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  • Dapat Surname Din Ni Mommy! Children In Italy Should Carry Both Mom And Dad's Surnames, Rules Top Court

    An Italian lawmaker says this gives mothers "the same dignity as that of the father."
    by Angela Baylon .
Dapat Surname Din Ni Mommy! Children In Italy Should Carry Both Mom And Dad's Surnames, Rules Top Court
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  • Moms and dads ideally should share fair and equal rights with their children. Plainly speaking, there should not be a greater parent. But at times, it seems like the patriarchal society says otherwise.

    Case in point: Some cultures follow that children automatically carry the surname of their father at birth, like in Italy. However, the country is already making strides to overturn this and put a name to the mothers' rights in the naming practice, so to speak.

    Just recently, Italy's highest court ruled that babies born in the country should be given both the mother and father's last name by default.

    Read also: Redefining Roles Of Moms And Dads In The Family

    Furthermore, Italy’s Constitutional Court considers the patriarchal-driven practice as "constitutionally illegitimate" and “discriminatory and harmful to the identity” of the child.

    According to The New York Times article, the court in its ruling wrote that "Both parents should be able to share the choice of a surname, which is a fundamental element for one’s personal identity."

    The ruling comes as the court is in the process of reviewing a case involving a family that wanted to have their third child also carry only the surname of the mother.

    It became possible for the two first children because they were initially not recognized by their father. Children of single mothers or those whose fathers aren't willing to be present in their lives are allowed to only carry their mom's surnames.

    Now that the couple is married, they wanted for the third child to have the same surname as his two siblings.

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    Challenging The Norm

    In The Guardian's report, if the new legislation gets the thumbs up of the parliament, parents can get to choose whether they want to use both their surnames, and get to decide in which order, or only take just one of the surnames.

    This, instead of just following the norm of instantly registering the name of the newborn using that of the father's family name.

    "Both parents should be able to share the choice of a surname, which is a fundamental element for one’s personal identity."

    The Washington Post cited Italian lawmaker Cecilia D’Elia's Tweet about the ruling and called the naming procedure in question the "last patriarchal sign of family law."

    D’Elia also celebrates Italy’s Constitutional Court decision, saying it will give mothers "the same dignity as that of the father."

    Child's Surname Law In The Philippines

    In the Philippines, Article 364 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, states that: "Legitimate and legitimated children shall principally use the surname of the father."

    Article 366 also follows that "A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the surname of the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall employ the surname of the recognizing parent."

    Most Filipino families also follow this norm of taking the father's surname for their children with the mother's family name often written and acknowledged only by its initial.

    However, in the 2021 Supreme Court ruling, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen argued that the provisions stated the word"principally," which does not translate to "exclusively."

    The Inquirer.net reported that Leonen noted that it's a mistake to restrict Filipino children to use their mother's family name as this action "treated the surnames of petitioner’s mother and father unequally."

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    Leonen adds, it "entrenches the patriarchy and with it, antiquated gender roles: the father, as dominant, in public; and the mother, as a supporter, in private.”

    If the law permits, would you rather that your children carry both your and your spouse's surnames? Share your answers in the comment section.

    Speaking of surnames, should wives also drop their maiden names after marriage? Read moms' answers here.

    What other parents are reading


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