Naming law in Sweden
Parts of this article (those related to description in the lead section) need to be updated. The reason given is: New law (2016:1013) in effect since July 2017.(November 2018)
The naming law in Sweden (Swedish: lag om personnamn) is a Swedish law which requires the approval of the government agency for names to be given to Swedish children. The parents must submit the proposed name of a child within three months of birth. The current law was enacted in 2017, replacing a 1982 law. The Swedish Tax Agency administers the registration of names in Sweden. The law has been revised since originally enacted; in 1983, it was made possible for a man to adopt his wife's or partner's name, as well as for a woman to adopt her husband's name.
The 1982 law states, in part: "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name" (§ 34). This text applies both when parents name their children and when an adult wants to change their own name. When changing a name, the first change is free of charge as long as at least one of the names given at birth is kept, and such a change is only allowed once per person. Further name changes require fee payment. The law states nothing about registering which name is used on a daily basis, but the tax authority can register that if requested.
The first real national legislation on family names was the Name Ordinance of December 5, 1901, primarily meant to prevent non-noble families from giving their children the names of noble families. The Ordinance was revised in 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1931, 1946 and 1962. The Ordinance was followed by the Names Act of 1963, which went into full legal effect on January 1, 1964. This name law was followed by the Names Act of 1982 (Swedish: Namnlagen), which went into full legal effect on January 1, 1983. In 2001, the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, called upon the government to take action on a new naming law, but without any result. On December 21, 2009, the Swedish government appointed a special investigative committee to suggest how a new naming law should be constituted. The committee's final report was made public in May 2013. Then, after some bureaucratic wrangling, the Swedish Government proposed a naming law bill to the Riksdag, which approved the proposal, to take full and legal effect on July 1st, 2017.
There has been some controversy surrounding Sweden's naming laws since they have been enacted. Aside from significant commentary in the press, many parents have attempted to give their children unusual names.
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, ostensibly pronounced [ˈǎlːbɪn] ("Albin"), is a name intended for a Swedish child who was born in 1991. Parents Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding gave their child this name to protest a fine, imposed in accordance with the naming law in Sweden.
Because the parents had failed to register a name by the boy's fifth birthday, a district court in Halmstad, southern Sweden, fined them 5,000 kronor (roughly US $740 at the time and equivalent to $1,221 in 2020). Responding to the fine, the parents submitted the 43-character name in May 1996, claiming that it was "a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation". The parents suggested that the name be understood in the spirit of 'pataphysics. The court rejected the name and upheld the fine.
In 2007, Michael and Karolina Tomaro fought to have their daughter named "Metallica", after the band. Tax officials determined that the name was "inappropriate", but the Göteborg County Administrative Court ruled in March 2007 that there was no reason to block the name, stating that a Swedish woman already uses the middle name Metallica. Tax officials did not agree with the decision and denied the parents a passport for their daughter, but later withdrew the objection.
In 2009, the Swedish Tax Authority refused to allow a couple to name their son "Allah". The basis of the decision was that the name could be seen as objectionable for religious reasons, and that some people might take offense at such a name.
As of 31 December 2018, 245 people living in Sweden had Allah as a first name (or middle name), and 3 people in Sweden had Allah as surname.
- Naming law
- Naming laws in the People's Republic of China, for similar cases in China
- Swedish nobility
- Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr., an American typesetter (born in Germany) whose full name was 746 letters long
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- "Swedish court kills name game". New York Daily News. May 30, 1996. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com.
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- "Parents refused right to name son Allah - The Local". 27 December 2009. Archived from the original on 27 December 2009.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB): "Sök på namn – Hur många heter ...?" - Allah
- Belkin, Lisa (May 12, 2009). "Laws Against Baby Names". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Anderson, Kyle (May 14, 2009). "Sweden Says No To Baby Named Q, We Say No To Just About Every Baby Name We Hear". Halogen Life. Archived from the original on 2012-11-01. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Dacey-Fondelius, Elizabeth (November 26, 2007). "Forbidden names: identity and the law". The Local. The Local Europe. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Landes, David (October 20, 2009). "No appreciation for Token as kid's name: Swedish tax agency". The Local. The Local Europe. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- "Namnlag (1982:670) § 34" (in Swedish). Retrieved December 14, 2009. - Paragraph about offensive and unsuitable given names.