Understanding Rights for Parents Giving Birth in Germany
Giving birth is an incredible experience that can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially if you are in a foreign country. If you are expecting a child in Germany, knowing your rights as a parent during and after childbirth is essential. You have various options available to you, so it is important to be well-informed before making any decisions.
This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the rights of parents giving birth in Germany. We will cover everything from insurance coverage to parental leave, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
In Germany, health insurance is mandatory, and you must be insured with a statutory health insurance company (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) or a private health insurance company (Private Krankenversicherung) if you qualify. This includes coverage for prenatal appointments, childbirth, and postnatal care.
Statutory Health Insurance
If you are insured with a statutory health insurance company, you have the option of choosing between a hospital birth or a home birth. The costs of a hospital birth are covered entirely by the insurance company, while the cost of a home birth is partially covered. If you choose a home birth, you will be responsible for the cost of the midwife.
If you give birth in a hospital, you have the right to choose both your midwife and your doctor. The hospital will provide a midwife, but you are allowed to bring your own. If you want to have a doctor of your choice, make sure they are affiliated with the hospital.
If you require a caesarean section, your insurance company covers the cost of the operation. However, if you choose to have an elective caesarean section, you may have to pay out of pocket.
Private Health Insurance
If you are insured with a private health insurance company, your coverage may vary. It is best to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered and what is not.
In Germany, maternity leave is granted to either parent. It is offered as a federally regulated social insurance program that provides financial assistance to parents who need time off work to care for their child. You may be able to claim up to 14 months of pay if you meet certain criteria, such as being employed and paying into the social insurance system.
Maternity leave can be started up to six weeks before your due date and can be taken up until three years after your child is born. During this time, you are entitled to up to 100% of your regular pay, depending on your income.
If you are the father of a newborn, you are entitled to two months of parental leave in addition to the maternity leave. This leave must be taken within the first eight months of your child’s life.
As a parent in Germany, you are entitled to receive child benefits (Kindergeld) for each child under the age of 18. Kindergeld is a tax-free payment that provides financial assistance to parents to help with the cost of raising a child. The amount of Kindergeld you receive per child depends on the number of children you have and your income level.
If you have one child, you are entitled to receive €219 per month. For two children, you can receive €436 per month, and for three children or more, you can receive €551 per month. The payments are made monthly and are usually automatic if you have registered your child’s birth and have a German tax number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I choose to give birth at home in Germany?
A: Yes, you can choose to give birth at home in Germany. However, the costs of a home birth are only partially covered by the statutory health insurance.
Q: Can I bring my own midwife to the hospital?
A: Yes, you can bring your own midwife to the hospital. The hospital will provide a midwife, but you are allowed to bring your own.
Q: What is the maximum amount of maternity leave I can take in Germany?
A: You can take up to 14 months of maternity leave in Germany, and you can start up to six weeks before your due date.
Q: Am I entitled to financial assistance for each child I have?
A: Yes, as a parent in Germany, you are entitled to receive child benefits (Kindergeld) for each child under the age of 18.
Q: Do I have to be employed to receive maternity leave in Germany?
A: Yes, you must be employed and paying into the social insurance system to be eligible for maternity leave in Germany.
As a parent giving birth in Germany, understanding your rights is imperative. It is essential to know what is covered by your insurance, how to take advantage of maternity leave benefits, and the amount of financial assistance you can receive as a parent. With this guide, you can now make informed choices about childbirth and parenting in Germany.