Acknowledgment of paternity in Japan (認知)
Suppose you are a non-Japanese woman. And you gave a birth to Taro Thomas. The father (Kazuo Yamada) is Japanese, but you and Kazuo Yamada are not married.
In this case, you want to create a legal kinship between Taro Thomas and Kazuo Yamada. Because without a legal relationship, Taro Thomas cannot make a claim for support (扶養) against Kazuo Yamada.
In addition, when Kazuo Yamada dies, Taro Thomas will not be able to inherit Kazuo Yamada’s estate.
Therefore, Kazuo Yamada needs to acknowledge Taro Thomas. Kazuo Yamada is to submit a notice of Acknowledgment of paternity (認知) to the ward office.
The Acknowledgment of paternity in Japan (認知) does not automatically make Taro Thomas to Taro Yamada.
When Kazuo Yamada acknowledges Taro Thomas, his family register (戸籍) will state “I have acknowledged Taro Thomas.” However, when Kazuo Yamada moved his Honseki address (本籍) or had his family register revised (改製) after he acknowledged Taro Thomas, the fact that he acknowledged him would not appear in his new family register.
Therefore, when you check Kazuo Yamada’s family register, you must go back to the time of his birth. Otherwise, Kazuo Yamada may have other children whom he has acknowledged.
If there are others, this would reduce the percentage of property that Taro Thomas can inherit.
Note for Acknowledgment of paternity in Japan
Family registers are not maintained by the ward office with jurisdiction over the address. Japanese people have a Honseki Address in addition to their address. The family register is kept by the ward office that has jurisdiction over the Honseki address.
Family registers are occasionally revised. Family registers that were written by hand may be replaced by a computer-generated family register.