Now possible in The Netherlands: Giving your child a double last name!

The last name of your child will always have a special connection to you as parents and to your family line as a whole. Until now, you could only choose one parent’s name on your child’s birth certificate. Double last names were not possible. However, since the 1st of January 2024, you can give your child both of your names.

Now possible in The Netherlands: a double last name

What naming options are now available?

As we explained in our earlier blog, parents now have a range of choices.

An example will illustrate this best: if your partner’s last name is ‘”Hussan” and yours is ‘”Van der Meijen”, then you can choose to give your child the surname: “Hussan van der Meijen”. As you can see, no hyphen is needed between the two last names and this creates homogeneity. You can also switch this around, as the order is chosen by you as the parents.

However, if you do not wish to give your child a double last name, then you can simply choose not to. If, however, you do choose to give your child(ren) two last names, you cannot choose more than two. In case of adoption, this means that you cannot combine the birth name with both of the adoptive parent’s names.

More information from the Dutch Government is also available here in a brochure detailing the choices parents can now make.

Registration of birth of adoption after the 1st of January 2024

Then you can immediately choose to give your child a double name when registering the birth or during a later recognition procedure. Both procedures take place at the muncipality’s office.

For adoption, you can choose to give your child both the last names of you and your partner. A possibility is also to keep one last name of the biological parents and to give one last name of one of the adopted parents. Merging more than two last names into one double last name, is not possible, as stated above.

Was your child born before the 1st of January 2024 but after 1st of January 2016?

Then you have until the 1st of January 2025 to change your children’s last name. Be aware that if you want to change your child(ren)’s surname to a double name, there are additional costs. If you change the last name of one child, it will cost 75 Euros. For each child thereafter, you will have to pay 50 Euros extra. Please also be aware you will have to request new passports etc. for your children after the name change has been effected.

The name change can be applied for with the municipality. The name change applies permanently to all children in the family, even if the parents later separate.

Was your child born before the 1st of January 2016?

Then, unfortunately, registering a double last name is not possible for your child anymore. The only option for a surname change is then a difficult procedure via the Dutch Ministry for Justice. Be aware that normally you can only change a surname on a limited amount of grounds. At this time, it is not possible to request a double last name via this procedure unless you have dual nationality (Dutch and other) and your other nationality provides for you (or your children) carrying a double surname.

If you have questions about changing your children’s names, please feel free to contact us.

This article was co-written by Elena Cornelisse.

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