Danish parliament gives Greenlanders the right to know the identity of their fathers

‘Legal orphans’ granted the same rights as other children

The Danish parliament has adopted a law that gives Greenlandic children fathered by Danish men the right to know the identity of their fathers.

Until 1963, a man who fathered a child in Greenland out of wedlock had no legal responsibilities to identify himself and the child could not inherit from the man or his family. These children, now adults, are referred to as ‘legal orphans’.

A long time coming
The law allows the fatherless children the right to know the identity of their fathers and to inherit from his estate, putting them on the same legal footing as other children born out of wedlock. The adoption of the law on paternity and inheritance in Greenland is in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The new law does not grant the children any right to estates of fathers that have already been settled by death, releasing heirs to the estate from the responsibility of reimbursing the child.

READ MORE: No child support refund for Faroese and Greenlandic parents

The law will come into effect on 1 June, and an information campaign will be launched to help those affected find their fathers.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.