Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility is the duty and right parents have to make decisions for the child in personal matters. Parents with joint parental responsibility must both agree on important decisions concerning the child. 

Due to the coronavirus situation, our capacity to issue certificates requiring stamps and signatures will be limited

Please only order the certificate if it is strictly necessary. Unfortunately, we cannot provide an estimated delivery time.

If you have parental responsibility, you can do the following until the child turns 18:

  • Report a move for the child
  • Change the name for the child
  • Order certificates for the child
  • Get information about the child
  • Order a passport for the child
  • Open a bank account and order a bank card for the child
  • Make decisions concerning the child’s medical treatment.
  • Select type of school.
  • Register in a religious community.

If you do not have parental responsibility, but are the child’s parent:

  • you can order a certificate and/or information about the child by sending a substantiated, written request to the Tax Administration.
  • In this case, the National Population Register is not allowed to tell you who has parental responsibility.

Children born after 1 January 2020

The parents of children born from 1 January 2020 onwards will generally have joint parental responsibility. This applies to children with married parents, with cohabitant parents and with parents who do not live together. 

If the parents do not live together at the time of the birth, each of the parents can notify us it they do not want joint parental responsibility within one year. If the mother notifies us, she gets sole parental responsibility (download the form) and the father must take her to court to get joint parental responsibility. The courts will perform a specific and individual assessment to conclude what’s best for the child. The father can also notify that he does not want joint parental responsibility, so that the mother will get sole parental responsibility. Read more about the rules at bufdir.

Children born before 1 January 2020

Married parents

Parents who are married when the child is born are automatically awarded joint parental responsibility.

Cohabitant parents

Parents who have the same address in the National Population Register when the father signs the paternity declaration are automatically awarded joint parental responsibility if the child was born after 1 January 2006.

Non-cohabitant parents

When the parents do not live together, the mother gets sole parental responsibility. The decision is based on the address the parents had at the time the paternity declaration was signed.

Children born abroad

Other rules apply for children born abroad.