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Old 25.01.2019, 12:25
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Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

We will have kid #2 here in sunny Switzerland. Kid #1 was born in another country and has the family name in the format MOM'S-DAD'S. We obviously would prefer that both kids have the same last name - will registering this last name be a problem?

Other info is that my wife and I both have our (single-barrelled) family names from birth. And we got married outside of CH.

This type of thing appears to be under federal jurisdiction (I do not understand the war on the hyphenated family name). This is the only info I've found on this subject and it doesn't discuss hyphenated names: https://www.ch.ch/en/surname-child/

Cheers.
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Old 25.01.2019, 12:29
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

Foreigners are usually exempt from Swiss naming laws. So if neither of you is Swiss then it shouldn't be a problem.
But I would for sure discuss it with the commune and the office of migration to be sure you can use the name you want. You might need a letter from your home country stating that the name is allowed.
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Old 25.01.2019, 12:49
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

Swiss Law changed on 1.01.2013 re double barrel names. But as Mia says, some exceptions are made. Just go and talk to the Officier d'Etat Civil in Neuchâtel and ask them direct.

Etat civil
Bureau de l'état civil à Neuchâtel
Adresse : Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville 1, 2000 Neuchâtel

Téléphone : 032 717 72 10
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Old 25.01.2019, 12:54
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

If the child doesn't have Swiss citizenship then Switzerland has no say in what name he or she can be given.
Foreigners can also change their name in their home country and request that Switzerland updates their residence permit and records with the new name. Obviously a new passport or identity card from the home country is necessary in such circumstances.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:07
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Swiss Law changed on 1.01.2013 re double barrel names.
Swiss law did not change regarding double barrel names
Here an overview of the law as from 10. Dec 1907 till today
https://www.englishforum.ch/daily-li...rectories.html

Same as was, same as is. Specially kids of Swiss parents were never (maybe before 1907) able to get a family name of the form MOM'S-DAD'S.

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will registering this last name be a problem?
Not if it is a valid possibility according the law of one the child's country of citizenship. If the child is also Swiss, it is also possible to have a family name according Swiss rule PLUS a name according the other countries rule. Only the Swiss name will be used in Swiss documents and registers.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:22
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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If the child doesn't have Swiss citizenship then Switzerland has no say in what name he or she can be given.
Foreigners can also change their name in their home country and request that Switzerland updates their residence permit and records with the new name. Obviously a new passport or identity card from the home country is necessary in such circumstances.
I’m not so certain. A Vaud commune refused to accept the proposed spelling of an ex-colleagues new-born’s first name.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:23
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Swiss Law changed on 1.01.2013 re double barrel names.
Only for surnames of the married couple, not for children.

Children have always had a single surname (normally the father if married, the mother if not married, now married parents can choose one or the other, but they MUST use the same surname for all children of their union).

Tom
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:24
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

from ch.ch:



Since 1.1.2013, under the new legal provision, both spouses keep their original surnames. They can still choose a shared family name if they want, however. In this case they must choose either the bride or the groom8217;s surname. In registered partnerships, the couple can also choose one of the partners8217; names as a shared family name.
Double names

Double names such as Meier Müller may no longer be created through marriage by combining the surnames of the spouses. If someone already has a double name, they may continue to use it.
Surnames combined with a hyphen, such as Meier-Müller, are still allowed. Combined surnames are not official names and will not be entered in the civil register, but may be used in everyday situations and recorded in your passport and identity card on request.

Childrens' names

The children of married parents automatically receive their parents' shared surname.
Spouses with different surnames must decide, when they marry, which one of their surnames they will give to any future children. The parents can still choose to change their first child's surname to that of the other parent within a year of the child's birth.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:29
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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I'm not so certain. A Vaud commune refused to accept the proposed spelling of an ex-colleagues new-born's first name.
Which doesn't make sense as the parents can register the birth with the home country and get a passport issued in the name of their choice. Thereafter they take that passport to the town hall in Switzerland to get a residence permit issued in that name. So not sure what that Vaud town hall was trying to achieve.

Also what if the child later changes its name? The permit will then have to be changed to reflect the new name.

I am referring to children without Swiss nationality.
If the child has Swiss citizenship it is a different matter.

