Soon to be dad questions (vaterschaftsanerkennung, parental allowance...)

17 posts in this topic

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.

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Hello and thank you for your answer.

 

Yep read all that, also read the page for Jugendamt for my neighbourhood here in Berlin saying only emergencies and on appointments are allowed. This page doesn't say anything about being able to sign the vaterschaftsanerkennung at the hospital, nor the list of hospitals that offer that kind of things etc... that's why I reached out to hear from recent experiences as with Corona, things are not the "usual way" anymore.

 

I'm French, my partner is English and was never married before, our German skills will defo not be enough to keep up with a meeting like that for sure.

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Are fathers even allowed in hospitals when their partners are giving birth these days? I've read some articles that say they are not.

 

Can't sign the papers there if you aren't allowed in , I suppose.

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That's a really good point... as of now it's impossible you are correct. Hopefully in November things will change for the best. I would be very sad to miss this =(

 

That's another reason on why I'm looking at some feedback from recent experience...

 

Thank you for your interest!

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You're free to ignore my advice, of course, but given that you and your girlfriend seem to both be committed to your new family member (congrats!), marriage might be the best option at this point. For you, it would remove any doubt about legal paternity in the most directly possible way, because under German law, the husband of the mother is the legally recognized parent, unless proven otherwise.

 

For her, it would remove any doubt of her ability to remain here post-Brexit, which is increasingly looking like a no deal, which would likely give both of you greater peace of mind.

 

With Elterngeld, each of you can take up to 7 months of parental leave - up to 14 months in total - as long as each spouse takes at least 2 months. If you go for the Elterngeld+ model, I believe each of you can take up to 12 months (with half the benefit). You do have to notify your employer in advance, however. I have no idea how that works if the paternity question is in doubt.

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6 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

 

For her, it would remove any doubt of her ability to remain here post-Brexit, which is increasingly looking like a no deal, which would no doubt give both of you peace of mind.

 

Her rights if she is in Germany will be governed by the WA.

 

No deal brexit is for trade and those who arrive after the traditional period.

 

How will marriage be better than what is in the WA?

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Thank you El Jeffo for your advice.

 

I am going for the vaterschaftsanerkennung for now though =)

 

As for the Elterngeld I didn't there were 2 different ones to choose from! I will have to look at this a bit more in depth. I would most probably take something like 10 to 12 months (until we can use a Kita), but if that means half the benefit then it's not an option. So with the "normal" Elterngeld could be my partner takes 2 months after birth then I pursue for the 7 months afterwards, up to a total of 9 months, which would be close enough I guess. Then I would have to look for private nannies until a spot at a Kita frees up...

 

So yes I have to tell at least 7 weeks before due date about my plans for parental leave. Now to decide which Elterngeld to pick, what is the process? When do we have to choose? Where do we apply?

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You're certainly welcome, @flaviodev. I'm afraid I can't give you any further details, because it's been quite a while since I've had to deal with it personally. My son is turning 13 in a week.

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2 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Are fathers even allowed in hospitals when their partners are giving birth these days? I've read some articles that say they are not.

 

Can't sign the papers there if you aren't allowed in , I suppose.

You mean because of corona when you say “ these days”, fraufruit? Or in general ie pre-corona?

I don’t know the answer, by the way.

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4 hours ago, flaviodev said:

Yep read all that, also read the page for Jugendamt for my neighbourhood here in Berlin saying only emergencies and on appointments are allowed.

 

You need to call them and ask. 

 

4 hours ago, flaviodev said:

This page doesn't say anything about being able to sign the vaterschaftsanerkennung at the hospital, nor the list of hospitals that offer that kind of things etc... that's why I reached out to hear from recent experiences as with Corona, things are not the "usual way" anymore.

 

Yes, but processes keep changing. Again I think your best bet is to call them.

 

4 hours ago, flaviodev said:

I'm French, my partner is English and was never married before, our German skills will defo not be enough to keep up with a meeting like that for sure.

 

You language skills need to be good enough to convince the authorities that you understand what you are signing otherwise they'll insist on a translator. On the other hand since you both have documents issued in Europe the paperwork should be rather straightforward.  See if you can both get multilingual birth certificates to save on translation fees.

2 hours ago, El Jeffo said:

With Elterngeld, each of you can take up to 7 months of parental leave - up to 14 months in total - as long as each spouse takes at least 2 months.

 

Actually with regular Elterngeld one parent can take up to 12 months of parental leave. 

 

https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/326079/

 

BTW, now is a good time to get on kita waiting lists. 

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5 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Are fathers even allowed in hospitals when their partners are giving birth these days? I've read some articles that say they are not.

 

Can't sign the papers there if you aren't allowed in , I suppose.

A friend had a planned c-section in Berlin last week. The father was NOT allowed in for the surgery but was allowed to see the baby for an hour after the birth. He was NOT allowed to visit at all after that until she was discharged from the hospital. No visitors were allowed obviously.

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5 hours ago, flaviodev said:

That's a really good point... as of now it's impossible you are correct. Hopefully in November things will change for the best. I would be very sad to miss this =(

 

That's another reason on why I'm looking at some feedback from recent experience...

