FFE Magazine

Belgium to make it legal for babies to have mum’s Surname

Belgium to make it legal for babies to have mum’s Surname

Approved law may mean parents have free choice on baby’s surname.


If one particular draft law will be passed, then the next generation of Belgians will carry two surnames at birth.


The Belgian Chamber of Representatives’ Justice-select committee approved a draft law that allows both the father and mother’s surnames to be given to a baby. The law specifically states that the newborn’s surname would carry the father’s first followed by the mother’s. But three other options are available if the parents make a request:


1. The mother’s surname first followed by the father’s


2. The father’s surname only


3. The mother’s surname only


If the draft law pushes through, then parents of underage children can also change their children’s surnames.


The proposed law still needs the backing of the majority in the plenary session before it becomes a full-fledged law.


Using a mother’s surname to name a child has become a subject of debate in a world that’s now more knowledgeable of gender equality issues. Last month, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that the Italian system of naming was ‘discriminatory against women’ and ordered the Italian government to change its laws to accommodate the desire of a couple to give their child the mother’s surname.



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