Acknowledgement of Parenthood (AOP) before the birth

When the parents of a child are not married or have not entered into a registered partnership, the father or the birth mother's female partner can formally acknowledge parenthood. This can already be done before the birth. This is called ‘acknowledgement of an unborn child’.


  • The person acknowledging parenthood must appear in person when acknowledging an unborn child.
  • Do you want the child to get the surname of the person acknowledging parenthood? Then the birth mother has to appear in person during the acknowledgement of the 1st child to choose the surname. This surname is valid for children with Dutch citizenship. The declaration of surname choice can only be made for the 1st child and is applicable to all children born later to the same parents.
    The birth mother can then give permission for the acknowledgement of the child.
  • Do you want the child to get the surname of the birth mother? Then the birth mother does not have to appear in person. She fills in the 'Permission for acknowledgement before the birth' form and gives this to the person acknowledging parenthood.
    Permission for acknowledgement before the birth form (in Dutch) (PDF, 7,4 kB)
    • Are 1 or both of the parents not registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) of the Municipality of The Hague? Then the Municipality of The Hague must first check the personal data at the municipality where the parent(s) is registered.
    • If the person acknowledging parenthood of the 1st child wants to acknowledge any later-born children, then the birth mother only has to give written permission. These children will get the same surname as the 1st child.

    What you need for the acknowledgement

    • a valid form of identification for the child's birth mother and for the person acknowledging parenthood
    • if applicable, the permission for acknowledgement before the birth form

    Does the birth mother or the person acknowledging parenthood live abroad? Then additional documents could be required. Make an appointment using the green button below.

    Make an appointment

    To acknowledge a child before the birth, you need to make an appointment at City Hall Spui or the Leyweg City Office.

      Make an appointment



      How long does it take?

      If all the conditions are met, the acknowledgement of parenthood certificate will be drawn up immediately. You need to take a copy of this certificate with you when you register the birth of the child.

      Consequences of acknowledgement before the birth

      The consequences of acknowledging parenthood of an unborn child are:

      • At birth the child will get Dutch citizenship if 1 or both of the parents are Dutch.
      • The parent acknowledging parenthood will become (partially) financially responsible for the child.
      • A connection between the person acknowledging parenthood and the child will be established according to the law of inheritance.

      Acknowledging parenthood of an unborn child offers big advantages over acknowledging the child after the birth:

      • The child has 2 legal parents immediately at birth. The person acknowledging parenthood will be immediately noted on the birth certificate as the parent.
      • Depending on the citizenship, the surname choice is determined during the acknowledgement of the 1st child. Any children born later take the same surname if they have the same parents.

      For more information go to the website of the Dutch government.

      Joint custody through acknowledgement

      From 1 January 2023 the person acknowledging parenthood will automatically get joint parental responsibility for the child alongside the birth mother.

      Acknowledgement of unborn child in 2022

      Nothing changes for children who were acknowledged before 1 January 2023. The old law applies to them. This means that only parents who are married or in a registered partnership automatically acquire joint responsibility for the children born to them. Parents who were not married or in a registered partnership must apply for joint custody at a district court.

      More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government.