Last Tuesday, the double surname bill was passed by the Senate. The new law allows parents to give dual surnames to their children. The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2024. The background of the law is that having two surnames can express the child’s attachment to both parents. In addition, a double surname fits better with parents who, because of their multiple nationalities, have a different surname in the Netherlands, rather than in another country. For these parents, a name change procedure is now sometimes required to bring unity to their surnames.
Parents can give their child a double surname if their first child is born on or after Jan. 1, 2024. The chosen surname then applies to all subsequent children. It will be possible for adopted children to choose a combination of their last name at birth and the names of their adoptive parents. However, there is also a maximum of two names in total. This choice does not apply to children born later within the same family. Double surnames, such as Veldhuizen Van Zanten, for example, are considered singular surnames. Thus, parents Veldhuizen Van Zanten and Jansen can also give their child a double surname, such as Veldhuizen Van Zanten Jansen. The choice of a dual gender name is not mandatory. If parents do not make a choice, if the parents are not married or registered partners, a child is given the birth mother’s gender name. In a marriage or registered partnership, the child receives the father’s or duo mother’s gender name.
Good to know: parents whose eldest child was born on or after Jan. 1, 2016, can still opt for a double surname. From Jan. 1, 2024, they have one year to still choose the double surname.
If you have any questions about your child’s last name as a result of this article, please contact one of our family law attorneys.