Newborn in Italy no longer automatically gets father’s name


Until now, the practice has been that children are automatically given their father’s last name when he recognizes the newborn. The Court now calls this ‘constitutionally illegitimate’ and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. Parents can now choose to use both surnames, or choose one of the two.

Mother’s name only

For several years it was already possible to add the name of the mother to the surname on request, but it was always listed last. This can now also be done the other way around, if parents choose the surname for both. It is the first time that only the surname of the woman can be chosen.

If parents do not explicitly opt for a surname, a child will now automatically be given a double surname.

One of the cases examined by the Court was a family with three children in the town of Potenza, writes The New York Times† Two children had the mother’s last name, because the father did not recognize them at first. After the couple got married, they had another child, who was recognized and therefore given a different surname.

Other countries

Italy lagged behind other European countries, such as the Netherlands, where it was already possible to choose the mother’s surname for some time. At the end of last year, the then outgoing minister Sander Dekker (Legal Protection) served another bill to be able to choose both names. The same Dekker did not think this was necessary before.


Source: RTL Nieuws by www.rtlnieuws.nl.

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