[HRM] Surnames for foreign-fathered kids

MT: Call them again and ask about changing your surname to hers, I just did it for that very purpose, and they assured me that any children would have her (because it’s now the same as mine) surname.

That would probably work, but it seems like too much trouble. I’d have to change the name on my ARC, local bank accounts, etc. We’ve decided to give the baby my Chinese name instead. My wife suggested that. I’m not really keen on the idea but am willing to concede because its the simplest solution and I’ll always think of her by her English name anyway and we’ll likely move to the US in a couple of years, so everyone elso will also call her by her English name.

So, the family got a new list of possible names from the fortune teller based on my name and now we’re picking one from the list.

Why not change your Chinese name, get your baby registered with it, and then change your name back again so as to avoid all the hassle of changing your ARC, licence, bank accounts etc. Sounds really silly, but I bet it’s the best solution.

BTW Congrats on the sprog. Just heard about that on Saturday. Bet she’s going to be a stunner.

Brian

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]Why not change your Chinese name, get your baby registered with it, and then change your name back again so as to avoid all the hassle of changing your ARC, licence, bank accounts etc. Sounds really silly, but I bet it’s the best solution.[/quote]Not sure that would work, they don’t let you change it to whatever whenever you like, I was allowed to because it was a minor change, I haven’t got my ARC changed yet, I guess that will happen when I renew it and have to take along my household registration, Then I guess other things will change over when my ARC has been changed. I haven’t had any problems, yet.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]My wife just called to tell me that they tried to register our daughter using her surname and were refused.

Sure enough, Article 1059 of Taiwan’s Civil Code apparently says that a child must take the father’s surname, except that the mother’s surname can be used if both parents consent and the mother has no brothers (or at least that’s what I’ve been told it says – I can’t read it).

Obviously it’s a ridiculously outdated law based on the idea that if she already has brothers to carry on her family name there’s no reason for her child to carry that name, and therefore no right. But I don’t give a shit about that ancient Chinese lineage crap. I just wanted to give my daughter a meaningful, not a made up, Chinese name. But apparently that’s not possible. Another area of Taiwan law badly in need of reform.[/quote]
Why don’t you just hire someone with legal knowledge and sue the relevant government department? Then you wouldn’t have to complain all the time!!!

When did you get married? Recently (from about 2 years ago?), when you update your household registration after marriage you are asked to ‘officially’ take a Chinese name; this has to be a valid name (i.e. a recognised family name, and 2,3,4 characters in length). It will then be very hard (or probably impossible without a lengthly legal process) to change your family name.

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]My wife just called to tell me that they tried to register our daughter using her surname and were refused.

Sure enough, Article 1059 of Taiwan’s Civil Code apparently says that a child must take the father’s surname, except that the mother’s surname can be used if both parents consent and the mother has no brothers (or at least that’s what I’ve been told it says – I can’t read it).[/quote]
One way to ensure your kids have the mothers family name is to marry into your wifes family. Normally, when you marry, the bride becomes part of the grooms family - but you can specify that it happens the other way around. You would have to explicitly ask for this when you get married though … it’s called ‘入贅’. If you did this, the children would naturally be given the mothers family name (and you probably wouldn’t be able to give them the fathers name).

You can use either parents name.

My sone use his mothers family name Chen. His ARC uses his English name and his Chinese name is added on at the back.

His ARC is registered under my Chinese name as I have ROC nationality

[quote=“Satellite TV”]You can use either parents name.

My sone use his mothers family name Chen. His ARC uses his English name and his Chinese name is added on at the back.

His ARC is registered under my Chinese name as I have ROC nationality[/quote]
If he’s got an ARC, then presumably he’s not a ROC citizen? In which case, I assume you can give him any name you want. However, if he’s an ROC citizen (and so entered in the household registry), then the restrictions seem to apply.

My son uses his mothers family name when in Taiwan and my name when overseas. Most government people here will say you can’t do it.

But when they erased his mothers name and wrote my family name I took a photo and said I would call the cops for document fraud. Which in fact it it is if someone erases an official form and writes something else in it.

So my son uses his mothers Chinese name and also my surname. You just have to stand there and insist and not go away. They always say it’s because of tradition but Taiwan law allows for children to use either parents family name. Even for ROC parents.

[quote=“Satellite TV”]My son uses his mothers family name when in Taiwan and my name when overseas. Most government people here will say you can’t do it.

But when they erased his mothers name and wrote my family name I took a photo and said I would call the cops for document fraud. Which in fact it it is if someone erases an official form and writes something else in it.

So my son uses his mothers Chinese name and also my surname. You just have to stand there and insist and not go away. They always say it’s because of tradition but Taiwan law allows for children to use either parents family name. Even for ROC parents.[/quote]
As a foreigner, your son isn’t even required to HAVE a Chinese name - he could call himself [color=red]*[/color]Mi Lao Shu on his ARC and it would be ok. I don’t think your example applies.

