Unmarried Parents: Acknowledgement of Paternity

Understand what to do if you and your partner are unmarried: How to recognise paternity and what that means for a new child...

If the mother is unmarried at the time of birth, the father must expressly acknowledge the child.

This has to be done at the registry office either of the place of the child's birth or at the place of domicile of the father or mother. This is then recorded in the acknowledgement-of-paternity register.

Fathers of foreign nationality wishing to acknowledge their child, must contact their local registry office as the documents required may vary from canton to canton.

Once the paternity is registered the child does not automatically gain the citizenship or name of the father although the child will benefit from a simplified naturalisation procedure.

The father does not have parental authority; this falls exclusively to the mother, although in some cases joint parental authority may be granted.