German parents can’t be forced to see kids

German parents can't be forced to see kids
'Where's Daddy?' Photo: DPA
The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled on Tuesday that parents can't be forced to see their children born out of wedlock against their will.

The case centered on a father who refused any contact with a son conceived in an extramarital affair. Children have a basic right to meet their parents, the court said, but legally enforced visits are “as a general rule” not appropriate, the court said.

In exceptional cases, the child’s right to contact with parents can be enforced with the threat of fines, but only if this contact benefits the child, the high court concluded.

The ruling was based on an appeal to a Brandenburg regional court decision that ruled the man should pay a fine of €25,000 for not visiting his son, born in 1999.