Families: Acknowledgments of paternity should be examined more critically

When it comes to the recognition of paternity and the associated right of residence in Germany, the bodies and authorities involved should investigate doubtful cases more specifically.

Families: Acknowledgments of paternity should be examined more critically

When it comes to the recognition of paternity and the associated right of residence in Germany, the bodies and authorities involved should investigate doubtful cases more specifically.

"Unfortunately, the current procedure for preventing abusive acknowledgments of paternity does not work sufficiently," said the chairman of the conference of interior ministers, Bavaria's department head Joachim Herrmann (CSU), the German Press Agency in Munich. The federal government is examining the need for reform. "This situation is highly unsatisfactory. From our point of view, the reform of paternity acknowledgments should be implemented as soon as possible."

The interior and justice ministers of the federal states want to discuss this topic in Munich today, among other things. Herrmann emphasized that cases were repeatedly reported in retrospect in which acknowledgments of paternity were only used to give the alleged parent a right of residence.

Herrmann: The current regulation has not proven its worth

The regulations that came into force in July 2017 have not proven themselves in practice. "According to this, the notarizing authorities such as notaries, youth welfare offices or registry offices would have to suspend the notarization and transmit the case to the responsible foreigners authority if there were concrete indications of an improper acknowledgment of paternity," said Herrmann.

In practice, however, due to the information available to them, the notarizing bodies apparently had difficulties in determining facts from which specific indications of abuse could be derived, Herrmann said. Therefore, the procedures would ultimately not be forwarded to the immigration authorities for review.

A survey of the Bavarian immigration authorities showed that between January 2018 and the end of June 2020, around 120 potential abusive acknowledgments of paternity could not be determined by the immigration authorities. The reason was that the notarizing body had already certified the acknowledgment of paternity and had not suspended the procedure, according to Herrmann.

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