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New parents

There is information here about things that
are important to know when you have become a parent, for example the child's personal identity number, name, custody and citizenship.

Remember that within three months we need to
know the child's given name(s) and, in some cases, surname.

Birth and personal identity number

When a child is born, the hospital reports this to the Swedish Tax Agency, which in turn registers the birth in the population register. In connection with this, the child is assigned their personal identity number. The child's mother then receives an extract from the population register by mail, along with a form to register the child's given name(s) and possibly surname and/or middle name(s). The extract from the population register shows you what is registered about the child with the Tax Agency.

Having children abroad

When a child is born abroad, parents must notify the Tax Agency. This applies if you have Swedish citizenship. You must attach the child's birth certificate and your passport and that of the child's other parent to the notification. If you and the child's other parent got married abroad, you must also submit a document proving your civil status.


Legal guardian(s) can apply for a passport for the child at the embassy, at which time you can also register the child's name (form SKV 7750).

Birth Certificate (Födelsebevis)

Sweden does not issue international birth certificates as other countries do. The document corresponding to the birth certificate is the population registration certificate Extract from the Population Register.

Population registration certificate Extract from the Population Register

Custody

Custody is a judicial concept. The person who has custody of a child makes decisions regarding that child. Custody must not be confused with day-to-day care.

A child is in someone's custody until the age of 18.

Joint or sole custody

If the parents are married when the child is born, they automatically have joint custody of their child. If the parents are not married, the mother automatically has sole custody. You can register that you want to have joint custody in conjunction with the establishment of paternity or (for a woman) parenthood by the social welfare board in your municipality.

Parents can also register joint custody at a later date, but this is then done directly with the Tax Agency. For this to be possible, there may be no previous decision regarding custody and the child must be registered as living in Sweden.

Custody registered in conjunction with the establishment of paternity, parenthood or directly with the Tax Agency applies from the day the Tax Agency registers the information.

Custody by agreement

If either parent has sole custody of the child, you can enter into an agreement that you will instead have joint custody or that the other parent will have custody. Parents who have joint custody of the child can enter into an agreement that one of them will have sole custody.

The agreement must be approved by the social welfare board, which then notifies the Swedish Tax Agency. Custody by agreement applies from the day the social welfare board approves the agreement.

Custody by court judgement

One of the parents, or both together, can apply to the district court for a change to the custody of the child. Custody then usually applies from the day on which the district court's decision becomes legally binding. However, some decisions from the district court might apply from the date on which the decision is made. The Tax Agency is always informed when the district court has made a decision concerning the custody of a child.

Custody in international relationships

If parents have a foreign decision concerning custody, this can be shown to the Tax Agency in order to prove custody. Under certain conditions, foreign custody decisions also apply here in Sweden. If a foreign decision is not valid in Sweden, i.e. it is not covered by the regulations applicable here, you can instead turn to the social welfare board in your municipality or to the district court in order to establish custody.

Paternity

If the parents are married when the child is born, the husband is presumed to be the child's father. If the parents are not married, paternity must be established separately by the social welfare board in the municipality in which the child is registered. In conjunction with the establishment of paternity, you may also register that you want to have joint custody.

Parenthood

Instead of paternity, parenthood can, in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 9 of the Children and Parents Code, be established for a woman who is a wife, registered partner or cohabitee of the child's mother. The woman is then registered as a parent, though not as mother, in the population register. Parenthood is established by the social welfare board in the municipality in which the child is registered.

Children's names

It is the child's legal guardian(s) who are permitted to register the child’s name. If you and the other parent have joint custody, you do this together.

There are three types of name under the Swedish Names Act:

  • given names
  • middle names
  • surnames

The Swedish Names Act applies to all Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian citizens living in Sweden. This act also applies to children of unknown citizenship and stateless children living in Sweden. It may also be applied to children who live in Sweden but have another citizenship.

Given names

No later than three months after the birth of the child, the legal guardian(s) must notify the Tax Agency of the child's given name(s) The Tax Agency sends the child's mother a form for registering names after the child's birth has been registered in the population register. A given name may not be such as to be perceived as offensive or lead to inconvenience for the child. Nor may it have an obvious surname character.

Surnames and middle names

A newborn child gets its surname automatically from birth if the parents have:

  • the same surname. The child will then have this common surname.
  • different surnames but one or more common children of whom both parents have custody. In this case, the child will have the same surname as the last-born sibling.

If the child cannot have its surname assigned automatically in line with the points above, the legal guardian(s) must notify the Tax Agency of the child's surname within three months of the birth. If you and the other parent have joint custody, you do this together.

The surname that may be registered for the child is

  • one of the parents' current surnames
  • a surname that one of the parents had prior to marriage.

If the parents are not married, paternity must be established before the father's surname can be registered for the child. The corresponding applies in the case of parenthood. Parenthood must always be established regardless of civil status.

If the legal guardian(s) do not register a surname within three months of the child's birth, the child is assigned the mother's surname.

If the parents have different surnames, one of their surnames can be registered as a middle name for the child. The last name will then be the formal surname.

Children's citizenship

When a child is registered in the population register, the Tax Agency makes an assessment of what citizenship the child has acquired. A child becomes a Swedish citizen from birth if

  • a parent of the child is a Swedish citizen, or
  • a deceased parent of the child was a Swedish citizen at the time of their death.

Children born before 1 April 2015 receive Swedish citizenship at birth if

  • the mother was a Swedish citizen or
  • the father was a Swedish citizen and married to the child's mother or
  • the father is a Swedish citizen, is not married to the child's mother and the child was born in Sweden or
  • the father was deceased, but at the time of his death was a Swedish citizen and the child was born in Sweden or
  • the father was deceased, but at the time of his death was a Swedish citizen and was married to the child's mother.

If neither parent of the child is a Swedish citizen, the Tax Agency makes an assessment of the child's citizenship based on the parents’ citizenship and the legislation of their respective countries of origin.

Adoption

If you and your wife, husband or registered partner adopt a child, the adoption is registered in the population registration information concerning the child, you, the child's other adoptive parent and the child's biological parents. The corresponding applies if you have adopted the child alone. If a Swedish court has made a decision regarding the adoption, the court will notify the Tax Agency.


If the adoption has taken place abroad, the adoptive parents must register the child's move to Sweden with the Tax Agency. This is done by means of a personal visit to a Tax Agency office. When registering the move, it is important to append all documents that verify the adoption.

 

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