Postnatal recognition

If you have a child whose descent is only established on the mother's side, you can have the descent of the father or the companion mother established in a deed with the Civil Registry Officer, in the municipality where the child, mother or candidate for recognition lives, or in the municipality where the child was born.

Coronavirus measures: you can only make an appointment (for birth declarations and recognitions) by telephone (reception by telephone: Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 4pm) or by email at the following address:

It is no longer possible to make an appointment online. The service only receives citizens by appointment.

If in doubt or for more information, please contact the Births Service without moving.

How to apply?

Both parents must be present by appointment, only at the counter of the Administrative Centre of the City of Brussels. The presence of the child is mandatory if it is older than 12 years. The mother's permission is required.


The presence of one parent is sufficient if there is a judgment for the recognition of the father or the companion without the consent of the mother.

Please note:

If you want to proceed with the recognition of a child born abroad, you must make an appointment at the Foreign Certificates Service.

Online demand

To make an online demand, you must complete the form and return it to the Births Service (

Required documents

Required documents in accordance with article 327/2 of the Civil Code:

  • The child's birth certificate (not necessary if the child was born in Belgium)
  • The identity documents of the declarant(s)
  • The deed of consent of the mother and/or the adult child (for the recognition of children born abroad)
  • The nationality certificate of the parents (not necessary if you are registered in Belgium)
  • Proof of parents' place of residence (not required if you are registered in Belgium)
  • Proof of parents being unmarried (not necessary if you are registered in Belgium)
  • The individuality certificate if the information is not identical on all submitted documents

Please note:

  • All these documents must be legalized or provided with an apostille, possibly translated by a sworn translator and recent (less than 3 months).
  • If you are registered in Belgium and have a National Register number, you must check whether your information has been registered with the municipality where you are staying (for example: civil status, name, address...).
  • If necessary, additional documents can be requested (for example: law certificate).


  • Free

Waiting period (two-step procedure)

1st step: preparation of the declaration of recognition against delivery of the aforementioned documents

  • A decision is taken either immediately or within a maximum of two to five months if the request requires a thorough analysis under the law of 19 September 2017 on the fight against fraudulent recognition
  • Please note: if all requested documents are not provided, the declaration of recognition cannot be made.
  • Please note: there is no parentage bond if one of the parents only wants to take advantage by having a recognition certificate drawn up with regard to the stay. The decision is taken within a period of 2 months, which can be extended by 3 months by the public prosecutor.
    In the event of a refusal by the civil servant, the person (who wishes to establish the parentage link) can appeal to the family court within one month after the notification of the decision. Persons whose authorization is required for the recognition are summoned to hear the case.

2nd step: drafting the recognition certificate

More info (in French)

Prenatal recognition