- 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 establishing paternity is to obtain the information on the basis of which paternity can be verified and confirmed. Paternity is investigated by the municipal child welfare supervisor and confirmed by the Local Register Office. When a child is born in a marriage, the husband is automatically regarded as the child’s father. If the parents are not married, paternity is investigated and confirmed.
Before the child is born, the father may confirm his paternity in person to the public health nurse or midwife at the municipal maternity clinic in the presence of the mother. A man may also confirm his paternity to a child welfare supervisor.
If a child is born as a result of fertility treatment, the child’s father is the man who gave his consent to the treatment together with the mother. If treatment was provided to a single mother, the child’s father is the man who consented to having his paternity confirmed when donating sperms or who, in agreement with the mother, consents to having his paternity confirmed after the treatment.