Italian children should not automatically receive their father’s surname, court say

Italian children should not automatically receive their father’s surname, court say

Synopsis

The longstanding tradition of a child automatically inheriting the father's surname may soon be ending in Italy.

Italian children should not automatically receive their father’s surname, court say
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The longstanding tradition of a child automatically inheriting the father’s surname may soon be ending in Italy.

Italy’s highest court ruled Wednesday that children should instead inherit both of their parents’ last names.

Italy’s Constitutional Courts ruled that the paternal practice of a child automatically and involuntarily inheriting the father’s surname at birth was not only unconstitutional but “Discriminatory and harmful” to a child’s identity, Reuters reported.

Instead, the court said in a statement, that both parents should be allowed to choose the child’s last name.

“In the wake of the principle of equality and the interest of the child, both parents must be able to share the choice on his surname, which constitutes a fundamental element of personal identity,” a court statement said.

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The new practice will allow both parents to assign their child’s surname in an order they agree upon. If both parents decide to bestow a single surname on the child, that’s OK as well.

According to the court’s statement, automatically assigning the father’s surname was unconstitutional. The practice violates numerous articles of Italy’s Constitution, which protects the citizen’s rights surrounding sex, race, religion, and more, the court added.

The court’s ruling won’t go into effect just yet. It has to pass Parliament’s approval before officially becoming the new practice.

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