Prenatal recognition

You are not married and expecting a baby? By prenatal recognition you can formally confirm the paternity (father or co-mother) of your unborn child.

Please note: legal cohabitation does not mean that cohabitants are exempt from early recognition.

How to apply?

Early recognition must be requested by the parents in the municipality where the mother or the candidate for recognition lives.

Both parents must be present by appointment, only at the counter of the Administrative Centre of the City of Brussels.

The mother's permission is required.

The mother must be pregnant and unmarried or divorced/widowed for more than 300 days.

Required documents

  • A pregnancy certificate (this certificate must state the expected date of birth)
  • The ID documents of the parents
  • 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.

2nd step: drafting the recognition certificate

Good to know

The parents have the option of giving their children the name of the father/companion mother, the name of the mother or a combination of the two names in the desired order.

More info (in French)

Postnatal recognition