Alphabetic order may decide kids' surnames in Spain
A new law in Spain could lead to a boom in children whose main family names start with the letter 'A'.
Until now, Spanish kids have carried both parents' surnames -- their fathers' always in first place and their mothers' in second. In every day use, many people give only the first surname.
But legislation submitted to parliament Wednesday would give mothers equal rights to fathers in deciding which parent's surname goes first.
If they can't agree, it will be alphabetic order that decides.
"Names like Abad or Alvarez have a promising future in Spain," said the conservative daily ABC.
"For others like Zurbano or Zamora, survival will be more complicated."
The leading centre-left daily El Pais said the Spanish government simply wanted to extend the principle of equality to the symbolic social realm of family names.
The legislation will be examined by the Justice Commission of the parliament's lower house until November 10 for possible amendments. It could be two years before it comes into force.
© 2010 AFP