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Recognising a child

A father who is not married to the mother can recognise a child before or after the child’s birth. This allows a legal relationship to be established between the child and the biological father.

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In Swiss law, the father of a child born to married parents is presumed to be the mother’s husband.

Filiation with the mother results from the birth.

If the parents are not married, filiation between the child and the biological father is established by recognition. A child can be recognised by declaration before a civil registry officer, by a will or as part of an action to recognise paternity before a judge.

Recognition at any time

A child who only has legal filiation with its mother can be recognised at any time by its biological father, regardless of the age or marital status of the latter.

The child can also be recognised before it is born. An adopted child, however, can no longer be recognised.

Parental authority

In Switzerland, joint parental authority is the rule, independent of the marital status of the parents. When an unmarried couple recognises a common child, the parents can submit a declaration of joint parental authority to the civil registrar at the same time as the father recognises his child.


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Article modifié le 13.05.2020 à 13:07