In Italy, children will no longer automatically take their father’s surname

By what honor should a child automatically perpetuate his father’s family line by adopting his surname? Nobody answers to the Italian Constitutional Court.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, Italy’s highest court announced that Automatic attribution of the father’s family name to children born, henceforth “illegitimate”, The newspaper said it was a “historic” decision. La Republica.

Until now, Italians were automatically named after their father at birth, while the mother kept her maiden name (if she was unmarried).

Automatic title, now “constitutional illegality” in Italy

Similar to that applied in France, this rule lives its last hours in ItalyAnd Since it was opposed by the Constitutional Court a few days ago.

The court declaresConstitutional illegality of all rules providing for the automatic attribution of the father’s surname to adopted children born in it marriageor out of wedlock. It will be the duty of legislators to regulate all aspects related to this decision,” one can read in the press release published by the supreme institution.

A decision praised by Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of dictator Benito Mussolini. An interview with the Italian daily newspaper El Misaghiruwho wanted to give her grandfather’s name to her children said she led a real obstacle course before this rule was introduced.

“It took lawyers, economic costs, emotional costs, two Home Office decrees, entire family tree authorizations, a detailed report in which I explained the other relatives’ agreement,” did you include it in the national gazette.

Until today, Italian women wishing to give their children their surname (joining the father’s name) had to obtain permission from the father, while in the case of automatic surname attribution, the mother was not consulted.

Families are not allowed to give children only their mother’s surname, except in certain cases, such as when the father does not want it to be a part of the child’s life. The New York Times. From now on, the child will be born with both names, and one of them can be taken out only with the consent of both parents..

In France, the development began and was implemented in July 2022

In France, since the law of March 4, 2002, Parents of a newborn baby can give him one name, if not both, Subject to mutual agreement. In the absence of this choice and if the parents are married, the child automatically takes the father’s surname. In the case of cohabitation, the child takes the name of the parent who first knew him, or the name of the father, if at the same time it was recognized.

Effective July 1, 2022, A parent can also add his name to his child’s name, by informing the other parent, With the consent of the child if he is over 13 years old, details of service-public.fr. An adult can also choose to bear the name of his mother, father, or both.

According to Patrick Vignall, MP for the bill: In France, “eight out of ten children receive their father’s name at birth”which is specified in the public service memorandum.

Automatic assignment is considered “discriminatory” by the European Court of Human Rights

In the rest of Europe, this was a debate that sometimes led to the revitalization of the courts. On October 26, 2021, European Court of Human Rights ruled ‘discrimination against women’ Automatic attribution to the child from the father’s nameEven in the event of a dispute.

A Spanish woman had taken over the court after seeing that her name was being carried behind the name of her ex-boyfriend, whom she nonetheless left during her pregnancy due to psychological harassment.

In Spain, children are born with two names: the name of the father and the mother, but “at the birth of the child, in 2005, Spanish legislation stipulated that in case of disagreement between the parents, the child bears the family name of the father followed by the father”, specified BFM TV last october.

As we can read in the final ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, the Spanish state was ordered to pay 10,000 euros to the mother of the family, for “moral damage and psychological suffering”.

Together with our other European neighbours, Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg apply legislation similar to that of France.. On the other hand, in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, the choice of a family name is up to both parents, but a double name is not allowed, states Time for Equality.

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