The family name given to children born in 2017


Since the law no. 2002-304 of 4 March 2002 applicable to children born since January 2005, parents can now choose between four options for their child’s family name: the child can bear the father’s name, the mother’s name, or both names, with that of the mother in either first or second position. This choice of name must be made, at the latest, when the child is registered.

11% of children born in 2017 were given a combination of both parents’ surnames

In 2005, a new law on surnames came into force, allowing parents to give their children both their surnames by registering their name choice in the civil register (Mazuy et al., 2015, 2016). Of the children born in 2017, slightly over 11% were given both parents’ names. Although this minority choice seems egalitarian because it highlights the child’s dual parentage, it still bears the mark of traditional custom since the father’s surname is put first in eight cases out of ten. This has scarcely changed since 2010.

Breakdown of birth surnames of children born in 2017 (%)

Source : Didier Breton, Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis, Magali Mazuy, 2018, Recent Demographic Developments in France: Seasonal Patterns of Births, Deaths, Unions, and Migration, Population 2018-4.

Contact: Didier Breton, Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis, Magali Mazuy

Online: may 2019