A person’s name is their identity. In society, names are extremely important, especially surnames. The number of women who retain their names in marriage is growing because adopting their husband’s name is a form of a social statement: “I am now the wife of Mr So-and-so.” The name and title of a man do not change upon marriage, so many women do not like to be identified by their marital status.


There is a long debate about the name of a child when an unmarried couple has one. Moreover, many married couples eschew patriarchy by combining their family names in a “double-barrelled” surname, and this is also an option for unmarried parents. It used to be that children born to unmarried parents were given the mother’s surname automatically unless the mother had agreed to the father’s surname being adopted.


As a result, the Act may be regarded as discriminatory in that it does not provide double-barrelled surnames for children born out of wedlock. Apart from this aspect, the measures regarding the surname of a child born out of wedlock are justified and practical.

Can I Double Barrel My Child’s Surname Without The Father’s Consent?

If you wish to give your child a double-barrel surname without the father’s permission, you should do so on the birth certificate if you have the option. It is not required for the child to have either parent’s surname on the birth certificate, so you may enter a double barrel or hyphenated surname.


The issue of changing a surname afterwards is more complex if the father does not agree to it. You would have to apply to the court for permission to change your child’s name if the other parent does not consent to the change.


The Doc Assist team strives to simplify the process of obtaining birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other legal documents from the DHA. No matter where you are in the world, we can help you secure the documents that you need. We will also shorten the waiting period, making it easier for you to plan your life. Get in touch today! 


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