Dads' Names Demoted in Spain

Father's surname won't get automatic priority
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 5, 2010 9:27 AM CDT
A new plan in Spain will 'demote' fathers' surnames.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A planned change to Spain’s baby-naming laws means dads’ monikers will no longer automatically take precedence, the Guardian reports. In Spain, people typically have two last names, with the father’s traditionally appearing first—and automatically taking the first slot if the parents can’t agree on an order. Under the new law, if the parents don’t say otherwise, the default will be to order the names alphabetically.

“This is more democratic and equal,” said a parliamentary leader. But some worry about the fate of surnames at the end of the alphabet. “We would prefer it was up to the will of each family, rather than the alphabet,” says an activist. Had the change taken place a century ago, longtime dictator General Franco could have been General Bahamonde; architect Antoni Gaudi could have been called Antoni Cornet.

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