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Parents of a child

A woman who gives birth to a child is the mother of the child and the man by whom a child is conceived is the father of the child. It is deemed that a child is conceived by a man:

  • who is married to the mother of the child;
  • who has acknowledged his paternity;
  • whose paternity has been established by court.

The application for the acknowledgement of paternity may be submitted at the time of or after registering the birth of the child, or during the woman’s pregnancy if it might be impossible or difficult to submit the application for the acknowledgement of paternity after the birth of the child. The application must be submitted to a vital statistics authority. If in a foreign country, the application for the acknowledgement of paternity may be submitted to an Estonian consular authority, who forwards it to the Estonian vital statistics authority where the mother consents to the acknowledgement of paternity.

If paternity is acknowledged to a man who is not married to the mother of the child, the mother of the child does not need the consent of her husband for the man by whom the child was actually conceived to be able to acknowledge paternity. In such a case, the information on the mother’s husband are not registered as those of the father of the child.

If paternity is acknowledged when the birth is registered, the corresponding section in the birth registration application is filled in. If paternity is acknowledged after the birth is registered, the application for the acknowledgement of paternity is filled in after the birth is registered.

If the filiation of the child has not been established in accordance with the Family Law Act, the data of the child’s parent(s) are not entered in the population register at the time of registering the child’s birth; in other words, they are not added to the child’s birth certificate.

When a birth is entered in the population register, the information on the right of custody over the child are also entered. Parents who are married to each other have joint custody over their child. Parents who are not married must choose, when registering the birth, between joint custody and leaving the right of custody to one parent.

 

Parent who is a minor

If a child’s mother is a minor, and if her active legal capacity has not been extended for the purposes of registering the child’s birth, the legal representative of the child whose birth is being registered at the time of registering the birth is the local government. In accordance with subsection 176 (1) of the Family Law Act, the duties of a guardian are to be performed by the rural municipal or city government of the child's place of residence, as entered in the population register, until the appointment of a guardian.

If the child’s father is an adult and married to the child’s mother, he is the child’s legal representative and may submit the application to register the child’s birth. If the child’s father is an adult but is not married to the child’s mother, he becomes the child’s legal representative after paternity has been acknowledged. The legal representative of a minor must consent to all declarations of intention and consent (e.g. naming, consent to the acknowledgement of paternity, etc.) made by the minor at the time of registering the birth.

Last updated: 8 January 2018