Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Emancipation of Dutch Naming Laws

In this blog I wonder about the peculiarities of Dutch naming laws.

I am getting married and my girlfriend and I decided that I will take her last name. The main reason for doing this is my conviction that the emancipation of women is not fully adopted in the Netherlands.

Since 1998 men in the Netherlands are able to legally take the name of their partners. Not a lot of couples are using this right. Trouw (in Dutch) published an article with the following numbers. In approximately two percent of the married couples the men adopted the name of their spouse.
What is worse is that 83% of women prefer to take the name of their husband.

Although these numbers concern me, I found the following troublesome. Yesterday my girlfriend and I signed a notice of marriage. The official present told us that our children will have my name unless we sign a form. This form can only be signed during pregnancy before our children are born.

Why this archaic law in a country which calls itself emancipated?

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