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Changing or merging surnames

With heterosexual couples, it’s very easy. Traditionally, the majority of couples take the husband’s surname after the wedding. Although sometimes couples choose to hyphenate the names, and others decide to keep their original surnames.

In a process like the one we go through, where the family unit is different to start with, it’s important to consider the technical aspect (what’s registered in the Vital Records in your country), as well as the emotional aspect. You’re creating a new family unit, maybe you need to also consider the children’s unique family situation in the various frameworks, the different surnames of the parents on each side, and so forth.

I’ve seen people who choose to hyphenate their names (like Gold-Johnson), and then it’s important that the names will be in the same order for both spouses since the child will be registered the same as you (avoid a situation where one father’s surname is Gold-Johnson and the other’s is Johnson-Gold).

I’ve seen people who choose to merge the names (Golnson?) and create a new surname for the family.

I’ve seen couples who just kept their original surnames, and then it’s important to remember that the child’s surname will differ from one of the parents (like if the father is Kyle Gold and the other father is John Johnson, the child’s surname will be a combination or have only one of the names).

If you choose to make a change, my only recommendation is to do it at the beginning of the process so that all of the documents, passports, visas, etc. will already be in your new surname for convenience purposes. That way, the birth certificates in the country of birth and in Israel, all the rulings will be in the correct names already.


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