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7. Children and family

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Pregnancy

When you are expecting a child, support is rendered by the Schwangerschaftsberatung (pregnancy advice service) concerning matters related to pregnancy and birth. Advice is given free of charge and, if desired, anonymously and in several languages. Should you be in a conflict situation and consider abortion, please consult the pregnancy advice service too. When you are pregnant and need help, you may also use the multi-lingual telephone service "Schwangere in Not" ("Pregnant Women in Trouble"). You can contact the service under the free phone number 0800 4040020.

During pregnancy and usually up to three months after birth you are entitled to utilize the service of a midwife. A midwife attends the pregnant women before and after the birth of your child, and offers, for example, birth preparation courses and toddlers' groups for babies. The costs of the midwife are borne by the health insurance company. As soon as you know that you are pregnant you should consult a gynaecologist every four weeks, from the 32nd week onwards every fortnight.

The costs are borne by the health insurance companies. Employed pregnant women are entitled to mother protection from 6 weeks before until 8 weeks after the birth.

Pregnant women shall not work during this period. You are entitled to return to your job after the lapse of the mother protection period. Pregnant women shall not work longer than 8.5 hours a day and carry out any physically strenuous work.

When you are granted benefits from the Welfare and Integration Office or the Jobcenter, you can apply for the payment of the cost of the first equipment for pregnancy and birth. When you are in a stressful life situation, you have the opportunity to apply with the Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office) for getting a family midwife who shall assist you in the health care of your child up to one year after the birth.

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Assistance for parents

Assistance for parents

When you are employed, you are entitled to parental leave up to the 3rd birthday of your child. During this time you are not obliged to work, your employment continues and cannot be terminated by the employer. Under certain conditions you may be paid Elterngeld  (parental allowance) up to 14 months after the birth of your child, and Kindergeld (child allowance) up to the 18th year of your child.

The education and care for a child are primarily rendered by the parents. When you need assistance in the education of your child, you can contact the Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office). Free and anonymous advice is also given by the Erziehungs- und Familienberatungsstellen (education and family advice service providers). These service providers help you in case of matrimonial conflicts and crises. In the Familienzentrum (Family Centre) of the SHIA e.V. association, or the AWO SPI Familienwerkstatt you can participate with your baby or young child in a toddlers' group or get advice in education issues. The Mehrgenerationenhaus (Multi-Generation House) also offers a parent-child play circle. Toddlers' groups and breastfeeding cafés are also provided in the midwifes' practices. In addition, the NEMSA project in Dessau-Roßlau offers free advice, support and support for parents with a migration background on all questions and problems relating to kindergarten, school or after-school care.

Assistance for unattended minors

Assistance for unattended minors

Unattended minors (under the age of 18) who entered Germany after 1 November 2015 are cared for by the competent Youth Welfare Office. They are either given to a suitable person (e.g. relatives or foster families) or accommodated in an institution (e.g. a clearing house). A guardian or a nurse is appointed for them. Guardianship is usually applicable until full age. After a guardian has been appointed, the residence status is clarified and, if applicable, an application for asylum is filed by the Youth Welfare Office or the guardian, or residence toleration is granted by the Foreigners' Office. When the children or adolescents are in need of specific assistance, the guardian can apply for youth welfare actions by the Youth Welfare Office.

Assistance for women

Assistance for women

Specific services are offered for women that help them to settle in Germany and assist them in emergency situations. They can participate in leisure and further education activities in the Specific services are offered for women that help them to settle in Germany and assist them in emergency situations. They can participate in leisure and further education activities in the Sozial-Kulturellen Frauenzentrum (Socio-Cultural Women's Centre), meet other women and ask for advice. They can get information about varying specific services for women from the Migrationsberatung (Migration Advice Service).

When you feel discriminated as a woman and need information about assistance offered, you can contact the Gleichstellungsbeauftragte (Equal Opportunities Commissioner) of the City of Dessau-Roßlau.

When you feel threatened or have been a violence victim, you will get assistance. The free, anonymous and multi-lingual help hotline "Gewalt gegen Frauen" ("Violence against Women") can give you advice. It will name women advice centres and women's shelters (phone No.: 08000 116-016). Contact a Frauenberatungsstelle (women advice centre). They are obliged to secrecy. There you can get information about further possible actions, e.g. a legal complaint or court proceedings. In case of an acute threat, call the police. The police has to protect you and can expulse the offender out of the flat for up to two weeks. When you do not feel safe in the flat, go to a Frauenhaus (women's shelter). There you will find protection, attendance and professional advice.

When you have fled and are traumatized because of violence experienced in your country of origin or during the flight, you and your children can enter the Frauenflüchtlingshaus  (Female Refugees' Shelter) in Halle. There you get help at any time under the mobile emergency phone number 0152 54-76-476.

Assistance for mens

Assistance for mens

Boys and men in situations of conflict and crisis that they experience, for example, within their family, their relationship or in team, school or living environment can also receive support. The Advice Center ProMann in Dessau-Roßlau advises on these topics and offers men, regardless of their way of life and relationship, offers in which various topics can be discussed and tested. Another focus of activity is the work with men and boys with problems of violence. Affected men are helped to better understand their behaviors and how they can defend their interests and needs non-violently. Men affected by domestic violence and stalking can also seek domestic violence and stalking assistance from the Interventionsstelle Häusliche Gewalt und Stalking. Here the victims are given the opportunity to avert threatening situations, not to endure violence anymore and the men are encouraged to take their lives back into their own hands.

Marriage and divorce

Marriage and divorce

When you intend to marry you have to register the marriage with the When you intend to marry you have to register the marriage with the Standesamt (registry). For this purpose, foreign engaged couples need a birth certificate/certificate of origin, a passport indicating the personal identity and citizenship, a registration certificate and a residence certificate and, if such documents exists in the legal system of the country of origin, a certificate of no impediment. In Germany, both spouse must be 18 years old. Both partners have to enter into marriage voluntarily.

When a marriage has failed it can be divorced. The failure of the marriage is accepted after one year of separated life in the case of a divorce in mutual consent, and after three years in the case of a contested divorce. The Amtsgericht (local court) of the district where the couple lives is the competent court for divorce. Half of the court cost for the divorce proceedings are born by each of the two spouses, the costs of the lawyer are borne by each of the spouses personally. On application, legal aid can be granted when the associated conditions are fulfilled. Generally each of the spouses has to pay for his/her own subsistence. A right of maintenance can apply e.g. for the maintenance of children, when one of the spouses cannot go to work because of the education of joint children.

Family reunion

Family reunion

When you are an accepted refugee or have qualified for asylum, you have the righth to apply for family reunion. You apply for the facilitation of the immigration of your husband or wife and your minor children. Foreigners' Office is in charge of this procedure. The application for family reunion has to be filed within three months after the acceptance of your qualification for asylum or of the right of protection with German embassy at the present residence of your relatives. In this case it is not necessary to evidence the securing of subsistence and sufficient residential space as prerequisite for immigration of the relatives (privileged family reunion).

Please inform yourselves about applicable legal regulations for  the family reunion at the gesonderten Beratung und Betreuung (special advice and attendance). The application for the family reunion of persons from Syria who are qualified for asylum or entitled to protection should be filed electronically through the Webportal des Auswärtigen Amtes (the web portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).