledgement has been made, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency can confirm the person’s paternity or maternity after the child has been born.
However, a person’s paternity can also be confirmed without the acknowledgement process through a court decision. This also applies to cases where a person’s paternity cannot be confirmed on a voluntary basis.
The prerequisites for confirming the maternity of the other mother in a female couple include the following:
A person’s maternity can also be confirmed by a court of law.
You can acknowledge your paternity either at the child welfare clinic or at the office of the child welfare supervisor before the child’s birth. During the acknowledgement hearing, both parents must be present with their proof of identity.
After the child has been born, the acknowledgement can be done at the office of the child welfare supervisor.
If you would like to acknowledge that you are the father of a child, a young person or an adult, you can contact the child welfare supervisor. However, a child aged 15 years or over can prohibit the paternity investigation.
When a female couple begins expecting a child that was conceived during a fertility treatment process, the child’s non-biological mother can acknowledge her maternity of the child.
The other mother can acknowledge her maternity during the pregnancy at the child health clinic or the office of the child welfare supervisor and, after the child has been born, at the office of the child welfare supervisor. During the acknowledgement hearing, both mothers must be present with their proof of identity. You will also need to bring a certificate on the fertility treatment.
If the child has been conceived as a result of any other process than a fertility treatment, the non-biological mother can become the child’s parent only via step-parent adoption.
If a man will not acknowledge his paternity, the child’s guardian or the child welfare supervisor can take legal action to confirm the man’s paternity on behalf of the child. The child welfare supervisor will carry out a paternity investigation, and a court of law will decide on the matter on the basis of the investigation’s results. If a DNA test proves that the man is the father, he will be given an opportunity to acknowledge his paternity before the case is brought to court.
A man who believes he is the father of a child can also launch an investigation by acknowledging his paternity, even if the mother objects to it. The mother does not have a legal right to object to the investigation of paternity.
If a child is born as a result of fertility treatment and the biological father is a gamete donor, the mother’s husband will still be confirmed as the father.
If the couple that received fertility treatment was not married, the mother’s partner must acknowledge their paternity. If a man will not acknowledge his paternity, a court of law can confirm his paternity on the basis of the consent that he gave to the fertility treatment, even if donated gametes were used during the treatment process.
A female couple may, in connection with fertility treatment, also accept sperm from a man who has given his consent to the confirmation of paternity. In that case, the sperm donor (and not the spouse of the mother who gave birth to the child) is the child’s other parent.
If a single woman receives fertility treatment, the gamete donor can be confirmed as the father. If the man who donated his gametes has not given their consent to the confirmation of their paternity, the child will have no official father.
When the child becomes an adult, they will have the right to know the donor’s name, even if the donor has not been confirmed as the father.
The birth mother will be the child's only guardian if the parents are not married when the child is born. Both parents will become the child's guardians in case they are married when the child is born.
If the other parent has officially acknowledged paternity or maternity during pregnancy, they will also be the child’s guardian once their parenthood is confirmed. In this case, the parents will have joint custody of their child.
If a parent only acknowledges their parenthood after the child’s birth, only the child’s birth mother will be the child’s guardian. However, parents can agree on the child’s joint custody under the supervision of a child welfare officer.