A newly proposed law in Spain will end the father's automatic right to hand his surname down to his children before their mother's-an instead list them alphabetically-unless parents otherwise instruct differently. Spaniards always have two surnames- one from each parent. Under current law either name may come first, but traditionally it is the father's and in disputes the father's had always come first. The proposed law also would permit replacing the name of a parent who was found to have abused them as a child.
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Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee