It’s official! Parents in the Netherlands can give their babies double surnames

Pondering about whose surname your little one should take when the time comes? The Dutch government just made your life much easier — you can now use both!

Yep, that’s right. The Dutch government has passed a new bill that will allow children born in the Netherlands to have both their parents’ surnames. This law will come into effect from January 1, 2024.

Parents can choose to use a double surname if their baby is born on and after January 1, 2024. The double surname will then apply to any future kiddies that they may have together.

READ MORE | How to register a birth in the Netherlands

Transitional period

Don’t worry, if your baby was born before January 1, 2024, there is a transitional arrangement for one year after the bill comes into effect. 

What does this mean? If you’d like, you can also choose to give any children you had after January 1 2016, a double-barrel surname.

Meaning your munchkins will be running around with a little piece of both of you!

Adopting your heritage

In a statement, the Dutch minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, says, “Your last name is part of the identity. Your name says something about your family, your history and the people you belong to.”

“This proposal increases parents’ freedom of choice,” he claims in the statement “with this, they can both express their bond with the child through the name.”

READ MORE | Names in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide to Dutch names

With the new law, you can also choose to give your adopted child a combination of their surname at birth and one of the adoptive parents’ surnames. 

This is especially great news for many internationals in the Netherlands. Individuals with multiple nationalities who have different surnames in another country finally have a solution with this bill being passed. 

This means they won’t have to go through a name-changing procedure to unify their surnames. 


My favorite #Dutch 🇳🇱 names pt. 3: Van der Berg #TikTokNetherlands

♬ Fallen Down – Toby Fox

The past is making way for the future

Babies born in the Netherlands originally received their fathers’ surnames until 1998, when it became possible to choose mama’s name instead. With this news, neither parents have to miss out on passing on their family name.

However, if you feel like you would be making your child’s name too long, you don’t have to choose a double-barrel surname. 

In fact, you don’t have to choose at all. If parents in the Netherlands don’t choose a surname for their baby, the birth mother’s surname will be used if the parents are unmarried or unregistered partners. 

With parents in a marriage or registered partnership, the child will receive the surname of the father or co-mother. 

What do you think of this new Dutch law? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Simone Jacobs
Simone Jacobs
Originally from South Africa, Simone is having fun navigating the Dutch language, steep stairs, and bicycles (which she still manages to fall off of with her short, non-Dutch legs). An animal lover at heart, Simone can typically be found under her (growing?) mound of cats, where she uses the opportunity to read, write, and watch video compilations of creatures.


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