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The Italian Constitutional Court rules on newborns’ surname

The Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic has considered the issues of constitutional legitimacy over the rules in the Italian legal system for giving children surnames. The court has ruled that the rule that automatically assigns the father’s surname is discriminatory and damaging to the child’s identity. Following the principle of equality and in the best interests of the child, both parents should be able to share the choice of his surname, which is a fundamental element of personal identity. Therefore, it will be the rule for the child to take the surname of both parents in the order agreed by them, unless they decide, by mutual agreement, to attribute only the surname of one of the two. In the absence of agreement on the order of attribution of the surname of both parents, the judge’s intervention in accordance with the provisions of the legal system remains unaffected.

Meanwhile, the Family Code of the Republic of Albania stipulates, among other things, in its Article 52, that when no agreement is reached between the parents regarding the surname of the child, the latter will keep the surname of the father. Given this decision of the Italian Constitutional Court, the question we ask is:

Is the last paragraph of Article 52 discriminatory, which automatically states the assignment of the surname of the father of the child in the absence of an agreement between the parents?