Essen: Parents want to name children like that – the city forbids it

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Essen: Parents want to give their children specific names, but the city doesn’t allow that

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To eat. Naming your children is not an easy task for many parents. What name should the child carry to the end of his life? For a couple with roots in to eat however, the answer is clear.

However, the city plays to eat an important role in their decision – and it is apparently against it, as the “WAZ” reports.

Essen: Parents want to give their children THESE names – the city is against

This case involves the German-American twins Luke and Levi. The two were born in 2020 and are now one and a half years old, but they still do not have the surname or names intended for them by their parents. Father Lars Brauer and his partner Lourdes Teh are already in dispute with the city of Essen.

Because they want to give their children a double name consisting of their two surnames: Teh-Brauer. In the United States, where the family lives, this is not a problem, but in Germany it is.

Essen: Parents want double names for their children – the district court decides against them

Since the father, who has lived in the United States for 20 years, was born in Essen and his parents also live here, he would like to apply for a German passport for the children. The twins already have German and US citizenship. In order for them to visit their grandmother, however, the question of the name must first be clarified.

The double name parents want has yet to be approved by the city of Essen. But the district court has placed obstacles in the way of Lars Brauer and Lourdes Teh. A double name is not allowed for children under the German naming law.


This is the city of Essen:

  • it dates back to the Frauenstift Essen, founded before 850
  • 582,760 inhabitants, nine districts and 50 districts, the fourth largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia
  • since 1958 the seat of the newly formed diocese of Essen
  • Landmarks among others: Zeche Zollverein, Villa Hügel, Grugapark Essen
  • was European Capital of Culture in 2010 and European Green Capital in 2017
  • The mayor is Thomas Kufen (CDU)


However, there is an exception: “If a parent does not have German citizenship, he can choose the naming rights of his country of origin,” writes the “WAZ”. Parents have also relied on this information.

Essen: The double name is “illegal” – parents have only one hope

But the city does not want to be an exception. “The name, which is certified under American law, cannot be transferred to German law,” replied spokeswoman Silke Lenz. According to a decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the double name is simply “illegal”. Parents should decide on a name: Teh or Brauer.


More news from Essen:


However, the parents do not want it, if only for the problem that the passports would then have different names. “We fear that our children are at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives,” they say.

“But perhaps the legislature is faster,” hopes his lawyer Thomas Hermes. “The federal government wants to change the naming law and we hope this will be taken into consideration.” You can find out more about the law on names and how things will go for Luke and Levi at “WAZ”. (mbo)

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