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  1. Hello dear community,   I am a father to be and have a few questions to the young fathers (and mothers) out there to help me out finding grounds on the different aspects of what's coming towards me.   My girlfriend and I are expecting at the end of the year, we live together and are not married. The first question I have is related to the vaterschaftsanerkennung. This is a document to be signed by both parents to declare who the father is (this is needed for unmarried couples). I heard there are a couple of ways to do this: - I have to register at the jugendamt, which looks like nowadays quite complex (corona times) and we will have to have a German speaking person alongside us. - An acquaintance managed to sign this at the hospital a day after their baby arrived, without appointments.   Any recent experiences with the jugendamt or hospital registration? How hard that is to get an appointment? I would want to do this document before baby arrives because I will be the one taking parental leave and my partner will get back to her full time work.   Which brings me to the next questions: in order to take parental leaves (Elternzeit) and access parental allowances, I would absolutely need to have this vaterschaftsanerkennung I presume, correct?   I work currently at a German company and they have to allow me to take paternity leaves. How long is the "default" parental leave for a father? I wish to extend this to the full 12 months parental leave (the one you can split between the both parents). Is this something my company will be dealing with or is there something specific I need to do on my side?   Finally, I would have to file for parental benefits (Elterngeld). I know you can have it for a year max, is capped and proportional to your salary, that you can also have a reduced Health Insurance cost during that period etc... My questions are more around timings, and practicality: when, where and how is the process to claim this?   Thank you very much in advance for your help!   Keep safe and courage to other parents (and parents to be) in these pandemic times.