Declaration of paternity and notification of birth

Unmarried parents must remember to register a paternity declaration. This should ideally be done before the child is born. Once the hospital has notified the National Population Register that your child has been born, the child will be assigned its own national ID number.

Mother with newborn child

Illustration: Peter Eriksson / Johnér Bildbyrå AB

Declaration of paternity and application for joint maternity

If you are the husband of the child's mother at the time of the birth, you will automatically be registered as the child's father (this is known as the presumption of legitimacy rule) in the National Population Register.

If you are not married, you must register a declaration of paternity. The declaration of paternity must be made in writing on a form from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). The father can acknowledge paternity before the child is born, at the time of birth or after the birth.

It is advisable to do this before the birth; otherwise, the paternity declaration will not be included in the notification of birth sent to the National Population Register and will have to be forwarded later.

It can take up to eight weeks to have this registered with the National Population Register. In the meantime, the child will be registered as having an unknown father.

To acknowledge paternity, the father must attend in person and present identification at one of the following:

  • doctor or midwife during a pregnancy check-up/birth
  • tax office (skatteetaten.no)
  • NAV office
  • judge
  • Norwegian diplomatic or consular official, if the father is abroad

When the mother is cohabiting with or married to another woman

If the mother is cohabiting with or married to another woman, you must apply for joint maternity. A joint mother is a woman who has been granted legal status as a parent of the biological child of her female spouse or cohabiting partner.

The child must have come about through assisted fertilization, with a known sperm donor arranged via an approved health institution, and the joint mother must have consented (in writing) to the fertilization. In order for the mother's spouse/cohabitant to become a joint mother, you must fill in the relevant form on the Norwegian Tax Administration's website.

In the case of married women, the joint mother must be married to the mother at the time the child is born in order for the application for joint maternity to be approved. In the case of women who are not married, the mother and cohabitant must be cohabiting at the time the assisted fertilization takes place.

Notification of birth

After your child is born, the hospital will send an electronic notification of the birth to the National Population Register. A national ID number will then automatically be generated for the child. Organisationally, the National Population Register is placed under the Norwegian Tax Administration. A notification of birth must be submitted for all live births and stillbirths after at least 28 weeks of gestation.

Most hospitals will give you a copy of the health card, along with the birth documents (information about the birth). If you do not receive these documents, you can ask for them.

Birth certificate

​Some time after the baby is born, you will receive a letter from the National Population Register about what your child is to be called. This will be entered on the child's birth certificate. Parents who registered the name of a child before 3 May 2019 will have been sent a birth certificate in the post.

A birth certificate contains information about a person's name, date of birth, national ID number, gender, place of birth and the names of their parents if applicable.

Who can be issued with a birth certificate?

  • Persons born in Norway and registered in the National Population Register as resident in Norway after 2 December 1946
  • Persons born in Norway after 31 December 1982 (registered in the birth registry)
  • Persons adopted in Norway
  • Persons adopted abroad after 1 July 1981 (subject to certain conditions)

Confirmation replaces the birth certificate from 3 May 2019

Confirmation of registration of national ID number and name is replacing the birth certificate.

Parents who have registered the name of a child since 3 May 2019 will receive confirmation of registration of the national ID number and name. You will receive this confirmation in your Inbox in Altinn. In most cases, you will no longer need a stamped and signed birth certificate.

The confirmation contains information about the child’s name, date of birth, national ID number, gender, place of birth and the names of its parents if applicable.

If you believe you need a stamped and signed birth certificate issued on paper, you can still order a birth certificate.

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility is the duty and right of parents to make decisions concerning personal matters regarding their child. The person or persons with parental responsibility are also the child's guardian(s).

Married parents automatically receive joint custody. This also applies to cohabitants who were registered at the same address in the National Population Register (or are declared in a notification to the National Population Register authorities) at the time the paternity was acknowledged or the joint maternity granted.

New rule in the Children Act concerning joint custody

A new rule in the Children Act concerning joint custody came into force with effect from 1 January 2020. In the case of children born before 2020, the mother was granted sole custody if the parents were not married or living together at the time the child was born.

Following the change, the general rule under the amended Children Act will be for the parents to be granted joint custody, even if they were not married or living together. Under the new rules, mothers can notify the National Population Register within one year if they wish to have sole custody.

If the father still wishes to have custody, he can refer the matter to the courts, which will then reach a decision based on an assessment of the child's best interests. Alternatively, the father can state that he does not wish to have joint custody by the same deadline.

Read more at regjeringen.no (in Norwegian).