What if your child has the exact same name as you?

If you are starting your journey to Italian citizenship (or you have already successfully applied) and you are planning to have children, naming your child after you may not be such a great idea. Let's see why. 

First Scenario: An applicant by the name of Giovanni Rossi has already received Italian citizenship “jure sanguinis” at one of the Italian Consulates here in the U.S. and his birth record has already been recorded with the town hall in Italy. Giovanni is now a proud father of a baby boy whose name is identical to his: Giovanni Rossi (without suffixes such as Sr. or Jr. or Roman numerals). To fulfill one the responsibilities that come with having Italian citizenship, he forwards the request to register the birth of his child with the Italian Consulate. The Consulate rejects his request. But why?

According to the Italian law and following clarifications (DPR 396/2000 art. 34, 35, 36 and Circular from Ministry of Interior - Miacel n. 2/2000 - ), Italy does not allow for a living father and a son to have the same name. Once the Italian Consulate forwards the request to register the birth to the Italian town hall, the officer of that town must register the birth certificate even though it lists a name that is prohibited by law (such as an identical full name for the father and his child). 

After registering the birth certificate, it is the officer’s duty to send notice to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to proceed with the name rectification in Italian Court (for example, another middle name could be added to the son’s name or even a suffix). In most cases, the Italian Consulate will notify you of this issue ahead of time. 


Second Scenario: An applicant by the name of Frank Russo (without suffixes such as Sr. or Jr. or Roman numerals) is applying for Italian citizenship; he shares his namesake with his father who is also Frank Russo, but he is not an applicant. What happens then?

In this situation, the civil registrar and/or the Italian Consulate will assess whether the presence of two identical names for two different persons (father and son) on the birth record might cause ambiguity between the two identities. If proven to be a non-issue, the Italian Town Hall official will proceed with the registration of the applicant's birth certificate. Otherwise, the officer will inform the Public Prosecutor’s Office, who will then evaluate the need to require a name amendment in Italian Court. 

To avoid this, the applicant can submit documents proving that he has been under the same name as his father continuously and with no interruption without the given name - shared with the father – leading to any identity misunderstanding.   Document review is subject to the officer’s discretion.

There are two things that can be done at this point: 

  1. Submit the application AS IS and let the cards fall 
  2. Go to court and change one of the names (simply by changing your middle name or adding suffixes such as Jr., Sr. or Roman Numerals, II, III, IV). Once the “Name Change” Decree is granted, a request to the Division of Vital Records of the state where the person was born should be sent to amend the birth record. 

We can determine if you qualify for Italian dual citizenship AND provide you with a free personalized estimate; simply fill out the following form

As always, our phone lines are open and you can easily book your free call with us!  

f you already know that you qualify for Italian dual citizenship, and you are ready to get started, sign up for our Full Assistance Start-to-Finish Program: we will acquire all the needed vital records from both Italy and the U.S., process all the required amendments, and complete your portfolio with apostilles and translations to Italian. We’ll prepare you for your appointment at the Consulate, instruct and coach you if applying in Italy, or introducing you to our affiliate law firm in Italy for handling the 1948 Challenge Lawsuits.