BERLIN (NEWSnet/AP) — Germany’s parliament has approved a plan to relax restrictions on family names.

Reform is due to take effect in May 2025. 

Currently, parents are required to give children one of their surnames. One partner in a married couple, but not both, may add the other partner’s name to the surname.

The reform allows both partners to take a double surname, with or without a hyphen, and for their children to use that name, too.

The legislation also intends to make it simpler for stepchildren or children of divorced parents to change a family name, and allow the use of gender-adjusted forms of surnames for people with names from languages in which that is common.

It also allows use of traditional patronymic and matronymic names used by the Frisian minority. It that tradition, children’s surnames are based on their father’s or mother’s first name.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.