Child can have mother’s surname, says Italy’s top court

Rome, Nov 9 (IANS/AKI) A child cannot automatically be given its father’s surname if its parents are married, Italy’s constitutional court has ruled.

“Norms which automatically attribute the paternal surname to legitimate children against the parents’ wishes are unconstitutional,” the court said in its landmark ruling late on Tuesday.

The top court upheld a ruling by an appeals court in the northwest city of Genoa in favour of an Italian-Brazilian couple who wanted to give their child both their surnames.

A bill allowing children have the surnames of both parents has been stalled in the Italian parliament’s upper house Senate since 2014.

In 2006, the constitutional court ruled that making parents give children their father’s surname was “a remnant of a patriarchal conception of the family” but stopped short of declaring the practice unconstitutional, asking the Italian parliament to legislate on the issue.