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Old 14.08.2020, 06:52
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Can my son take my husband's name?

So, when my son was born, his father and I were unmarried and we both agreed that he will answer my family name. Now I am married to someone else and my family name has changed. Its difficult sometimes when we travel because from his passport there's no connection between him and I anymore. Is it possible for him to now change his family name to my current family name?
Thank you all in advance for your responses.
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Old 14.08.2020, 07:25
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

As far as I know, no. Your child can switch to his father’s surname though, which probably doesn’t arrange you much.

You can however do what I did: providing you are Swiss, ask for a ‘nom d’usage’ on your ID card. Joined surnames aren’t allowed according to the current law, but you can ask to have it on your ID card. This is what allows me to have part of the surnames of each of my children (from two different fathers).
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Old 14.08.2020, 08:04
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...itzerland.html

Looks like it’s possible (according to above thread) if you have a good reason. Speak to your Zivilstandsamt. Of course your son would have to want this too.
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Old 14.08.2020, 08:19
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

A friend of mine has done this. Living in a rather rural place, his reasoning was that his stepson would be bugged and teased all the time by his little buddies and that he (the stepson) suffers psychologically from it. It worked and the kid's name was changed. I don't know, how exactly they did it, but I think, he started at the "gemeinde".

Father is Swiss, Mother is EU and brought stepson into the marriage at about kindergarten age, if that matters. The name of the kid in his EU passport couldn't be changed, though, so he (now an adult) can sail under two totally different flags, if he wants
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Old 14.08.2020, 09:57
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

AFAIK there is one draw back. If you get divorced you can get your old name back but your child will be stuck with the new name of a person which might no longer be around, he has zero connection with, and might even have hurt him in the past.
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Old 14.08.2020, 10:07
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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A friend of mine has done this. Living in a rather rural place, his reasoning was that his stepson would be bugged and teased all the time by his little buddies and that he (the stepson) suffers psychologically from it. It worked and the kid's name was changed. I don't know, how exactly they did it, but I think, he started at the "gemeinde".

Father is Swiss, Mother is EU and brought stepson into the marriage at about kindergarten age, if that matters. The name of the kid in his EU passport couldn't be changed, though, so he (now an adult) can sail under two totally different flags, if he wants
Doesn't that involve an adoption process? You can't take the name of your mother's new husband as long as your father doesn't agree with that. It might simplify the lives of those involved, I agree, but it wouldn't be so fair for the biological father or for the child if you ask me. A child is not an asset one if left with after their marriage.
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Old 14.08.2020, 10:14
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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So, when my son was born, his father and I were unmarried and we both agreed that he will answer my family name. Now I am married to someone else and my family name has changed. Its difficult sometimes when we travel because from his passport there's no connection between him and I anymore. Is it possible for him to now change his family name to my current family name?
Thank you all in advance for your responses.
When travelling with a minor child, it is wise to carry along with you either
  • the written consent of the child's other parent to this journey, with dates, and a copy of that parent's passport, or
  • a document proving that you have sole custody of the child,

    and
  • a translation of these, if need be, at least into English and possibly into the language(s) of the countries in which you'll be travelling.

Some countries' border posts are alert to child smuggling, and to abduction of the child by one parent away from the other parent. Because of this far greater control than, say, 20 years ago, the mere fact that the child has the same name as the adult with whom he/she is travelling will not automatically circumvent the relevant checks.

Last edited by doropfiz; 14.08.2020 at 12:16. Reason: adding "to this journey, with dates"
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Old 14.08.2020, 12:27
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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Doesn't that involve an adoption process?
In the case of my friend, it didn't. I don't know the details of how it worked (trying not to be too nosy), but I know that it wasn't easy, they had to be pretty persistent and fight for it. So it surely was not straight forward.

And as ASITUS said, the youngster would likely be stuck with that name after a divorce; also I don't know, how it works, if he'd marry. There are two passports involved with two different names, no idea how this would work out for the spouse; even more so, if he were a girl.
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Old 14.08.2020, 13:16
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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So, when my son was born, his father and I were unmarried and we both agreed that he will answer my family name. Now I am married to someone else and my family name has changed. Its difficult sometimes when we travel because from his passport there's no connection between him and I anymore. Is it possible for him to now change his family name to my current family name?
Thank you all in advance for your responses.
Can we back track? Is your son Swiss? Because if not, it's nothing to do with them. If he is not Swiss, you would need to sort this out in the country of his nationality, get him a new passport there, then take the documentation to your gemeinde here and get his permit altered to reflect his new name.
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Old 14.08.2020, 13:35
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

Island Monkey yes my son is Swiss.
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Old 14.08.2020, 13:42
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

Does the son's father agree with this?
Even more important: Does the son agree with this?
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Old 14.08.2020, 13:45
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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Can we back track? Is your son Swiss? Because if not, it's nothing to do with them. If he is not Swiss, you would need to sort this out in the country of his nationality, get him a new passport there, then take the documentation to your gemeinde here and get his permit altered to reflect his new name.
Depends. Some country place the jurisdiction of such matteres back to the place of residence, specially when the country of residence claims default jurisdiction as Switzerland does. Nevertheless Switzerland will accept a name change if done legally in the country of nationality. See Bundesgesetz über das Internationale Privatrecht https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...312/index.html

The name change most likely needs the approval from the father listed on the current birth certificate.

