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Federal Council: Name law change approved: double family name possible

Federal Council: Name law change approved: double family name possible

From May 2025 it should be possible: married couples can then have a common double name. The naming rules should also change for children.

From May 1, 2025, there will be more freedom when choosing a surname. The Federal Council approved a bill from the traffic light coalition that allows spouses to have a common double name – with or without a hyphen. Children can have a double name even if their parents decide against a common married name. According to current law, only a spouse can have a double name; children generally cannot.

What’s also new is that the first family name that parents choose for a child will then also apply to all of the couple’s other children. If the parents do not initially specify a family name after the birth of their child, the child automatically receives a double name.

Simplifications also for children of divorce

It should also be easier for children of divorce who want to understand a parent’s name change after their parents’ separation. The same applies to stepchildren, which means that they can more easily give up their stepfather’s or stepmother’s name if their legal parents have separated. Regardless of the parents’ relationship status, adult stepchildren can easily get rid of their stepfather’s or stepmother’s name if they no longer want to use it.

The new naming law opens up more freedom for the Frisian, Danish and Sorbian national minorities living in Germany. In the future, they can choose family names that take their traditions into account.

Source: Stern

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