Acknowledgment of paternity
If the parents are not married, the father needs to acknowledge paternity. If the father refuses to acknowledge paternity, the surname of the mother of the child at the time of the birth is entered as the surname and the family name of the father. The name declared by the child’s mother is entered in the “Father’s name” field.
What does the paternity acknowledgment procedure look like? The biological father of the child should submit a declaration of paternity acknowledgment to the Registrar General. An official confirmation from the mother that the given man is the father of her child is also required. Declaration of paternity acknowledgment may be submitted before every Registrar General, Court (Family and Minors Division) or a consul of the Republic of Poland if the paternity is acknowledged abroad. The procedure may be performed before the birth of the child, at the moment of registration of the birth or after the birth certificate is issued. Procedure of paternity acknowledgment is exempt from stamp duty.
What documents are required for paternity acknowledgment?
- parents’ identity cards/passports;
- if the mother is unmarried – abridged copy of her birth certificate;
- if the mother is divorced – abridged copy of the marriage certificate with a note regarding divorce;
- if the mother is widowed – abridged copy of the death certificate of the spouse;
- doctor’s certificate confirming the pregnancy (if acknowledging the paternity of an unborn child);
- full copy of the child’s birth certificate (if the certificate has already been drafted).
In case of a child born during a divorce procedure or within 300 days of the dissolution of the marriage, the ex-husband of the mother is deemed by default the father of the child. If the child was fathered by another man, it must be proved in court proceedings. After its completion, as in the standard paternity acknowledgment procedure described above, the biological father of the child should submit the relevant declaration of paternity acknowledgment at the relevant Civil Registry Office, at a Polish consulate if he is abroad, or at a court. Only after providing such declaration to one of the abovementioned institutions, the application for changing the child’s name may be filed.