Also in case of dual nationality one country might be o.k. with the name change while the other is not. If you proceed with the name change an odd situation might arise where the person according one country has name X whereas in the other name Y. Accordingly, the person can have two passports with two different names. Perfectly legal, nice in some situations, but might come with pitfalls in unexpected cases. Edit: Is see already mentioned by Plau Deri.
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Old 14.08.2020, 14:04
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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You can however do what I did: providing you are Swiss, ask for a ‘nom d’usage’ on your ID card.
Allianzname (those with a dash), have never been official, but have always been allowed on passport and id. And as you say still are, it is considered as a Swiss tradition. The Swiss French term is "nom d'alliance". The pattern is <married name>-<maiden name> . Depending on who's name was chosen as the family name it will be the wife or husband's maiden name. Both partner can do that!

Swiss Names with Hyphens in Phone Directories
Losing Heimatort when chaing surname for marriage?

"nom d’usage" is something else. According the French law it is when a child forms a double barreled name using the name of both parents.
https://www.service-public.fr/partic...osdroits/F1343
This option, for a child, is not possible for a Swiss person.

In addition the Rufname,"prénom usuel", the usual first name can be added as a special entry. Like a Richard which is usually called Dick, or what ever you are usually called in daily life. Actually, if you intend to change your name and have to follow the Swiss law (as you are a Swiss residing in Switzerland) you must first to start using the new name in daily life (school, at work, for contracts etc.) and than can later official change it.
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Old 14.08.2020, 15:33
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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Allianzname (those with a dash), have never been official, but have always been allowed on passport and id. And as you say still are, it is considered as a Swiss tradition. The Swiss French term is "nom d'alliance". The pattern is <married name>-<maiden name> . Depending on who's name was chosen as the family name it will be the wife or husband's maiden name. Both partner can do that!

Swiss Names with Hyphens in Phone Directories
Losing Heimatort when chaing surname for marriage?

"nom d’usage" is something else. According the French law it is when a child forms a double barreled name using the name of both parents.
https://www.service-public.fr/partic...osdroits/F1343
This option, for a child, is not possible for a Swiss person.
Swiss law is somewhat different, and changed about 10 years ago (and will probably change again!).

Hyphenated surnames aren’t allowed for Swiss people anymore (foreign couples can still do it). According to thE new law, everybody takes either the husband’s OR the wife’s name. This means that legally I have only one surname.

The nom d’usage on my ID card is not my legal name (from the état civil). And it’s not hyphenated. And indeed, children can’t have one, as far as I know.

My suggestion was for the OP to take a nom d’usage on her ID, to share part of her surnameS with her son. Which is what I did.
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Old 14.08.2020, 15:45
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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So, when my son was born, his father and I were unmarried and we both agreed that he will answer my family name.
Do you have sole custody? By that I mean full parental authority (and not just that your son lives with you. In other words, legally, is your son's father allowed to make or participate in decisions about his son?

The default position, nowadays in Switzerladn, is that both parents share the parental authority. If this is the case for your son, then presumably the boy's name cannot be changed unless his father, too, gives consent.
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Old 14.08.2020, 15:59
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Re: Can my son take my husband's name?

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A friend of mine has done this. Living in a rather rural place, his reasoning was that his stepson would be bugged and teased all the time by his little buddies and that he (the stepson) suffers psychologically from it.
This surprises me. Might this perhaps be a fear of the parents, or is it the real upsetting experience of the child?

The set-up of biological parents being married to each other, having chosen to have the same family name, living together, with children who are only theirs together, born in wedlock is no longer the only acceptable family norm. And hasn't been, for a long time. Lots and lots of children live with step-parents, with half-siblings, in all sorts of patchwork constellations together and part-time and separately, with a single parent and another [set of] parent(s) elsewhere, etc.

In the past 20 years, I don't think I've met any child who wasn't able to explain, very clearly, without inhibition, with whom they were living and whether these people were their biological parents and siblings, and whether they had other parents and step-parents, siblings or half-siblings, with them or elsewhere. And they can do that about their close friends' family situations, too. No big deal.

Is life really so very different in a "rather rural place", as you call it? So much so that it becomes necessary to create secrecy about the plain facts, to obfuscate a child's parenthood, to purport a biological line or an adoption that isn't there, by artifically ensuring that everyone in the family has the same family name?

Last edited by doropfiz; 21.08.2020 at 05:18.
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