Acknowledgement of parenthood

The child welfare supervisor is responsible for determining the parenthood of children born to parents who are not married nor in a civil partnership. You can acknowledge parenthood and become a legal parent to your child before or after its birth.

If a child is born at a time when its parents were not married, parental and official measures may be required to acknowledge the child's parenthood. Make an appointment with the child welfare supervisor to acknowledge parenthood.

Book an appointment using our call-back service!

We will call you back twice, we aim to contact you within the next five business days.

To cancel your booked appointment:

You can cancel your appointment by sending an SMS to +358 50 402 0084. In your message, state your name, the exact time of the booked appointment and the name of the child welfare supervisor you had your meeting scheduled with. Cancelling your appointment affects both parents.

If you want to book a new appointment, call the appointment booking number +358 9 3104 4999.

Acknowledgement of parenthood

If you have not acknowledged your paternity at the maternity and child health clinic, you can do so at the child welfare supervisor’s office. You and the child’s mother must meet the child welfare supervisor together. You must both carry valid identity documents, and the mother must have her maternity card from the maternity and child health clinic (proof of pregnancy).  

When a child is born to unwed parents, the Local Register Office informs the child welfare supervisor in the child’s municipality of residence. If you have not acknowledged paternity during the pregnancy, the child welfare supervisor will send a contact and appointment request to the child’s mother to determine paternity.  

In order to determine paternity, each parent must meet the child welfare supervisor in person. Usually, the parents make a joint appointment for this, but the child’s mother or father can also initiate the investigation of paternity on their own.  

If the potential father lives abroad, the mother must have his contact information.  

If your paternity is unclear, you can confirm it with a free legal DNA paternity test.  

The test includes a swab sample from the inside of the cheek. A similar sample is taken from the child.  

You must not eat, drink or smoke for at least half an hour before the sample is taken.   

This legal DNA sample is analysed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, which sends the result to the child welfare supervisor. The child welfare supervisor provides the test result to the parents.  

The test result does not reveal anything else.  

A legal DNA test is necessary if a parent with an immigrant background is unable to obtain an official identity document or passport, and in a situation where the mother’s marital status is not known. 

Your female partner or spouse can also be confirmed as the mother if you have applied for fertility treatment together and the child was born as a result of the treatment.  

The parents may acknowledge maternity at the child welfare supervisor’s office before the child is born, if the matter cannot be handled at the maternity and child health clinic for some reason.  

The parents must meet the child welfare supervisor together. They must have valid identity documents, a certificate of fertility treatment and a maternity card from the maternity and child health clinic (proof of pregnancy).  

You and the other parent must have valid identity documents with you.  

Acceptable documents: 

  • a passport (any country)  

  • an alien’s passport issued by a Finnish authority or a refugee’s travel document   

  • an identity card (issued by an authority in Finland, the European Economic Area, San Marino or Switzerland)  

  • a driving licence issued by a Finnish authority after 1 October 1990.  

If the child has been conceived through fertility treatment, the parents must have the original fertility treatment certificate with them.

Service points

Family law service

Address: Vironkatu 2, 00170 Helsinki