Children and parents

(Barn och föräldrar)

Becoming a parent

(Att bli förälder) Sweden offers many different types of support for children and their parents. Among them are free prenatal care and children’s health care, paid parental leave, municipal child care and family counselling.

Expecting a child

(Att vänta barn) Expecting a child is a life-changing event for many people, and having a child often demands a major adjustment. A pregnant person is entitled to take leave from the job for a certain period of time before giving birth and to receive benefits from the Social Insurance Agency. If the job is physically strenuous, they may also receive a pregnancy cash benefit from the Social Insurance Agency.Learn about health care for pregnant people and newborn children in the section entitled Health Care. Women are entitled to decide if and when they want to have children. A woman may have an abortion even if the father of the child doesn’t want her to. Similarly, she can choose to have the child even if the father is against it. Contact the midwife/prenatal clinic of the municipality for advice and support.

After the child is born

(När barnet är fött) Child welfare centres help and support parents to take care of their children. They also have special support groups for single parents, young parents, etc.

Parents’ allowance

(Föräldrapenning) You can receive parent’s allowance to take leave from your job and care for your children. If you and the other parent have joint custody of your children, each of you is entitled to 240 days of parent’s allowance. Two months are earmarked for each of you and cannot be transferred to the other parent. In other words, each of you must take at least two months of parental leave if you want to receive the entire allowance. Parents may apply to Försäkringskassan for parents’ allowance.

Establishing paternity and parenthood

(Att fastställa faderskap och föräldraskap) Children are entitled to the love and support of both parents. That’s why the parenthood of every child who is born must be established. Not only do children have the right to know where they came from, but they are entitled to maintenance and inheritance. If the mother is unmarried or divorced, paternity or parenthood must be established. Municipal social services have that responsibility.

Custody and visiting rights

(Vårdnad och umgänge) All children are entitled to a guardian. Someone must be responsible for the child’s food, clothing, well-being and other needs. Usually the parents have custody of the child, but another person may assume that responsibility. Joint custody means that the two parents share responsibility for a child and for decisions about the child’s life. Sole custody means that only one parent has legal responsibility for the child. Parents who are married automatically have joint custody. If the parents are not married, the mother automatically has custody. The parents can notify the Tax Agency any time they want to have joint custody.

Name of the child

(Barnets namn) The name that parents have chosen for their child must be submitted for approval to the Tax Agency no later than three months after the child is born.

Citizenship of the child

(Barnets medborgarskap) When a child is entered in the population registry, the Tax Agency (Skatteberket) determines citizenship. If one of the parents is a Swedish citizen and the child was born in Sweden, the child is a Swedish citizen. Special rules apply if both of the parents are foreign nationals. If both parents are foreign nationals, they must apply to the Migration Board for a residence permit after the child is born.

Rights and obligations of parents

(Föräldrars rättigheter och skyldigheter) The Children and Parents Code covers the rights and obligations of parents. Parents have responsibility and make decisions for their children. For instance, parents may decide how long their children can stay out at night, what school they attend and how much weekly allowance they receive.

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