Should parents fail to agree on the choice of a surname for their offspring, the surnames of both parents will be given in alphabetical order to the child, under a bill approved on Friday by the Council of Ministers. Under the previous government, it had been decided that in the event of a disagreement, the double surname name would begin automatically with the surname of the father, but that provision was invalidated by the Constitutional Court, which saw it as unjustified discrimination.
Should one parent or both already have a double surname, the parent concerned will choose the part of the name they wish to give to the child, failing which the surname to be awarded will be decided by alphabetical order.
In other cases, parents remain free to choose both the first names and surnames of their children.
Parents of children born since June 1, 2014 who haven’t decided on the choice of a name will have until June 30, 2017 to give their infants the double-barreled surname in alphabetical order.
A circular will be published with a view to correctly informing parents on the new law, which is scheduled to enter into effect on January 1, 2017.
Jessica Johansson (Source: Belga)