- Public service
The task of a Child Welfare Officer is to investigate the paternity of extramarital children.
After the child is born, the Child Welfare Officer will send the mother an invitation to a paternity test.
Usually, the parents visit the Child Welfare Officer together, but the mother also has the option to launch the paternity investigation process by herself. The man who believes himself to be the father, may also launch the investigation by acknowledging the child as his own.
When investigating paternity, the Child Welfare Officer will hear both the mother and the man believed to be the father. DNA tests are also possible. Both the mother and the man have to prove their identity when visiting the Child Welfare Officer, through a reliable method (valid identity card or a passport).
If the man is not willing to voluntarily acknowledge the child, the Child Welfare Officer can, upon the mother's request, take legal actions, in order to confirm the paternity in a court of justice.
To whom and on what terms
The mother or parents of extramarital children.
The service is only for citizens of Helsinki.
The purpose of investigating paternity is to obtain information to determine or confirm the child’s father. Paternity is investigated by the municipal child welfare officer and confirmed by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. You are automatically the child’s father and guardian if the child is born in marriage. If you aren’t married to the child’s mother, your paternity will be investigated and confirmed.
Before the birth of the child you can acknowledge your paternity by personally notifying the nurse or midwife at the local maternity clinic, in the presence of the expectant mother. In this case, you will become the child's other guardian once your paternity is established. You may also do the acknowledgement of paternity at the child welfare supervisor’s office.
After the birth of the child you may do the acknowledgement of paternity only at the child welfare supervisor’s office. At the same time, if you wish, you may agree by separate agreement, that you will also become a guardian of the child.
If a child is born as a result of an assisted fertility treatment, you are the child’s father if you have consented to the treatment together with the child’s mother. If treatment was provided to the mother alone, you are the child’s father if you have consented to having your paternity confirmed when donating gametes or if you have, in agreement with the mother, consented to having your paternity confirmed after the treatment.
If the child is born as a result of fertility treatment and if the mother and the father are not married when the child is born, the father’s paternity have to be acknowledged.