Making life easier for families with children: Parenthood can be acknowledged electronically at maternity clinics
Parenthood can be acknowledged already during pregnancy at a maternity clinic appointment. The Parenthood Act, which entered into force at the turn of the year, streamlined the procedure from the previous one. The reform applies to almost half of the families who are having a child in Finland. The VanhemmuusWeb application quickly found its users, as more than 95% of the notifications received at maternity clinics have been successfully submitted in the service.
Since the beginning of 2023, maternity clinics have been able to electronically receive the acknowledgement of paternity or second maternity of the parents of children born out of wedlock. Public health nurses and midwives at maternity clinics send the information through VanhemmuusWeb to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV).
The reform was made possible by the new Parenthood Act that entered into force at the beginning of this year, accelerating the confirming of parenthood. Among other things, the registering of the surname of a confirmed parent and issuing of a passport with the desired name for the child can be done faster than before. Confirming parenthood required measures from many authorities and took a lot of time: maternity clinics, child welfare officers and DVV used to be involved in confirming parenthood. Now it can be done more straightforwardly and quickly even before the child is born.
Confirming parenthood has a major impact on the whole family. Only after confirmation will the other parent be legally in equal position as the person giving birth to the child. Confirming parenthood also has direct impacts on the child’s custody, for example.
“The aim has been to make families’ everyday lives easier and to promote the best interests of the child,” says Chief Specialist Heidi Keskinen. “As a result of the reform, new families have been able to focus on their new life with a child, as it has been possible to deal with official matters in advance,” she adds.
Service implemented together with maternity clinics
DVV implemented its new electronic service in close cooperation with the public health nurses and midwives of maternity clinics. Several public health nurses from different parts of Finland participated in the development work, providing an understanding of the operating environments and needs of maternity clinics. The service created through this cooperation helps nurses serve families better. The information automatically completed in a digital form reduces errors and ensures that personal data is processed reliably in authorities’ systems. VanhemmuusWeb quickly found its users, as more than 95% of the notifications received at maternity clinics have been successfully submitted in the service.
VanhemmuusWeb was enabled by the simultaneous development of law and procedures
The Parenthood Act is an example of a reform in which the serving of customers, in this case families, in public administration can be improved through digitalisation. In addition to legislative reforms, DVV digitalises its own services and develops background services, data systems, processes and its digital knowledge base. Many services already offer customers the opportunity to use e-services, and the case management of official duties has been digitalised.
In the future, digital services will make it easy for customers to initiate cases, use services independently of time and place and monitor their own service activities. In addition to the streamlining of the services, the aim is to achieve reasonable processing times and accurate decision-making and to guarantee the reliability and dependability of the services. Digitalisation of services can also be used to anticipate future service needs, such as increased public guardianship due to the ageing of the population.
Future parent – this is how your parenthood is confirmed:
- Book an appointment, together with the mother giving birth, at a maternity clinic, where you will acknowledge your parenthood. Bring a valid identification document.
- After the child is born, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency confirms the parenthood acknowledged at the maternity clinic.
- You can see your confirmed parenthood on Suomi.fi.
Further information: Heidi Keskinen, Chief Specialist, [email protected], tel. 0295 535 076