On March 11, 2022, a baby girl named Lilòia was born in Belgium. Her mother is Belgian and her father is French, originally from Pau. The latter suggested this Occitan given name, which is pronounced “Liloye” because it is “very connected to the Occitan language and culture”he explains The shipping. “It was very important to me that our little one had a first name from my homeland”, he continues. There was only one problem with the declaration of his birth: the French civil status rejected this first name.
France rejects the first name, Belgium accepts it
A few days before Lilòia’s birth, a friend of the couple warns: he wanted to name his son Antòn, but the civil status refused on the grounds that the “ò” does not belong to the French alphabet. As a result, parents-to-be are beginning to suspect that giving their daughter their chosen first name might be more complicated than they thought…
When Julien goes to the Belgian authorities to announce the birth of his daughter, the first name is registered “No problem”. On the French side he took the same steps: “As binational Lilia, we had two options. The first: to make a classic declaration to the French consulate in Belgium in the first two weeks after the birth. The second: to ask France for the copy of the Belgian birth certificate. It is the second option that the parents choose and they inquire at the French consulate in Belgium. They are then told that the “ò” cannot be entered in French civil status software, so they have to convert it to a simple “o”.
The parents want to go to the administrative court
Liliòia’s parents did not want to change her first name. “I have informed the consulate that I will not carry out a recognition procedure in France under these conditions because I do not want my daughter to be integrated into a national community that does not fully recognize who she is.”, says Julien. His daughter, therefore, cannot have dual citizenship, at least for the moment…
Julien says he and his companion are currently finding out about the various legal remedies that are possible, such as going to the Administrative Court or even taking the case to the European Union authorities. “For us it’s not that important because in absolute terms it doesn’t matter, our daughter already has Belgian citizenship. If we do it will rather be for the very many parents who are in this situation of blockage. This can seem to be very anecdotal, given names being rejected by civil status, there are a few every day. But I think there is a desire on the part of the French state to refuse the so-called ‘regional’ languages.”indicates the father of the family.
- The Birth Announcement
- Occitan first names