Offspring automatically received the father's surname in the past. Nowadays, parents can choose between the father's name, the mother's name or a combination of both. The number of children receiving a double family name since new legislation was introduced, is just below 5 per cent. In real numbers, this was the case for 3,865 newly-borns.
Sharon Beavis of the federal Justice Department explains that the figures do not come as a surprise if we look at other countries like France, that has adopted similar legislation, and that sees more or less the same figures.
Most parents still prefer to give their children the family name of the father. Parents opting for a double family name never took this decision lightly. "Some do it because it mirrors equality between men and women, others because they start a new family after splitting up with their first partner."
If parents can't agree on the family name, the baby automatically receives the father's name. A complaint has been launched with the Constitutional Court against this on the basis of gender discrimination claims.