Italian children must bear the parents’ surname, Supreme Court rules 2022-04-28 05:36:29


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An Italian top court ruled on Wednesday that newborns should by default bear the surnames of the parents – not just the father, as the status quo was.

The Italian Constitutional Court in Rome said that giving sons only their father’s surnames is constitutionally illegal.

The court said that each parent should have a say in their child’s surname because it constitutes an “essential element of personal identity”. The court said that from now on, the child would take the surnames of the parents, by mutual agreement on the order of the names.

But the court said a child could take only one parent’s name, if that was what the parents chose – which would make it possible for the first time on a large scale for children to bear only their mother’s last names.

The court said the law should apply to children born to married and unmarried parents, as well as adopted children.

At the heart of the case brought to court is a family of five from the Basilicata region. The two eldest children bore only the mother’s last name, as they were only later legally recognized by their father.

The father and mother sought to give their newborn child a family name as well, to align with the child’s two older siblings, but their request was denied because at present the law only allowed the assignment of one or both surnames, a representative of Domenico Petilla, the family’s attorney, said. The lawyer added that the parents did not want to add the paternal surname to the names of their older children, because their names and personal identities were already well established.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Petilla said the ruling was a “historic ruling” in Italy that “recognized that it was in the newborn’s best interest for his parents’ choices to dictate” his name, rather than “force it”. with an ancient model of the patriarchal family.

It is customary for Italian women to keep their last names, and it is customary in Italy for mother and child to have different surnames – a similar situation in countries such as South Korea. The court ruling would align Italian naming practices with those of countries such as Mexico, where children’s surnames often consist of the father followed by the mother’s name.

Cecilia D’Elia, a center-left Italian legislator and feminist, described the current naming procedure as “the last paternalistic sign of family law”.

Giving the mother “the same dignity as the father” books On Twitter, it was just a “sign of civility”.

Japan says that couples should have the same name, so I changed my name. Now the rule for discussion.

The Italian legislature is now tasked with passing laws that define how the court’s ruling is to be carried out. Italy’s Minister of Family and Equal Opportunities, Elena Bonetti, said in a statement that the government supports the ruling, which is “another essential step in achieving equal rights for women and men in our country.”

She said the practice of automatically assigning a father’s surname to a child amounted to discrimination against women and children Tell Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Italy is one of the lowest ranked countries in Western Europe in the European Institute for Gender Equality latest indexcome in below the EU average.

So far, Bonetti said, Italy had been carrying a “male autobiographical story”. “A surname is part of one’s identity and personal history, a story we can now convey written in the female language.”