Children should have their parents’ surnames at birth, court rulings – World News

Newborn babies in Italy will automatically take the surname of both their parents unless both agree otherwise under new legislation agreed on Wednesday

Moms and dads should be able to choose their baby's last name, Italian rules
Moms and dads should be able to choose their baby’s last name, Italian rules

A court in Italy has ruled that children should be given the surnames of both parents.

The decision overturns a long tradition in Italy where babies were automatically named after their father.

Italy’s Constitutional Court has now ruled that mothers and fathers should be able to choose their baby’s last name.

The old practice was described as “discriminatory and identity-damaging” for children in a statement following the April 27 ruling.

Family Minister Elena Bonetti said surnames are part of a person’s “identity and personal history” and “a history that we can now pass on through women”.

On Facebook, she added: “Today reminds us that the time has come to change.

“When choosing a surname, we must also ensure that mothers and fathers have the same responsibility when choosing their parents.

“Let’s move forward quickly and together on this path.”

That was decided by the constitutional court in Italy on Wednesday


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Children born in Italy can continue to have a surname under the new legislation if both parents agree.

The decision is subject to the approval of Parliament, which is required to implement the decision.

Renate Gebhard, President of the South Tyrolean People’s Party, said the issue dragged on “from one legislative period to the next,” she reported euronews.

A statement from the court said the old practice was “discriminatory and harmful”.


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MEP Laura Boldrini of the Democratic Party of Italy added: “It is now up to Parliament to make this leap forward in civilization.”

Pope Francis and political leaders in Italy have expressed concern about the impact of a declining birth rate on the country, with the cost of raising children seen as one of the factors.

The Italian parliament must approve the decision


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In 2020, the birth rate in Italy hit an all-time low since the country’s unification in 1861, according to the national statistics office.

The number fell for the twelfth year in a row to 404,892 births, down 15,192 from the previous year, the ISTAT statistics office said.

About 746,146 people died in 2020 when the population fell to 59.3 million.

Politicians have expressed concern about the country’s falling birth rate


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The slump continued into 2021, with preliminary data for January to September showing 12,500 fewer births than in the same period last year.

ISTAT attributed the slump to the coronavirus pandemic as a major factor.

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