Agency rule leaves Swedish toddler 'nameless'
Published: 17 Jul 2009 16:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Jul 2009 16:17 GMT+02:00
An arbitrary rule administered by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has left a two-year-old girl nameless, and her parents with a 2000 kronor ($255) fine.
When their daughter Celina was born, Morten Schneider and Christina Cruz dutifully filled out the appropriate forms with their daughter’s name - Celina Cruz Schneider - and sent them off to have her registered with Sweden's tax authorities, the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper reports.
But the agency rejected the name they chose for their daughter because it did not comply with a rule specifying that the child must take the mother’s surname if the parents have different surnames.
According to the rule, when parents are unmarried, and have not taken a common name, it is not possible to give the child a middle name.
The father’s surname instead becomes the child’s middle name.
Thus, in the eyes of the Tax Agency, the toddler must be called Celina Schneider Cruz.
Celina’s parents have persevered, however, repeatedly sending back the form with the name they have chosen for their daughter, who turns two in September.
And each time the form is again rejected by the agency.
“Every three months we get a letter from the Tax Agency that we have to change the name order, and now we've been fined. It’s so ridiculous,” Morten Schneider told the newspaper.
Every year, Swedish tax authorities, who are charged with maintaining the country's national population registry, handle thousands of surname changes, many of which are problematic, for one reason or another.
Hundreds of these disputes go unresolved for so long that an injunctive fine is eventually issued.
In the last week alone, ten people were issued such fines just in Malmö, according to Skånska Dagbladet.