This beats the already forward Spanish system, where everyone carries both last names, but it is the father’s last name that’s transmitted to the descendants.
Only in case of disagreement between the parents, the father’s name will prevail. And, whatever has been chosen for the first child, will apply to all the other siblings.
As a mum, I find this change very gratifying. As an Italian mum, I find it even more democratic and equalizing (in my home country the patriarchal leverage still reigns). So it is not just up to my brother to ensure that the family name will continue existing, I can have that perpetrating role too, for at least the space of one generation. It’s amazing how strongly we are conditioned otherwise, in this sense: I was explaining this to my mum and was telling her that I was considering adding my last name to my son. And I said “It makes even more sense, since I’ll have two boys!” And suddenly realized that it would have made exactly the same sense if I had girls! Shame on me…
This new exciting measure comes with a quite whimsical aftermath, check this out:
When choosing the double names option, the last names will be separated by a double dash (--), to avoid confusion with double last names pre-existing the law (which are still quite frequent in France).
So, in concrete terms, for the first generation there are 4 simple options:
Mr. Martin and Madame Dupont have a child, Pascal. They have the four following options:
- Pascal Martin
- Pascal Dupont
- Pascal Martin -- Dupont
- Pascal Dupont -- Martin
But what will happen when the second generation will procreate?
If Pascal Dupont--Martin meets Mademoiselle Sylvie DUCHAMPS -- DUBOIS de LACIME, their child will have no less than 14 probabilities:
- DUBOIS DE LACIME
- DUPONT -- MARTIN
- DUCHAMPS -- DUBOIS DE LACIME
- DUPONT -- DUBOIS DE LACIME
- DUBOIS DE LACIME -- DUPONT
- MARTIN -- DUBOIS DE LACIME
- DUBOIS DE LACIME -- MARTIN
- DUPONT -- DUCHAMPS
- DUCHAMPS -- DUPONT
- MARTIN -- DUCHAMPS
- DUCHAMPS --MARTIN
Certainly, carrying out genealogic researches in a few centuries will be no fun, however by then mega databases will be available and search engines as we know them will be a vague souvenir.
This feels like real progress to me! For once, let me proclaim "Vive la France!"