 

Thank you for your interest!

I gave birth at the beginning of March, and while everything was relatively normal in that my husband was present for the birth, and I could have visitors, we had to recently submit all the paperwork for Kindergeld and Elterngeld, and I have to say that all things considered, the Jugendamt and whatever other office we had to contact have been VERY responsive via email. They contacted us immediately about missing documents via post and then confirmed that everything has been submitted fairly quickly.

 

I think the trickiest part was waiting for the Geburtsurkunde and tax number in order to submit all that paperwork for Kindergeld/Elterngeld/Versicherung/Arbeitgeber, so make sure you submit the application for the Geburtsurkunde in the hospital (you can call them and see if that’s still possible during Corona). The tax number will follow automatically. If your partner is giving birth in Mitte, it can take much longer than other districts. 
Get as much paperwork together in advance as possible! 
 

P.S.-we’re married, so I know nothing about the Vaterschaftsanerkennung

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17 hours ago, engelchen said:

You language skills need to be good enough to convince the authorities that you understand what you are signing otherwise they'll insist on a translator. On the other hand since you both have documents issued in Europe the paperwork should be rather straightforward.  See if you can both get multilingual birth certificates to save on translation fees.

Hello @engelchen and thanks for your answer. I will send an email/call on Monday to ask for more details on when I can go and do my vaterschaftsanerkennung. Our language skill defo not good enough so will ask a friend to accompany us to the place. Do we have to present the original birth certificates in German! It's gonna be tough to find them for a start... looks like it's a mandatory document in the list though =( 

 

17 hours ago, engelchen said:

BTW, now is a good time to get on kita waiting lists.

We started already looking. It's a hugh mess, places run on limited staff, when they are not closed altoghether. It's an entire other level of stress and one I'm trying to tackle now but really none of these processes are easy on a "normal" way but these days it's really distressing.

 

 

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@Santitas thanks for the long message. Very helpful!

 

So my understanding is that you contacted offices for the Kindergeld and Elterngeld after giving birth. So that's not something to start as a process before...

 

The Geburtsurkunde is obviously one of the most important document, I thought you'd get that from the hospital straight away I must say. It sounds like it wasn't your case. I'm not sure what the Versicherung or Arbeitgeber has to do with the Kindergeld/Elterngeld. Can you explain a bit more?

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The birth certificate is the key to everything. Nothing will be processed without it. Your employer needs it for Elternzeit which they will then confirm in writing and this gets sent to the Elterngeldstelle. The insurance needs it so that the baby will be covered and that Mutterschaftsgeld will continued to get paid for the 8 to 12 weeks after the birth (they pay a percentage and the mother’s job pays the rest), so order a few copies! 
 

The birth certificate is processed by the Standesamt, and they often have a liaison at the hospital to speed things up, but you will

not get it immediately. Check online to see which documents are needed to submit for the birth certificate so there are no delays. You can either pick up the certificate in person (not sure if that’s the case with Corona anymore) or they will mail it to you.

Hope this helps! 

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thanks again @Santitas for your message. So so far here are the info I have regarding my initial questions:

 

vaterschaftsanerkennung

need to call the Jugendamt to get an appointment as nothing runs normally since corona

- documents required includes anmeldung, birth certificate of both parents (possibly in German). All list here: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/318991/

- Both parent have to be present

- You need to have someone that can speak German with you. I've been told that you can ask for a translator to be there at the Jugendamt for the time of your appointment (and that it might be free?)

- This document is necessary for un-married couples for the father to be recognised. This document is important for example to be in the hospital at time of the birth and to apply to father's rights (including Elterngeld)

- Can be done after birth

 

Elterngeld

- 2 different ones: basic and +

- the basic is available for 12 months to be shared between both parents. The mother by law has to take a few weeks before and 8 weeks after birth off, which will be covered by health insurance and employer (Mutterschaftsgeld)

- the basic 12 months of Elterngeld can start after that and is supported by government

- documents in order to request this includes amneldung, last pay slips, work contract...

- Is needed for anything related to financial support the birth certificate and the steuernummer of the child. Both things can be obtained after filling papers at the hospital after birth and can take some times to be received by mail (few weeks).

- More info: https://www.berlin.de/sen/jugend/familie-und-kinder/finanzielle-leistungen/elterngeld-und-elternzeit/ and https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/326079/

 

Other questions:

- It is written online the link https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/326079/ posted by @engelchen that there is a 2 month minimum to be taken by the parent. Does this apply for both? For instance, can I take as the father the 12 months OR the mum has to take 2 months and I take 10?

- Where to ask for the Elterbgeld? It's not clear if it's a form online, at the Jugendamt, somewhere else...

- The mandatory 8 weeks covered partially by the Health Insurance: does this count into the 12 months Elternzeit?

- For the Mutterschaftsgeld, what happens if the mother is working as a freelancer for a UK company? Does she HAS TO stop working? Given the UK company will defo not pay towards this, does the health insurance still pay for half (she pays her TK insurance here in Germany)?

 

Thank you very much for the help so far, this has been very good and hopefully this will help other young parents!

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