they decided to change their name and tell us why

The law has been in effect for just over a week that Manon has already submitted her file. Since July 1, any adult can, once in their life, request to change their marital status to take the name of their mother, their father, or to be with both in the desired order next. And this, thanks to a simple process in the town hall, without having to justify the reasons for his choice. Manon, 25, jumped at the chance.

The girl, at birth, inherited the father’s name, which she now wants to change to her mother’s name. “I haven’t had contact with my father for 10 years, it makes no sense to keep his name. When I introduce myself, I’m not identified by that last name.” He spoke about his approach to his mother, who agreed, “even if he thinks it’s a big decision”. Manon also defends a feminine choice: “We’re in 2022, We need to change these patriarchal practices.”

Before, the process was like an obstacle course. Those who requested a change in their marital status had to justify a name too heavy to bear or domestic violence. And if the name of the second parent, often the mother, can be attached to the first, it appears there in the “usage name”, name considered in official papers.

“Righting a wrong”

Clément makes the same choice as Manon. “I was very close to my maternal family who took care of me. I also inherited physical characteristics that further connected me to this family”, he explained, responding to the call for testimonies from France Inter. Whereas, on the father’s side, he values ​​the name as little as the members of his family. For him, this name change representse “the correction of a mistake”. He has been thinking about this name change since he was 12 years old and also thinking about the future: “It’s also a name that I can pass on to my future children, unlike my current name, which I didn’t want to live.”

Administrative galley

Others decided to take the last name of both their parents, like Estelle, while waiting for her birth certificate to complete the process. “I heard about this bill before Christmas, and I said to myself ‘well, this is something that speaks to me'”, explained the one who would add his mother’s name to his father’s name. A way above all to preserve the name of his mother, who himself is now called his wife. “I like my mother’s last name, it’s beautiful, and I’m as close to my mother’s family as my father. I think it’s important to have the same name. I have no problem. ‘Son, it’s not a name that can save me, but this is a small tribute to my mother’s family.

Laurène, she already has the last name of both her parents. But he was born when the mother’s name, behind the father’s name, qualified as a “usage name”. A dual name he claimed but involved a daily administrative galley. “I spend my life at the bank or at social security explaining that this is my full name.” Because if the username is available on a daily basis, it will not appear on some official paper, such as a gray card. Which caused many fears for Laurène, like the time she thought she wouldn’t be able to enroll in college. “I passed the baccalaureate registered under one of my two names, as well as Defense Preparation Call Day (now called Defense and Citizenship Day). As a result, because I was under two different names on two official papers, my university registration was blocked. I had to get my birth certificate and other papers to prove it was the same person. They even wanted to give me my JAPD again under the correct name!”

A family… and feminist approach

Making his official username will simplify the procedures for one who is always found “it’s normal to have two names”. “If they call me by my first last name, I don’t recognize myself. In the waiting room, for example, I don’t answer”. Laurène and her sister have already asked about the steps to be taken to make the two names official, but at that time, it is necessary to justify the violence or serious lack of the father, “which, fortunately, did not happen”.

Like Manon, Laurène and Estelle evoke a feminist approach. Na, a feminist chosen by Laurène’s mother, at birth. For him, things were almost too late: “When I had a child, I wasn’t allowed to officially pass on my mother’s name, so he had his father’s name. It really weirded me out, I’m a feminist, I always carry the name of my two parents”Laurene complained. “For a long time, the tradition was to take your husband’s name. So this reform is also a way to revive the name of women”, Estella added. He hopes now “People will ask themselves the question and come back”. But habits die hard and Estelle prepares to justify this name change, adding her mother’s name. “People will think ‘oh hey you got married’, nope! But there are positives. 15 years ago, we didn’t ask ourselves the question to do that, so it’s positive. This is my little activism on my own scale.”

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