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Rules for last name(s) in Hong Kong?

  1. #1
    sonyayong is offline Registered User
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    Rules for last name(s) in Hong Kong?

    We will be having our first baby in June 2012. I am Canadian and my husband is Belgian (Spanish descent). In his culture, he has two last names. We would like to do the same for our baby, but not sure what the rule is in HK. Does anybody know if the baby can legally have two last names? Thanks!

  2. #2
    AndreaSB is offline Registered User
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    Not sure about your question but what we did was give baby the second surname as a middle name instead. Having two surnames is a pain in most countries as people just don't get it. I've had to live with it in Europe, ME and Asia and its just annoying

  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    My husbands last name is followed by the suffix 'II' and our kid's last name also included the II suffix as part of the last name in HK - stupid, but they said that the last name had to be identical to my husbands last name. We tried to explain that the suffix is not part of his last name to no avail and ended up having to have baby's name legally changed afterwards to remove the suffex. So, if your husband actually has two last names the births registry should require the same for your child as long as it is clear from his travel (passport) and immigration documents that he has two surnames.

    Also, the way birth certificates work here they just list the parents names and the child's given name(s) if I am not mistaken.

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    elle is correct. In HK, the birth certificate only records the child's first and middle names and then records the parents' names separately. Later we then applied for a certificate of birth abroad (equivalent of a birth certificate) from my country which then we could choose what my daughter's full name would be and that's when we included her surname on the certificate. I guess if you apply for a similar certificate (if it's available) from your husband's home country it shouldn't be a problem, right?
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #5
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    Ask for the "shortened" birth certificate. It will have the baby's surname on it. However it does not have the parents' names on it. We use it because our sons have a different surname from us.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using GeoClicks Mobile

  6. #6
    charade is offline Registered User
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    The HK birth certificate is indeed a strange thing. My husband had a huge argument with the officer at the birth registry because according to the traditions of the part of India he comes from the children take the father's first name as their last name. However, the birth registry insisted they could only do father's last name as child's last name (I heard that they might be open to mother's last name as an alternative but that's it). Finally, they said - oh but anyway we don't put the child's last name as such, only given name. Which is true, kind of. On the birth certificate there is only a space for given name and so my husband put the first and last name of his choice. However, on the sticker to immigration he recieved it had the father's last name as the child's last name and the two given names as first and middle name. So on some record somewhere in the birth registry that is the name, which annoys me.

    Anyway, luckily as suggested by the birth registry, we were able to get our baby's passport issued through our consulate with the name of our choice and then the subsequent visa issued by immigration had the correct name as well.

  7. #7
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    charade that sounds a lot like our situation! In my husband's family the children take the paternal grandfather's name. My husband argued with the birth registry staff and finally got a statement from his embassy explaining why this naming system was culturally important. We were able to use the name we wanted.

    Then we had lots of drama with the Australian embassy because baby's legally registered name did not appear on the birth certificate. That's how I know about the shortened birth certificate which displays the child's full name, including surname. We use those for our children.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using GeoClicks Mobile

  8. #8
    sonyayong is offline Registered User
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    Wow, guys! Thanks so much for your replies. It sounds complicated. My last name is Yong. My husband's official last name is Gonzalez Fernandez (two last names in Spanish culture). We would like our baby's last name to be Gonzalez Yong, taking after the Spanish tradition to take the father's first part of the last name (Gonzalez) and the mother's last name (Yong). BUT, it sounds like here, our baby will be Gonzalez Fernandez....? I'll have to check the Canadian/Belgian embassy to see what rules/regulations they have.

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