Every child from the moment of birth has the right to a name, patronymic and surname. This right is enshrined in Art. 58 of the Family Code of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The child’s right to a name, patronymic and surname is exercised by his/her parents when registering a newborn with the appropriate state body. If the child has no parents, or they have not been established, then in this case the exercise of this right takes place under the patronage of the guardians assigned to the child, or the tutorship and guardianship agencies.
The name of the child is one of the main mechanisms for his/her identification in society. In addition, the protection of his/her rights and interests is carried out on his/her behalf.
According to the current legislation, the name of a child is given by agreement of parents; the patronymic is assigned by the name of the father, unless otherwise stipulated by national custom. The registry office does not have the right to restrict the parents of the child in choosing a name for him/her. However, the duties of the registry office staff include a recommendation regarding the chosen name, namely, an indication of its dissonance or if it is difficult to pronounce, which can significantly complicate the child’s life in the future. Despite this, the employees of the registry office do not have the right to refuse parents to register a child under their chosen name.
It should be noted that when parents choose a child’s name, it is not allowed to use numbers, alphanumeric designations, numerals, and symbols that are not letters of signs, with the exception of the “hyphen” sign, or any combination of them or swear words, indications of ranks, positions, titles.
A surname that will be given to the child cannot be chosen in a free and arbitrary way. According to the established standards, the surname of the child is determined by the surname of his/her parents. With different surnames of the parents, by agreement of the parents, the child is assigned the surname of the father, the surname of the mother, or a double surname formed by joining the surnames of the father and mother to each other in any sequence.
However, there are situations when the parents of the baby cannot agree on what name and surname their joint child will wear. In this case, in the absence of agreement on the name and (or) surname of the child, the disagreements that have arisen are resolved by the tutorship and guardianship agencies.
If paternity is not established, the child’s first name is given according to the instructions of the mother, the surname – according to the mother’s last name. In the event of the birth of the child to an unmarried mother, in the absence of a joint statement by the parents or in the absence of a court decision on establishing paternity, the name and patronymic of the child’s father shall be recorded at the direction of the mother.
At the same time, after the child has been given a name at the joint request of the parents until the child reaches the age of 14, the tutorship and guardianship agencies, based on the interests of the child, has the right to allow the child’s name to be changed, as well as to change the surname assigned to him/her to the last name of the other parent.
However, the question of changing the name and surname of the child may arise from one of parents. In this case, if the parents live separately and the parent with whom the child lives wants to give him/her his surname, the guardianship and trusteeship body has the right to resolve this issue depending on the interests of the child and taking into account the opinion of the other parent. It should be noted that taking into account the opinion of the second parent is mandatory, and in order to overcome his/her objection to changing the name and surname of a minor child, it is necessary to provide such arguments that will indicate the need to change the name in the interests of the child. Taking into account the parent’s opinion is not necessary if it is impossible to establish his/her whereabouts, or in the case of deprivation of his/her parental rights, recognition as incapacitated, as well as in cases of the parent’s evasion without good reason from the upbringing and maintenance of the child.
If the child is born of persons who are not married to each other, and paternity has not been legally established, the tutorship and guardianship agencies have the right to allow his/her surname to be changed to the mother’s surname, which she has at the time of making such a request.
It is important to remind that the child has the right to express his/her opinion, which is reflected in Article 57 of the Family Code of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The child has the right to express his/her opinion in the decision of any issue affecting his/her interests in the family, as well as to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceedings. Taking into account the opinion of the child who has reached the age of 10 is mandatory, unless it is contrary to his/her interests.
Thus, a change in the name and (or) surname of a child who has reached the age of 10 can be made only with his/her consent.