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
  2017 2018 2019
Total 21 419 21 912

22 256

Before birth
13 705 14 262

14 564

After birth 7 714 7 650

7 692

Paternity acknowledgement1 by child age
0 months 1 996 2 043

1 955

1-11 months 4 578 4 477

4 546

12-23 months 593
566

547

24 months or older 547 564

644

1) After birth

Source : FSO – BEVNAT

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

Data

Contact

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

Contact

Remark

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https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/population/births-deaths/paternity-acknowledgements.html