An Italian court ruled Wednesday that children born in the country must be given the surnames of the mother and father when they are born.
Italy’s Constitutional Court has called the automatic tradition of giving a baby only its father’s surname “discriminatory and damaging to the identity” of a child, according to a Reuters translation. The court asked the parents to choose the order of the child’s last names, or whether they want to use one of her last names.
Families in Italy have not been allowed to give children just their mother’s last name, except in certain cases, such as when a father is unwilling to be a part of the child’s life, The New York Times reported. Parents in Italy could choose to keep both parents’ surnames on their children’s birth certificate.
“Both parents should be able to share the choice of a surname, which is a fundamental element of one’s personal identity,” the court wrote, according to the Times translation.
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The court had reviewed the case of a family from the city of Potenza, the outlet reported. The family had three children, and two were able to use her mother’s surname, but the third could not be given the same surname as her siblings, since she was born after her parents married.
The country’s parliament will have to pass legislation to implement the court’s decision, according to multiple reports. Italy’s Family and Equal Opportunities Minister Elena Bonetti, in a Facebook post, urged lawmakers to “give substance” to the decision.