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Pregnancy and childbirth

In the case of pregnancy or childbirth, the statutory (public) health insurance usually will pay the following costs:

  • Medical care (e.g. regular prenatal check-ups) and midwifery care
  • Provision of medicines/drugs, health aids
  • Childbirth in maternity clinic/ward (general care category)

Please ask your health insurance concerning the exact benefits.

Maternity allowance (Mutterschaftsgeld)

If you or your partner are having a baby in Germany, you/she may qualify for maternity allowance (Mutterschaftsgeld). It is financial aid paid by the statutory health insurance to pregnant women, 6 weeks prior and 8 weeks following delivery, in what is referred to as the mandatory maternity leave (Mutterschutzzeit). Maternity allowance is based on the existing employment income and will be covered by state health insurance and, if the net income is more than 13 € per day, by the employer.

Pregnant women who have compulsory health insurance and are employed qualify for maternity allowance. The earliest application date is 7 weeks prior to the expected delivery date. Your gynecologist will fill out the form “Certificate of Expected Date of Delivery” (Bescheinigung über den mutmaßlichen Tag der Entbindung) which must be handed over to your health insurance provider.

Women insured through a private health insurance company, as well as women working "Mini-Jobs" without health insurance, and insured family members receive a maximum one-time payment of 210 €. (However, the employer of those privately insured will usually pay the difference between this one-time payment and the net income. In these cases, the responsible authority is the German Insurance Office (Bundesversicherungsamt, Mutterschaftsgeldstelle):

Housewives and self-employed persons without entitlements to sick leave benefits do not qualify.



Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 38

53113 Bonn

Tel. +49 (0)228 / 619 18 88

Office hours

Mon – Fri 9:00 a.m. – noon

Thu 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Registering your child after birth

After birth, the registration of a child in Germany will be made in some cases by the administration of the hospital. If the hospital does not provide this service, you will have to go to the city office (Standesamt) of the local district in which the child is born to register your child and receive a birth certificate. This has to be done within a week after the child’s birth.

To apply for a birth certificate you will need the following documents:

  • The record of birth from the hospital or birth center (completed and signed)
  • The parent’s passports
  • The parent’s birth certificates
  • An official translation in German of your marriage license (if applicable) or
  • Acknowledgment of paternity if you are not married (this has to be done prior to your child’s birth at the youth welfare office of your local district (Jugendamt).

Once you have provided the necessary documents, the office will issue several copies of a German Birth Certificate and an International Birth Certificate. In order to register your child as a national of your home country please contact your consulate or embassy [e.g. US citizens: need to fill an application form called Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)].

Residence permit for children

The residence status of a child of international doctoral candidates depends on the residence status of its parents. The residence permit for children mirrors the status of the parent who is entitled to custody.

To receive a residence permit for children from non-EU citizens proof of health insurance and finance will have to be provided. In addition, you will need the children’s passports, the passports of both parents, 2 passport photos per child and their birth certificates (German original or certified translation). Children of EU-citizens receive a certificate of free movement (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung).

Financial support for parents

If you come from an EU or EEA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) or if you are married to a German you can receive child allowance (Kindergeld) and parental allowance (Elterngeld).

Doctoral candidates from non-EU countries who have a residence permit for studying are not entitled to the benefits. Exception: Doctoral candidates from non-EU countries are eligible for parental allowance if their residence in Germany is deemed permanent according to the type of residence title they possess and their access to the employment market. Those holding a settlement permit automatically fulfil this requirement. Those holding a residence permit only fulfil the requirements if they are also entitled to take up employment in Germany or have already worked here legally.

Parental allowance (Elterngeld)

Parental allowance compensates for loss of income following the birth of a child. After deducting taxes, social security payments, and tax allowances, it amounts to 67% of the average monthly income available prior to birth, or a maximum of 1,800 € per month, or a minimum of 300 € per month. Non-working parents receive the minimum amount in addition to the family income. Parental allowance is paid to the father and mother for a maximum of 14 months. Both are eligible to divide up the period between them. Neither parent may claim allowance for more than 12 months. A further 2 months may be paid if income is lost during this period and the partner is caring for the child. Single parents drawing parental allowance to compensate for loss of income are eligible for the full 14 months parental allowance.

Mothers and fathers are eligible for parental allowance if:

  • they care for their children after birth
  • they are not employed for more than 30 hours per week
  • they are residents or their permanent place of residence is in Germany.

Please note: As a scholarship is not considered income, the parental allowance amount for scholarship holders will usually be 300 €.

Applications for parental allowance must be made in writing to the youth welfare office (Jugendamt) of your local district. Each parent may apply for parental allowance for him- or herself. The application does not necessarily have to be submitted immediately after birth. Parental allowance can only be retroactively implemented 3 months from the date the application is turned in. More information (only in German) can be found here.

You need the following documents:

  • your child’s birth certificate
  • your ID or passport
  • proof of income
  • proof of maternity allowance (Mutterschutzgeld)
  • confirmation about weekly working hours from the employer (if applicable) and employment contract
  • non-EU residents: residence permit

Child allowance (Kindergeld)

At present, the monthly child allowance rates are 164 € for the first and second child, 170 € for the third child, and 195 € for each additional child. Child allowance is paid for every child from birth through the age of 18. How to apply: You submit the completed and signed application together with your child’s birth certificate to the family office (Kindergeldstelle) at the local employment agency (Arbeitsagentur). The application form (in German) can be downloaded here.