Are you pregnant and no one can know? Are you desperate because you do not know where and how to deliver the baby safely without being found out? Perhaps you want to make sure the newborn is in good hands, but you don't want any contact with the baby after giving birth? Then you should know that there is protection and help. You can give birth with the help of a doctor or midwife without anyone even knowing your name. This is known in Germany as a ‘confidential birth’. It’s best to go to a counselling centre for pregnant women. They are familiar with these situations and can support you throughout the process.

Even if you have many worries and fears, you should by no means try to give birth alone and in secret. There is a way for you to deliver the baby anonymously and safely. With a confidential birth, you do not have to pay anything for the medical examinations and treatments before, during or after the birth. The only place that will know your name is the counselling centre for pregnant women that is helping you. No one else will know - no office, no relatives, no health insurance company. The baby will be cared for by the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) from birth.

Maybe you'd like to find out about how confidential births work without having to go anywhere and without anyone seeing you do it? This is why there's the helpline Pregnant People in Distress (Schwangere in Not). There you will find advice and support. The number is free to call: 0800 40 40 020. It is valid throughout Germany. If you do not speak German, an interpreter can be called in. The helpline is manned around the clock by experienced advisors. If you want to have a confidential birth, they can give you addresses of local pregnancy counselling centres to whom you can confidentially turn. You can get support and guidance there. You can also go to a pregnancy counselling centre directly. The counsellors are legally bound to confidentiality. That means that no one is allowed to talk to a third person about your situation. The counsellor will listen to you and help you to find a good and safe path forward for you and the child. They can help you with everything that needs to be arranged and organised both before and after the birth. No one will push you to make a certain decision. You can always decide what happens next.

You can always go directly to a hospital, midwife or birth centre. Of course, you can also get help and protection at a clinic, from a midwife or from an advice centre for pregnant people if you are about to give birth or have already given birth in secret. Most importantly, never be ashamed to accept help for yourself and the baby.

You will only give your personal details, for example your date of birth and your place of residence, once to a counsellor from the Counselling Centre for Pregnant People (Beratungsstelle für Schwangere). If you go directly to a hospital, midwife or birth centre, they will get you in touch with a counsellor from a counselling centre. You only tell your real name to this person. To ensure that your real name does not become known during all further consultations, medical examinations and the birth, you and the person advising you will decide on an fake name. You can choose it yourself. During pregnancy and childbirth, you can receive all medical services without the doctor or midwife knowing your real name.

After the birth, the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) will ensure that the child is well cared for. The Youth Welfare Office will inform the family court that they must appoint a guardian for the child. A guardian is a person who legally represents the child and makes all important decisions for them. If you wish, you can continue to get counselling after the birth. This is helpful, for example, if you are considering taking the child back.

Every child in Germany has the right to know their origins. Therefore, a child adopted after a confidential birth is entitled to access the birth mother's filed information after their 16th birthday. Only the child will be allowed access to this data and no one else.

In exceptional cases, it’s possible for the birth mother to remain anonymous after the child's 16th birthday. This is the case, for example, if it could be dangerous for them if someone finds out about the confidential birth. Even then, it is best to contact the counselling centre for pregnant women. There, they will see to it that the disclosure is prevented.