International Parentage Law

The objective of the law on parentage is to determine who the child’s parents are for the purpose of the effects which the law attaches to the parent-child relationship. A child can only have two parents. In the Dutch legal system legal maternity is at first instance based on childbirth. Under Dutch law the second parent can only establish his legal parenthood on account of the rules of parentage if he is male. Thus the mother’s husband at the moment of birth is presumed to be the legal father of the child. Furthermore parenthood of a male can be established by acknowledgment of the child, adoption or judicial establishment of legal paternity. The second female parent can only establish parenthood by adoption. The question if and how you become the legal parent of a child and whether your parenthood is recognized by the authorities has an international dimension when one or both of the parents have a foreign nationality or if the child has a foreign nationality.

Frequently asked questions are:

– Which court has jurisdiction in matters concerning parentage?
– What is the applicable law on parentage?
– Do the Dutch authorities recognize foreign judgments on legal parentage?
– If you adopt a child abroad, will this adoption be recognized in the Netherlands?
– What are the consequences of adoption for the nationality of the child?
– If you have acknowledged the paternity of a child abroad, do the Dutch authorities ┬árecognize this acknowledgment?
– Which country has jurisdiction for a judicial establishment of parenthood and which law is applicable?

If you have any legal questions about parentage with an international component, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to assist.