Moving to Germany as family

Rainer Sturm PIXELIO - refined

Parenthood is learning the adventure of taking one step at a time. And what is true for having a baby that grows into a child then a teenager and finally becomes a young adult, is just as true for the evolving art of parenting a child.

In Germany, children are welcome and appreciated.  You will find lots of offers for family activities.



The family has not lost its importance as the nucleus of life, on the contrary, its value is held higher than before. Almost 90 percent of the population value it as the most important personal priority. However, the form families take has significantly changed from the 1960ies model: father = breadwinner, mother = housewife, 2 or more children and together for a lifetime. Today, the patchwork family or same-sex families are widely accepted and gain more and more legal rights.

Likewise, the role of the woman has tremendously changed, and it is now fully accepted (and encouraged) that a woman builds a career. This development goes along with numerous procedural and financial aids which shall help women to reach equality on the business parquet.

At the same time, families have become smaller. There are more single-child families than those with three or more children, resulting in a serious demographic challenge for Germany’s future.

It is also the underlying reason for loosened immigration restrictions and the implementation of the Bluecard.

There is still a long way to go to reach the target: a healthy birth rate and equal chances for women at the same time.

In fact, since 1993 men have hardened their views, with 60 percent saying they couldn’t see themselves putting a dent in their career to help their partners. 56 percent of men could not envisage the father taking parental leave to look after a baby. And when it comes to household chores, opinions remain old-fashioned – 75% of the women thought a fight about an equal distribution of tasks, was not worth the hassle.

Mentionable is also the invisible yet existing separation of families with young children and those without. This probably originates from the very strong awareness for the personal freedom and the right to be undisturbed in whatever activity one is undertaking. As a result, going out for dinner is often like running the gauntlet with unfriendly stares the moment baby makes an unpleasant noise. So if you decide to have one or more children, what you often end up doing is building, where necessary, a completely new circle of friends – all with children. For newcomers, there are lots of possibilities, and you will find yourselves welcome and appreciated. The vast majority of the German population is open-minded and loves practicing their English.

Making friends via your children is one of the easiest ways to build friendships. It is expected that you join your child for its first playdates up to kindergarten age and a little further.  However, when in school age, you just drop your child off at their playdate. Use that chance for an invitation for a quick coffee and the playmate's parents will sooner or later return the favor.


An article by

Couples planning to get married in Germany should get started with the legal formalities as soon as possible. Six months early is not too soon. Things can usually be disposed of in far less time than that, but a number of legal issues, particularly previous marriages, can create a hassle...

#regulations to be considered, Standesämter & religion, overview

An article by

Generally speaking, getting married in Germany is a short and matter-of-fact affair. The country offers plenty of romantic scenery and beautiful locations for your dream wedding and honeymoon. However, the Federal Foreign Office regards marriage as “a legally binding contract” rather than an act of love. Therefore, it can take some bureaucratic effort...

#procedures and venues, standard requirements, and the complex divorce law

An article by the “Auswärtige Amt” (German Alian Office)

Distances are diminishing as ever more networks span the globe. As globalization progresses, modern means of transport and communications technologies are bringing people closer together, a fact which is also reflected in the growing number of "international" marriages...

#validity of marriage, more on divorcing, legal provisions

You're about to marry in Germany?

Well, congrats upfront! If you want help compiling all the necessary documents and handing them in to all the right places, just let us know. We will take care of it!


An article by A cup of

Luisa lives in Berlin with her husband, Max, and two-year-old son, Hugo.

Pregnancy is celebrated in Germany, but people are generally pretty private, so you won’t necessarily get chatted up by people in public about your due date and how you’re feeling. I went to the U.S. when I was seven months pregnant and was happily overwhelmed with how extra-special-friendly everyone was to me, and when I got back to Berlin after that, I felt a little sad about the fact that people here are more reserved and quiet. Cue the tiny violins!

#personal experience, living in Berlin with child

An article by

Your main point of contact during pregnancy is the community midwife, who coordinates arrangements on your behalf with a team of midwives, GPs, obstetricians, and other hospital staff. The midwife is the person who will arrange appointments and tests on your behalf...

#how it works - generally

An article on

Written by an American woman with now two children, living in Munich

When we arrived in Germany in 2005, I was 32 weeks pregnant. Even more fortunately, this was our first child. I was perfectly happy in our new little adventure. I had no doctor, but I figured I'd find one. I didn't know which hospital our baby would be born in, but I knew there were plenty. But despite having lived abroad before, I completely underestimated how differently things work in different health systems. I need a doctor...and a Mutterpass.
Not just any doctor, and not necessarily an obstetrician. Here in Germany, gynecologists are responsible for monitoring pregnancies, though they may not be the ones actually delivering the babies...

#midwifes and C-section

You will have your child in Germany?

More congratulations! We help you with finding a doctor and midwife, advise you on hospitals and help you with preparing the documents for the child's residents permit and other papers.



An article published in the TIME magazine

Written by Zara Zaske, an American mom raising her child in Berlin:

The first time I went to a playground in Berlin, I freaked. All the German parents were huddled together, drinking coffee, not paying attention to their children who were hanging off a wooden dragon 20 feet above a sand pit. Where were the piles of soft padded foam? The liability notices? The personal injury lawyers?

#very well-written hit-the-spot article highlighting the most evident difference between German and American parenting.

An article by

An article by Nicolette Stewart

When an expat becomes a parent, the joys and challenges of two potentially high-stress (and extremely joyful) experiences collide. Some challenges are magnified—a new expat parent is simultaneously confronted with two enormous tasks: learning how to be a mom or a dad and take care of his or her child while learning how to navigate a foreign culture in a new language—but the benefits are manifold.

#learning the language with the child, child-friendly neighborhood and education

An article by A cup of

This article is written by the same Luisa from Berlin as above

Hugo is two, and we recently had a parent/teacher conference with his daycare. The teacher said, “I’m concerned about his coming into the group of older kids.” I asked why, and she said, “He needs to learn to stand up for himself more. When other kids come up and take toys away from him, he just lets it happen.” I was like, well, isn’t that just sharing? ...

#Self-reliance as a concept

An article on

By Katinka Barysch is Director of Political Relations, Allianz SE

When I moved to Germany I was struck by one difference – whereas many British mums continue pursuing their careers, most German ones stay at home. At least, this was my first impression. Digging down into statistics and surveys, however, I found that the big difference was not in the numbers, but in attitudes. In Britain, the question of whether and how much a mother should work is seen as a matter of either necessity or personal preference. In Germany, the debate has a moralizing, sometimes even antagonistic, tone.

#mothers at work

An article on

Nadine Lichtenberger is an American who has lived in Linz, Austria since 1989 with her Austrian husband and their two children.

The decision to raise our children to be bilingual in German and English was a rather easy one to make. Our personal reasons were fairly clear: I not only believe that the gift of language is priceless, but they will have the ability to communicate with a broader range of people. I want my children to be aware of their American (and Caribbean) cultural heritage since they will be raised in Austria. To me, this means complete fluency and knowledge of the English language.

#raising children bilingual

An article published on

You may receive a varied reaction from your children when you break the news that you will be moving to another country as a family. Depending upon the age of the children involved, and their affinity to their home country, this can vary from immense excitement to a complete reluctance to leave their home and social network behind.

#preparation by distinctive ages