Choosing a Last Name for Your Child


Every child born in Alberta must be registered with a first name and a last name.

Last Name Options for a Child

The last name of a child must be registered as follows, provided both parents agree:

  • Mother's maiden name or mother's currently used last name
  • Father/Co-parent's last name 
  • Mother's maiden name or currently used last name hyphenated or combined with the father/co-parent's last name
  • A name chosen in accordance with the parents' cultural or ethnic heritage

    A combined name is two last names joined with or without a space or hyphen (example: Jones Smith, JonesSmith or Jones-Smith). Do not use a slash (/) or a comma (,) to join last names.

    If both parents sign the Registration of Birth and are unable to agree on the last name for their child, the last name of the child will be registered showing the last name of each parent joined with a hyphen in alphabetical order.  

    Name Rules 

    • All names must consist of letters from the Roman alphabet (example: a, b, c or A, B, C).
    • Numbers (example: 1, 4, 16, 88) are not permitted in a name. Roman numerals (example: II, IV, XI) or numbers spelled out (example: third, seventh) may be used as part of a name.
    • The only punctuation marks allowed as part of a name are: a period (.), an apostrophe (') and a hyphen (-).
    • Brackets ( ) or quotations " " cannot be used around any names.  
    • A space must be used to separate names. Do not use commas (,), slashes (/) or hyphens (-) to separate names. Only use a hyphen (-) when it is part of the given name (example: Mary-Anne).
    • A single letter can be a given name (example: J. or J.B.). A space and/or a period following the letter(s) is optional.
    • Some titles are permitted as part of a name (example: Sr., Senior, Junior, Jr., etc.).
    • Titles that could be misleading, embarrassing, or improper are not permitted as part of a name (example: Doctor, Dr., Reverend, etc.).