Tag Archives: legal faqs on surnames


The name of the children

The attribution of the name and surnames individualizes and identifies the person and can be framed in the principle of free development of the personality and the principle of dignity of the person.

In this country, the name is composed of two elements: the proper name, which is chosen by the parents, and two surnames, which are imposed by filiation, the paternal and maternal (the duplicity of surnames avoids homonymy and allows both the father As the mother is reflected in the identity of the child).

What happened to the surnames before the current regulation

With law 11/1981 the attribution of surnames depended on whether the filiation is determined, either by both parents or only one of them. In this sense, Article 109 of the Civil Code after the 1981 reform stated that “1. The filiation determines the surnames in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

The son, upon reaching the age of majority may request that the order of their surnames be altered.

Therefore, the determination of paternal and maternal filiation, whether matrimonial or extramarital, was given preference to the paternal surname on the maternal (articles 53 LRC and 194 RRC).

The regulation was as follows:

If the filiation was recognized by both lines, paternal and maternal, the son had the first last name of the father and the second last name the first of the mother.

If the filiation was determined only with respect to one of the parents, the son was granted the two surnames of the same and in the same order. However, according to article 55.2 LRC, at the request of the child, at any time, or its legal representative, if the only affiliation determined was the maternal one, it was possible to reverse the order of the maternal surnames to avoid the coincidence of the First surname of mother and son, and avoid, in turn, show the absence of determination of paternal filiation.

– If the filiation was not legally determined, the Civil Registry Officer granted the child a name and surnames in common use (article 55 LRC).

Who decides the order of the surnames of the children

In accordance with the provisions of the current Civil Registry Law, the autonomy of the parents’ will allows them to choose the order of their first names for their children. The controversy begins when this right is not exercised.

Law 20/2011 of July 21, reforming the Civil Registry Act regulates in articles 49 to 57 the content of the birth registration, which will enter into force on June 30, 2017 .

Article 49.2 notes the following:

The filiation determines the surnames.

If the filiation is determined by both lines, the parents will agree on the order of transmission of their respective first surname, before the registration.

In case of disagreement or when the surnames in the application for registration have not been stated, the Civil Registry Officer will require both parents or those who hold the legal representation of the child, so that within a maximum period of three days Order of surnames

After this term has expired without express communication, the Registrar of Civil Registry will order the order of surnames in the best interests of the child.

In this first inscription, when so requested, the preposition “de” and the conjunctions “and” or “i” between the surnames may be included in the terms foreseen in article 53 of this law ”

What surnames are given to later children

The order of surnames established for the first birth registration, ie for the first of the children, determines the order for the inscription of subsequent births with identical sonship.