Rules, procedure… How the double surname at birth works

The surname is an indispensable element of identity for every individual. In most cases, the child is given the father’s surname (the so-called patronymic) at birth, but this is not compulsory. We can just as easily choose to give him his mother’s name, or both of his parents’ names, in whatever order we want. How do you go about giving your child a double surname? can we remove it We take stock.

In France, there are three ways of giving a surname to the future child whose parentage is being established: Father’s name, mother’s name or a double namewith the names of both parents separated by a single space.

If the parents wish to give their child a double surname, they must submit a joint surname declaration (Cerfa 15286). This document must be signed by both parents and presented to the registrar at the same time as the birth certificate. It should be noted that this application is made before the birth of the first child and that his future brothers and sisters (same parents) must have the same surname chosen by the eldest.

Adding a Last Name: the Marriage Difference

If you want to give your child a double surname and are applying to do so, regardless of whether you are married to your spouse or not. has no influence: you can choose the name of the father, the name of the mother or a double name in any order for him.

On the other hand, if you do not make a specific application (by means of a joint declaration of the choice of name), there are two scenarios. In the case of married couples, the child automatically bears the surname of the father. In the case of unmarried couples, the child is given the name of the parent who recognized them first, or that of the father if both parents were recognized at the same time.

Choosing Baby’s Last Name: Which Last Name Comes First (Father or Mother)?

If a couple decides to give their child a double surname, they must respect a certain order, e.g. B. Father’s first? There is no obligation regarding the order of the two names. This order is determined by the couple at the time of their application (joint declaration of choice of name). On the other hand, there is a limit to the number of possible names that can be given to the child. In fact, there can only be one surname per member of the couple. For example, if the father is named Gainsbourg Balavoine and the mother is Berger, the child cannot be named Gainsbourg Balavoine Berger, but rather Gainsbourg Berger or Balavoine Berger or Berger Balavoine or Berger Gainsbourg. The only exception to this rule is if one of the members of the couple has a compound surname since birth that dates before 2005, or if that compound surname is the result of simple adoption. In this case, the name is non-breaking: it can therefore be transmitted unchanged or added in full to the name of the other parent. Example: If the father’s surname is Dupont-Durant and the mother’s surname is Martin, the child may be named Dupont-Durant Martin.

Do you have two surnames: with or without a hyphen?

If children with double names were required to use a double hyphen up until the early 2000s, it is no longer mandatory. As a rule, the names of the father and mother are separated by a space.

If one of the two parents or even both are of foreign origin, nothing fundamental changes. The difference comes from the surname of the parent of foreign origin: it is legally considered indivisible, regardless of its length. If the person of foreign origin wants to share the name and only transmit a part, he/she has to fill out a customs declaration. This certificate can be requested from the embassies or consulates of the country of origin. Example: Spanish surnames that contain both the father’s and mother’s names form a single name.

What about stillborn babies?

The parents of a child who was stillborn or born alive but not viable and died before the birth was declared may give him a surname. It can be the father’s name, mother’s name, or both names in the order you want.

From July 1, 2022, any person of legal age can choose to take their other parent’s name, which has not been provided to them (the mother’s name in most cases), or both their parents’ names, in the order they want . This name change can take place once in a lifetime, and will affect the following generations. An adult’s name change also affects their children under the age of 13, and their consent is also required. This bill was tabled by Eric Dupont-Moretti, Minister of Justice, and approved by parliamentarians (law of March 2, 2022). This law aims to make it easier to change names after birth. All you have to do is fill out a Cerfa form and submit the declaration to the registry office in the town hall of your place of residence. The new law also provides that the parent who has parental authority over the child can also add their own surname to that of the child, with the consent of the other parent. If the child is older than 13 at the time of this change, their consent is required.

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