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Acknowledgement of parentage of a natural child born out of wedlock

The legal requirements to carry out the acknowledgement of paternity of a natural child born out of wedlock are:

  • to be 16 years old. However, the 16-year-old’s parents must be authorised by the competent Court;
  • absence of family or affinity ties between parents in degrees of kinship prohibiting the acknowledgement.

The declaration of ackowledgement for a child born out of wedlock may be made by the father or by the mother jointly or separately.

Under art. 54 of Law no. 89 of 16.02.1913 notarial deeds must be written in Italian language, the interested parties should speak and understand the Italian language. In case of lack of knowledge of the Italian language, the procedure laid down in articles 54 and 55 Law no. 89 of 16.02.1913 is implemented.

To carry out the acknowledgement of parentage of a child born out of wedlock the interested parties should book an on-line appointment with the Notary Office (click here for an appointment).

PLEASE NOTE: if the acknowledgement of parentage was made by a single parent, any subsequent acknowledgement by the other parent of the child under 14 can only take place with the consent of the parent who first recognised the child. Consequently, both parents must be present on the day of the appointment. If the acknowledgement of parentage is for a child above 16 years of age, it will be necessary to acquire the consent of the latter. The child must be present along with the parents.

The interested parties must submit the following documents on the day of the appointment:

– valid identity document (for Italian nationals: Italian passport or Identity Card, for foreign nationals: passport)

– full birth certificate of the child to recognise, legalised and translated into Italian.

For the translation and legalisation please visit the website of the Italian Consulate responsible for the Country that issued the certificate. The legalisation must include an Apostille, if the Country has signed the Hague Convention. If the Country has not signed the above Convention the legalisation must be made by the Italian Embassy/Consulate responsible or legalised with an Apostille. (For information about the Italian Consulates and Embassies please visit

For British birth certificates: please refer to the Register Office of this Consulate General.

For the cost of this service please refer to art. 26 of the List of Consular Fees (click here).

Attribution of the father’s surname: if the acknowledgement by the father occurs after that of the mother, the adult child may keep the mother’s surname or may request to take the father’s surname. In this case it may be placed before, after or replace the mother’s surname (click here for the change of name procedure).

The authority deciding on the attribution of the father’s surname to minor children is the competent Court, which acts at the request of the parties concerned.