[color=red]*[/color]
Mickey Mouse

If, as you say, it is because of “tradition” . . . . . then foreign males who have chosen Chinese names should be excluded, and the child allowed to have the surname of the Taiwanese mother . . . . . . after all, the foreigner’s Chinese surname does not represent any form of “tradition” . . . . it is just picked at random (or 75% random) in most cases.

As a foreigner, your son isn’t even required to HAVE a Chinese name - he could call himself Cong Tze on his ARC and it would be ok. I don’t think your example applies.

Then wait till you try to enrol them in a local Primary School. The ARC needs to show the name of sponsoring parent in Chinese ( mine ) and childs Chinese name. The child needs to use one of the parents Chinese familty name. These need to be verified against the houshold registration.

As my current wife is aboriginal then our children forthcoming in the future will use her family name. Wihout it they cannot be classed as aboriginals and they can’t own the land up here unless they are aboriginals. My children will not be required to use my familty name.

[quote=“Satellite TV”]As a foreigner, your son isn’t even required to HAVE a Chinese name - he could call himself [color=red]*[/color]Mi Lao Shu on his ARC and it would be ok. I don’t think your example applies.

Then wait till you try to enrol them in a local Primary School. The ARC needs to show the name of sponsoring parent in Chinese ( mine ) and childs Chinese name. The child needs to use one of the parents Chinese familty name. These need to be verified against the houshold registration.
[/quote]
Enrolling your kid in a primary school and being forced to have a CHinese name on your ARC are two different things. I have (non-Chinese) friends with ARC-holding kids here who have NO Chinese name. None, nada, zip. And ARCs don’t ask about ethnicity or the nationality of parents. I stand by my post. Whatever your primary school requires is a different matter, but doesn’t affect the validity of an ARC with no Chinese name. In fact, I only put a Chinese name on my ARC after I got married. and my surname has already changed once. (Neither name has any real connection to my real surname.)

[quote=“salmon”]For those of you with Taiwanese wives and children:
what Chinese surname do your kids have?
I was told that foreign fathers (and their wives) can choose any surname they want for their children.

Is that right?[/quote]

Back to the original question…

For the ARC the child can choose the family name in English of either parent. A Chinese name written in Chinese for the child can be added on at a later time. The MOF prefer that the childs family name be the same as one of the parents.

Generally the child would have one of the parents surnames, so that when applying for passports and other official documents there is a way to identify the child to the parents. My son uses my English surname in his Australian passpost and ARC. His Chinese name was added to his ARC some years later when he started school here. His Chinese name uses his mothers surname. The Chinese name on an ARC can be changed because the English name on the ARC takes usually precedence for legal matters. If he decided to leave Taiwan and return and obtain an ARC hw would be free to enter a new Chinese name on it.

When reading Satellite TV’s information, you need to remember that his children were obviously born in Australia, so they have an ARC.

My daughter was born in Taiwan and she doesn’t have an ARC, but she is a citizen of Taiwan and her name on the Household Register is Huang (my chosen surname which also happens to be my wife’s too). She is also a citizen of Australia and her name there is my english surname (no mention of her Chinese name at all).

So be weary. Where was your child born? Here or there? Then read on well informed.

Cheers Amos.

As I previously stated my child is born in Taiwan. His Australia passport lists place of birth as Taichung Taiwan.

After three pages nothing seems resolved. Richard Hartzell. What is the procedure for giving the child the mother’s name. As a previous poster mentioned, we can’t simply make references to some internet website, or do we have to pay you to get the relevant statutes. Their most likely are none so we should go and argue with the local government officials about how this should not apply to our case since we are foreigners and just not leave the office until we get what we want.

OK Mr. Hartzell, what is your fee, because I do not want to go the route of being the annoying one in the office, but I will pay you to do it for us if you don’t mind.

I’ve got to register my new daughter later this month ad I also want her to use my wife’s family name. I am registered in the house hold registery in english. I dont even have a chinese name. is anyone else registered with an english name?

I’m pretty sure that my name is also in English on our household registry … however, when I registered after we got married, they also asked me to fill in a form saying what my ‘official’ chinese name was (this was in Jan 2003). This name is in their system, and so was used for my son. They gave the impression that nothing short of an act of God would change this.

If you haven’t done this, then you’re probably free to use your wifes family name for your daughter. I guess there’s a possibility that they might want you to take a Chinese name so that you can properly be registered as the father - if you do, make sure you take the same family name as your wife.
yule.org/baby/archives/000032.html

Impressions are one thing, policy another and the law something else altogether. You don’t need to choose the same family name as your spouse, and your child can tale either parents Chinese surname. My son uses his mothers family name, not mine.