Every Child

Has Two Parents


Separating your child onto own Family Registration (koseki)


I will include information on how to remove a child from the Japanese parent's koseki onto his/her own, if a foreigner gets custody.  Should be a reference to forms.  It may not even require consent of the Japanese parent if you have the court decision.



Here is some speculation from a reply to an email asking how to break a child off onto their own koseki while still married to a Japanese spouse.  This would be with the consent of the Japanese spouse.

The first thing I would try is just to go down to your local government office and ask if it is possible. See what they say. They may not like the idea at all, so you may have to push them. Ask what law says it is not possible. Or you might also want to ask about the following possibilities. (which are speculation on my part.) References to the Civil Code I use below can all be found here:


1. According Civil Code Article 798, permission of the family court is not required for adoption if the child is a lineal descendant. So your parents should be able to "adopt" your children just by filling in a form and submitting it. Since your parents are not Japanese, they children would have to be taken off your spouse's koseki and put on their own. Once that happens, your parents could assign parental power to you. Note that it may even be possible for you to then adopt your own children back. One catch here is that according to article 796, you need the consent of your spouse if you are married. Also, according to Civil Code Article 795, you may need to do it jointly with your spouse. That puts you back where you started. But this is probably a very tricky area, so it is worth asking about.

2. Civil Code Article 818 paragraph 3 says this:
While father and mother are in matrimonial relation, they jointly exercise the parental power. However, if either the father or the mother is unable to exercise the parental power, the other parent exercises it.

The last sentence in English says "exercises it". I dont know if that means there is a legal change or not. You should look at the original Japanese. (Sorry, I do not have a reference to that online. If you find one, please let me know.) Also see Civil Code Article 837, which says:

Article 837. Father or mother who exercises parental power may, where circumstances make it imperative, decline the parental power or the right of management with the leave of the Family Court.
2. If the circumstances mentioned in the preceding paragraph cease to exist, father or mother may recover the parental power or the right of management with the leave of the Family Court.

This might mean your spouse can revoke parental power, but it may require permission of the family court. i.e. not just submitting an application to the local gov office. What you really want is to just fill in a form and submit it.

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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