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Since 1.1.2013, under the new legal provision, both spouses keep their original surnames. They can still choose a shared family name if they want, however. In this case they must choose either the bride or the groom8217;s surname. In registered partnerships, the couple can also choose one of the partners8217; names as a shared family name.
Double names
Double names such as Meier Müller may no longer be created through marriage by combining the surnames of the spouses. If someone already has a double name, they may continue to use it.
Surnames combined with a hyphen, such as Meier-Müller, are still allowed. Combined surnames are not official names and will not be entered in the civil register, but may be used in everyday situations and recorded in your passport and identity card on request.
Childrens' names
The children of married parents automatically receive their parents' shared surname.
Spouses with different surnames must decide, when they marry, which one of their surnames they will give to any future children. The parents can still choose to change their first child's surname to that of the other parent within a year of the child's birth.
Irrelevant though if the child does not have Swiss nationality.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:35
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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I’m not so certain. A Vaud commune refused to accept the proposed spelling of an ex-colleagues new-born’s first name.
First name is something else than family name. It should be not lead to ridicule and the gender should be obvious. Still names like Adolf, Andrea, and Jamie are possible. Not sure if you can name your boy Sue.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:37
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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First name is something else than family name. It should be not lead to ridicule and the gender should be obvious.
Again though only relevant if the child has Swiss citizenship.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:41
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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from ch.ch:

Surnames combined with a hyphen, such as Meier-Müller, are still allowed. Combined surnames are not official names and will not be entered in the civil register, but may be used in everyday situations and recorded in your passport and identity card on request.
Which is, or actually was, exactly the very same situation as before 1.1.2013. Absolutely nothing has changed regarding double barrel names. Has never been official, but can be used in the passport.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:46
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

For info, we are not Swiss citizens. Interesting replies. Thanks.

My thinking was that the hyphenated name would normally not be allowed, but since there is an older sibling with that name, then it would probably be permitted.

I will contact the local fonctionnaires for the cold, hard facts...

Incidentally, we didn't do our local naming law homework for baby #1 and this resulted in the accents on the first name being omitted on all official documents (long story, but in case you are wondering, Victoria, Australia and most other Aussie states allows accented characters and NSW does not...).
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:46
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Again though only relevant if the child has Swiss citizenship.
Not true. The parents were Irish/British. And they wanted to use an uncommon spelling of a common Irish name. The commume (Le Vaud) told them they wouldnt register the childs birth with that spelling. They had the choice of changing it, or having the commune decide on what name the childs birth would be registered under.
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Old 25.01.2019, 13:50
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Not true. The parents were Irish/British. And they wanted to use an uncommon spelling of a common Irish name. The commume (Le Vaud) told them they wouldn8217;t register the child8217;s birth with that name. They had the choice of changing it, or having the commune decide on what name the child8217;s birth would be registered under.
Which doesn't make any sense as the birth can be registered with the home country(-ies) with a name of their choice and a passport issued with that name. At some point then the Swiss permit needs to issued - and that is always issued in the name which appears on the passport.
If not you have the situation where the child has one (incorrect) name in CH and another (correct) name on their official document from their home country. Good luck with that!
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Old 25.01.2019, 14:33
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Which doesn't make any sense as the birth can be registered with the home country(-ies) with a name of their choice and a passport issued with that name.
The birth certificate is issued locally, and yes, they can stipulate that certain names or spellings are not allowed, even for non-Swiss.

Tom
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Old 25.01.2019, 14:36
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Not if it is a valid possibility according the law of one the child's country of citizenship. If the child is also Swiss, it is also possible to have a family name according Swiss rule PLUS a name according the other countries rule. Only the Swiss name will be used in Swiss documents and registers.
Not true. We had to select one last name. Then the gemeinde tried to convince us the name we chose was not the right one.
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Old 25.01.2019, 14:37
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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The birth certificate is issued locally, and yes, they can stipulate that certain names or spellings are not allowed, even for non-Swiss.
Which however can then be altered by registering the birth with the home country and updating the town hall on the name.
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Old 25.01.2019, 14:37
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Which doesn't make any sense as the birth can be registered with the home country(-ies) with a name of their choice and a passport issued with that name. At some point then the Swiss permit needs to issued - and that is always issued in the name which appears on the passport.
If not you have the situation where the child has one (incorrect) name in CH and another (correct) name on their official document from their home country. Good luck with that!
I do not know how it works for other nationalities but there is no obligation to register the birth in the UK for a child born abroad. We did but only because we thought it would simplify things later on.
To register a birth abroad if you are a UK citizen you have to provide the birth certificate from the country where the birth took place, you can not just register it with any old name you choose.
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Old 25.01.2019, 14:38
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Re: Hyphenated last name for CH-born baby

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Not true. The parents were Irish/British. And they wanted to use an uncommon spelling of a common Irish name. The commume (Le Vaud) told them they wouldnt register the childs birth with that spelling. They had the choice of changing it, or having the commune decide on what name the childs birth would be registered under.
I agree that this doesn't make sense. The commune are not the ones who decide on if a child's name is acceptable or not.

They should talk to the Direction de l'Etat Civil and the SEM who have guidelines for foreign names.
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