For 45 years, Brazilian women can choose to keep their maiden name

Identity – (Photo: Marcelo Casal Jr./Agenzia Brasil)

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What guided the paperwork in its determination to change paperwork. “Maybe if there was a single doc that you just went in there and altered the marital standing and surname collectively, I’d positively change. But simply pondering that there are a number of paperwork and I’ve to discover a completely different place to change every of them makes me drained! So for now, I’ll keep my final name on document.”

In 2022, it will likely be 45 years since women in Brazil gained the proper to choose to add their husband’s surname to their full name after marriage. Earlier, each married girl was required by legislation to have her husband’s surname.

From 1977, when the Dissolution of Conjugal Partnership Act (Divorce of Marriage Act) was enacted, it grew to become non-compulsory for a girl to add her husband’s surname. This Act amended the Civil Code of 1916 (Article 240 alone), making incorporation non-compulsory. Therefore, till 1977, taking the title by the spouse was automated: the lady, alone, obtained the male title.

“Law 6515/1977 was a milestone for household legislation, which clearly started to present for the potential of ending marriage; (*45*), this similar legislation mirrored in its content material how the lady was handled in a secondary manner, as solely she inherited her husband’s surname and in case of divorce, the lack of surname was thought-about related, as a. The actual penalty: for instance, the lady who was judged chargeable for the divorce instantly misplaced the proper to the title acquired within the marriage”, defined Tatiana Alves Lowenthal, lawyer chargeable for the civil and labor space of ​​Carvalho y Cavalhero Advogados.

Over the many years and thanks to the feminist motion, the scenario has modified till it reaches the present level: the Brazilian Civil Code, which, since 2002, permits a person to take his spouse’s surname after marriage, if he so needs.


A survey by market of two,000 folks, 88% of whom had been women, confirmed that 4 out of ten selected not to add their associate’s surname. Slightly greater than half (51%) preserve the custom of taking their partner’s surname.

Among the motives of brides who keep their maiden name after marriage are avoiding paperwork, strengthening a way of independence and respecting old school traditions.

Barbara and Ishmael couple will keep their maiden name. “It was by no means a problem for us, we did not even speak about it, as a result of we by no means wished to, we simply talked in regards to the type of deal we had been going to do,” Barbara Winkler, a 35-year-old UX designer, informed Arena in January 2023. 32-year-old English instructor Ismael Calvi will marry Silveira.

Fall document

The survey numbers are very comparable to these printed by the National Association of Registrars of Natural Persons (ARPEN). In July this 12 months, the group introduced that over the previous 20 years, the variety of women who’ve stopped taking their husband’s surname within the nation has dropped considerably.

In 2002, the proportion of brides taking their associate’s surname after marriage was 59.2%. But within the final decade it has elevated to 45%. According to Arpen, at present, potential {couples} favor to keep their maiden name, which is an choice for 47% of those that are going to get married.


The survey of the portal was performed on the Internet in April and May of this 12 months with 2,000 brides and grooms who’re anticipated to get married by 2024 and allowed respondents to add open responses to the marked fields as others.

Those who didn’t need to embody their husband’s surname and wished to point out different causes talked about on this case, for instance, their desire for their dad or mum’s surname over their partner’s, their want to defend their personal id and independence and their want not to. Increase the variety of titles you have already got.

(*45*), research have proven that actuality is the principle driver of retaining a maiden name after marriage. Those who change their surname after marriage should replace all their paperwork, corresponding to CPF, CNH, voter registration, passport, financial institution registration, actual property data, and so forth.

Among these interviewed who didn’t need to add their partner’s surname, 45% answered that they wished to keep away from a sequence of paperwork required by legislation. (*45*), not altering requires an extra dedication: the presentation of a wedding certificates as proof of your new marital standing, at any time when requested.

Same final name

The new Brazilian Civil Code, printed on January 10, 2002, additionally permits that “both of the spouses might, if they want, add the opposite’s surname to theirs”, however it’s nonetheless not potential for a pair to share a surname. Common in Brazil.

“For nearly 20 years, I’ve by no means seen a person who added his spouse’s name. As a lot as this can be a authorized situation, there is no such thing as a doubt that the issue can also be cultural”, says lawyer Tatiana Alves Lowenthal.

Couple Leticia and Bruno need to break this paradigm. After the marriage, scholar Leticia Corina Xavier, 21, and software program engineer Bruno Pires, 22, will take one another’s surnames.

“It is a standard understanding of each that creating a brand new household consists of amalgamation of surnames. Thus we can have our personal id, a logo of union. We will signal as Leticia Corina Pires Xavier and Bruno Pires Xavier”, says the bride who will say ‘sure’ in November this 12 months.


According to Para Michele Escora, an anthropologist and professor on the Federal University of Buenos Aires, the decline within the variety of women who choose to take their husband’s surname can be defined by the fixed adjustments in “social conventions” that remember and demand concepts of equality and individuality. .

The researcher defines this situation as a path of no return and explains how the declare relates the Brazilian state to household rights and obligations.

“This is the center of the dialogue. It entails each the demand for equality between males and women by way of whether or not or not to change their name after civil marriage, however additionally it is linked to the proper to marry somebody of the identical intercourse or to be assured safety by the state. In conditions of home violence”, the anthropologist factors out.

For lawyer Tatiana Alves Lowenthal, the obligatory imposition of the title of husband till 1977 refers to the structural machismo of property and society that has lengthy been embedded. “As a lot as there may be, by some, a romanticized clarification of this selection [adotar o sobrenome do marido]The incontrovertible fact that males don’t even contemplate adopting their wives’ names exhibits this very facet”.

He recalled that the liberty given to women to decide the basics of their private rights – the name itself – relied on the legislative amendments being carried out. “Free and knowledgeable selection beneath these circumstances can’t be interpreted as a mere ‘victory’, however a warning sign that society should instantly give equal voice to all its members, no matter gender, caste and faith.”, the lawyer stated.

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