Law Approved Allowing Use of Maternal Name

Has a good chance of passing a Federal Civil Code reform in Mexico

MEXICO CITY.- Soon, parents in the country will be able to invert the order of their childrens' last name, to have their mother's maiden name come before the paternal last name on birth certificates.

The EFE reports that the Justice Commission of the Chamber of Deputies has approved reforms to the Federal Civil Code which will allow a couple to decide the order that their child's last name appears in — 'Which do we want first?' Only if both parents are in agreement will this change be applicable, if not then the customary order will be applied.

Deputy Alfa Eliana González Magallanes, from the PRD party, wrote the proposal and has helped push it along. She established that all of the couple's children would have to have the same order of last name.

Receiving 19 votes in its favor, the proposal was directed at the Chamber as a way to "help eliminate discrimination that women face with every issue related to marriage and family relations," the Chamber of Deputies indicated in a press release that was focused on the Committee discussion.

Another deputy, Miriam Cárdenas Cantú, from the PRI party, said she was in favor but encouraged an "in–depth analysis, which would include making modifications to existing legislation that could be affected by this change."

Although she is not opposed, Esther Quintana Salinas — deputy from the PAN party in Guerrero — warned that "we should consider what will happen if the parents are unable to agree on the order."

This is not unimaginable; there is precedent in Latin America. Brazil has always given the maiden name preference, although it is the paternal last name that is inherited.

This law will give parents more flexibility to decide which name is to be passed down to the next generation.


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