Naming your child
Parents must notify the Population Information System of their child’s name within three months of the child’s birth. The name of the child must be in accordance with the Act on First Names and Surnames.
You should give notification of your child’s surname/compound surname and first names on a form within three months of the child’s birth. Note that you child can have a maximum of four first names. You will receive the notification form from the Local Register Office soon after the birth of the child.
If the child is baptised as a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland or the Orthodox Church of Finland, you can send the completed form to your parish, which will enter the name into the Population Information System.
If the child is not baptised as a member of the Church, you should send the completed form to the Local Register Office.
Your child can have between one and four first names. Two names connected with a hyphen are considered a single first name.
You cannot give your child a first name or a combination of first names that may cause harm to the child. The first name must also be in accordance with the well-established name practice. Girls must be given girls’ names and boys must be given boys’ names. Gender-neutral first names can be given to anyone.
Go to the name service of the Population Register Centre to check the popularity of specific first names in Finland.
The Local Register Office or your parish will check whether the names that you are proposing for your child are in accordance with the law. If the parish has doubts about the legality of the name, it will ask the Local Register Office to decide on the matter.
If you and your spouse have a common surname or a common compound surname, it will also become the surname of your common child. If the child has only one parent, the parent’s surname will also become the surname of the child.
If the parents have different surnames but the child’s elder sibling is their common child, the surname of the elder sibling also becomes the surname of the younger sibling.
When parents getting their first common child have different surnames, they can choose the child’s surname from the following options:
- Surname of one of the parents.
- One name in the compound surname of one of the parents.
- A new compound surname based on the parents’ surnames.
In adoption, the child gets their surname from the adoptive parents on the same basis as a child gets their surname from the biological parents. However, an adopted child may also keep their previous surname as such or as part of a compound surname.
If a child adopted from a foreign country does not have a first name when arriving to Finland, the parents must notify the Local Register Office of the first name/first names selected for the child within six months of the date on which the child is entered into the Finnish Population Information System.