Declaration of birth or recognition of a child: what are the differences?

Verified 10 February 2023 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The birth declaration is obligatory. It has to be done within 5 days that follow the day of delivery.

Recognizing a child is one step voluntary.

If you are the mother, it is sufficient that your name be indicated in the birth certificate.

If you are the father and you are not married to the mother, recognition is necessary to establish the relationship of filiation with your child.

If you are a couple of women, specific rules are provided for.

The recognition process depends on your situation:

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Recognition by the father

You can recognize your child on the occasion of the birth declaration.

You can also recognize your child before (or after) the birth declaration.


In a married couple, the father does not need to recognize his child.

Tableau - Differences between child recognition and birth registration


Child recognition

Declaration of birth


Voluntary gait

Mandatory approach (subject to criminal sanction)


At any time

Within 5 days of birth


Declare paternity

Declare the birth of a child

Who can take the step?

The unmarried father

The father or any person who attended the birth


Approach to recognizing a child

Official declaration of the birth of a child


In town hall

At the town hall of the place of birth

Joint recognition by a couple of women

Your couple must be engaged in a project of MPA: titleContent, with donation of semen.

Early joint recognition is done in front of a notaryat the same time as the signature of the consent to the donation of semen.

Joint recognition must be given to the registrar when the child is declared born by one of the following persons:

  • 2e mother
  • Person responsible for declaring the birth
  • Biological mother

Delivery under X

In case delivery under X, recognition of the child is possible for both the father and the mother, within 2 months after birth.

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