Child can be given a double surname with retroactive effect

Minister Franc Weerwind (Legal Protection) today sends a memorandum to the House of Representatives that regulates this. Due to the change, parents of young children, born on or after January 29 of 2019, will soon be able to give their children a double surname.

At the end of last year, the then outgoing minister Sander Dekker already submitted a bill that made it possible to have a double surname. A 2020 Justice and Security poll showed that 32 percent of people think it should be possible.

‘Wish of parents’

“The wish of many parents to give the children in their family a double name is great,” says Weerwind now. “With this transitional arrangement, we are responding to that.”

But some parents were disappointed because they couldn’t retroactively give their young children a double surname. For example, mother Laura Kraak told RTL Nieuws a few years ago about her wish to give her child two surnames. She even started a petition to make it happen.

The transitional arrangement will apply for one year. It can only be used if both parents want it and come up with a joint statement. If not, the child keeps the original last name.

Up to two names

The double surname can consist of a maximum of two names and is written without a hyphen, for example Jansen De Boer. For example, parents can choose: Jansen, De Boer, Jansen De Boer and De Boer Jansen. For the group of people who already have a double or plural surname, such as Van Bergen Henegouwen or Korthals Altes, this name is seen as a single surname.

For adopted children it will be possible to choose a combination of their surname at birth and the names of their adoptive parents. A maximum of two names also applies here.

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