Family Matters


Family Matters

  • I was born in Germany and need to have my birth certificate re-issued. How to go about it?
  • Our child was born in the US and we would like to apply for a German birth certificate for our child. What do we have to do?
  • I want to get married in Germany. Which documents do I need?
  • I got married in the US and want to change my last name in my passport. What do I have to fill out?
  • I have received news from Germany that I have become an heir of an estate. What do I have to do now?

If you have one of these or similar questions regarding family matters, the German missions in the US provide you with more information on the following:


Name Declaration / Naming law

German citizens are subject to German law with respect to their use of a name. The possible names which may be used under German law may deviate from those entered in US vital records or identification documents.

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Registration of a child's birth

If a German citizen is born abroad, the birth may, on application, be documented in the register of births at the competent registrar’s office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German birth certificates...


Birth Certificate from Germany

You were born in Germany and your birth was registered with the competent registrar's office but you lost your original birth certificate? Information on how to obtain a new birth certificate from Germany is provided here.


Registration of a Marriage

If a German citizen is getting married abroad, the marriage may, on application, be documented in the register of marriages at the competent registrar’s office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German marriage certificates can be issued.


Marriage in Germany

In Germany marriage may only be contracted before a registrar, a religious ceremony is optional. This instructional pamphlet conveys general information only. Please contact the appropriate registrar's office in Germany ("Standesamt") for detailed information.


Inheritance Matters: Estate in Germany

General Information According to German law, the estate located in Germany of a decedent underlies the principle of 'universal succession,' meaning that the heirs become owners of the decedent's esta...


Child Abduction

The prime legal instrument in cases of international child abduction is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Every country party to the Convention has instituted central authorities responsible for taking all appropriate measures to ensure the immediate return of children illegally taken to or detained in such country.

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Finding relatives and friends in Germany

On data protection grounds, German authorities cannot provide information on places of residence. German Missions are, therefore, not in a position to help finding relatives or friends in Germany. You may find the address you are looking for in the online version of the German telephone directory or via an Internet search.

German Missions in the United States

Consulate Finder

Nine German Missions throughout the US offer consular services. Each Mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, please use our Consulate Finder.