Baby names in the Netherlands!

At Expat Management Group, we regularly assist expecting expats who will be preparing to give birth in the Netherlands.

Along with the joyous celebrations surrounding welcoming a new baby to the family, there are also the more practical matters to consider. And when it comes to naming your newborn, after having spent weeks or months debating what to name your newborn, you may find that there are some more formal requirements involved.

When a baby is born, parents are faced with a number of responsibilities. Within three days after the birth, the child and its name must be registered, and a birth certificate will be issued by the municipality. In the Netherlands, you are free to choose either the mother’s or the father’s surname.

In the case of a female same-sex marriage, where a baby is born through an unknown donor, the child will automatically get the last name of the duomoeder (the mother not physically giving birth). If the donor is known, on the other hand, the baby is given the birth mother’s last name. In case of a male same-sex marriage, the baby’s last name will be changed from the birth mother’s surname upon adoption, after which the couple can choose the child’s last name.

The civil registrar must approve the name before you may record your child’s birth with your municipality. You can come up with a new name if they don’t approve of the current one, but in the most extreme cases, the registrar may do so for you. A few examples of what can’t be included in your baby’s name are: swear words, a name consisting of many names, and existing last names.

Nowadays, some of the most common baby names in the Netherlands are Tim, Noah, Daan, Sem, Mees and Jeffrey for boys. And Emma, Sophie, Linda, Sara and Julia for girls. For Dutch surnames, prefixes like “de” or “van” are very common (written with a lower case). The surname “de Jong” is one of the most common here, as well as
“Jansen” and “de Vries”.

Banned Names Around the World
Whereas the Netherlands has set a few basic rules regarding baby names, more names around the world have come into media attention after being banned. In 2015, a court in France ruled that a couple could not name their newborn daughter “Nutella”. Similarly, in Sweden the name “Ikea” has been banned, and in the Mexican state of Sonora it’s forbidden to name your child “Robocop”. Another couple in France came under attention when a court ruled that they could not name their child “Prince William”. Subsequently, the couple asked to name their son “Mini Cooper” (which was, unsurprisingly, also denied).

Our Relocation team is experienced in assisting with whatever you may need when moving to the Netherlands while expecting. This includes matters such as finding a good doctor and midwifery practice, the perfect new home for your growing family, childcare facilities, and matching allowances you may qualify for. For any questions, please feel free to contact:

Can we help you?

Contact us at the nearest Expat Management Group office or submit a contactform.