Paternity acknowledgements

Mothers do not need to recognize their children, because the bond of filiation results from the birth itself. Acknowledgements of paternity takes place when fathers are not married to the child's mother and the parent-child relationship must be officially established. This record is registered by declaration to the civil status office, before the court or by a last will and testament (posthumously). Acknowledgement of paternity may occur before or after the birth.

Paternity acknowledgement
  2021 2022 2023
Total 24 660 23 948

23 877

Before birth
15 385 14 842 ...
After birth 9 275 9 106 ...
Paternity acknowledgement1 by child age
0 months 1 958 2 007 ...
1-11 months 6 156 5 853 ...
12-23 months 587
599 ...
24 months or older 574
647 ...
1) After birth

2023: provisional annual figures
…= The figures are not available yet
Source : FSO – Vital Statistics

From 1980 to 2005, most children were recognized after birth. Since then, the trend has been reversed. Today, the number of child acknowledgements by fathers is seven times higher than in 1980. This increase is parallel to the rise in the number of births outside marriage.

Further information



Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



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