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Frequently asked questions about German name law for children

FAQ

FAQ

Yes. According to German name law, the child does not have a surname until the parents chose one per name declaration - even if the child already has a name in his/ her Australian birth certificate and passport!

Name declaration for children

No. If you have a married name, your child automatically received this married name as his/ her birth name. A name declaration is not needed.

No. If the mother of a child is not married, the child automatically receives the mother's name as his/ her birth name. This is also the case if the child has the father's name in his/ her Australian documents! Once the child is 18 or older, the name cannot be changed (only through a name declaration under public law, which can be difficult).

Yes. According to German name law, a child of an unmarried mother automatically receives the mother's name as birth name. This is also the case if your child already has the father's name in his/ her Australian birth certificate and/or passport. Please find more information about name declaration here:

Name declaration for children

It depends: As the mother was not married when the child was born, the child automatically received the mother's surname as birth name. It now depends on the time of establishment of the married name. If the married name was established as long as the child was 5 years or younger, a name declaration is not needed.

If, however, the child was older than 5 years, a name declaration has to be done. If the child is 14 or older, he/ she has to sign the name declaration as well.

Name declaration for children

It depends which name the child should have. As the mother was not married when the child was born, the child automatically received the mother's surname as birth name. If the child should have his/her mother's name, you do not need a name declaration. If the child should have the father's name, a name declaration is needed - even if the child already has the father's name in his/ her Australian birth certificate and/ or passport!

Please note that the name declaration can only be done as long as the child is younger than 18 years. As soon as the child is 14 or older, he or she has to sign the name declaration as well.

Name declaration for children

No. A divorce does not affect the name of a child.

No. Once the child's name has been established according to German law, it cannot be changed - even if only one parent has sole custody for the child now.

It depends on the citizenship of the parents. If one of the parents is a citizen of a country that allows double names (e.g. Australia), the parents can chose this law and a double name for this child per name declaration. If both parents are (only) German citizens, a double name for children is not possible.

Name declaration for children

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