A couple unable to register the French name of their baby

A couple have been told they cannot register their newborn son with the name he has chosen because it involves the use of an umlaut, the parents have said. Malta weather.

A Frenchwoman and her Italian companion, Maltese citizens and living here for many years, welcomed their first child last week, a little boy whom they have decided to name Gaëtan.

However, when they went to the public register to register the birth of their son, they were told that Gaëtan’s name could not be accepted as umlauts are not recognized in either the English or Maltese alphabet. .

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the parents were shocked and surprised that Malta refused to recognize their son’s correctly spelled name.

“My son was born on August 13 and the delivery didn’t go well and he took a long time to recover,” said Gaëtan’s mother.

“When we came back to the hospital two days later to register the birth, we were told there was a problem with the name Gaëtan. The only way to accept it would be to sign a form saying we understand that the accents would not be included in our son’s name, which, of course, we did not sign.

“It’s very upsetting. Nobody wants to have administrative problems registering their newborn,” she continued.

“It is difficult to understand this policy, given that Malta is part of the EU, the name is French and the character exists in various other European languages.

The couple have been told by the French Embassy that while it is not possible to spell Gaëtan’s name with an umlaut on his Maltese birth certificate, the characters can be included on his French passport.

The Civil Code of Malta was amended in 2020 to allow the public register to register a name which includes the use of Maltese diacritical letters from the Maltese alphabet.

A baby boy named Ġanni was the first child to be registered with a name using the Maltese spelling after a computer system upgrade allowed the characters to be used in ID cards, certificates and passports .

Maltese diacritical letters include the dot over the letters ċ, ġ, ż, a stroke through the letter ħ, and a grave accent over the vowels à, è, ì, ò, ù.

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