Determination and denial of paternity, recognition
When a child is born during the marriage, the married partners automatically become the legal parents. Paternity may be denied by both the mother and the father, provided that the latter is not the biological father. If the denial is upheld, there will be consequences for the duty to support and for inheritance law. Retroactively speaking, the mother’s spouse has then never been the legal father.
When a child is born out of wedlock, the mother will have custody automatically. The mother is also liable to support her child in accordance with Book 1, Article 404 of the Netherlands Civil Code (BW), ensuing from the statutory obligation parents have for the care and upbringing of their minor children. If the mother also wants the father to contribute and the father denies paternity, his paternity and the attending duty to support may be determined through legal proceedings.
When the not-married father wishes to recognise his child, he needs the mother’s permission. Recognition can already take place before the child is born. If the mother does not cooperate, her permission may be replaced by a court decision.
DNA tests are often required. In such cases, the court will appoint an expert, Sanguin, for instance.