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Author Topic: Marriage... and names  (Read 3277 times)

Invictus

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Marriage... and names
« on: January 26, 2011, 06:39:38 PM »
Can someone give me the breakdown on how the names work when people get married here? For example, foreigner named Brown marries Chinese woman. Does she get a new ID now with her last name being..."布朗"? And, if one were to go abroad with his Chinese wife, would she have some kind of different ID showing her name as "Mrs. Brown"? How does all this work?

Not tying any knots or anything... Just curious.
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 03:22:12 AM »
Standard procedure in most areas is that the wife keeps her family name and the children get the husband's family name.  A few people have been known to combine family names, but it seems pretty rare.
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The Local Dialect

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 03:31:58 AM »
Yeah, what EL said. Chinese women don't change their name after marriage. YMMV in some minority areas but Han women don't change their names. Kids get their father's name. The combining family names is kind of a newfangled thing, and all the people I know who have done it have done it with their kids' names, but not their own.

I know lots of Chinese women married to foreigners take their husband's last name when they move abroad, but that's just because it is the societal convention in most Western countries.

Mr Nobody

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 01:06:45 PM »
Actually, I keep getting foncused with people introducing "Miss insert maiden name" and it's some married woman.


Wife keeps her name while in China, but insists she is Mrs her maiden name, except she has her Australian docs in her english name and my surname when we are back there.

Our little compromise.

And as an aside, if people insist that I call them Mr Huang or Miss Ma, then I am bloody Mr Nobody, and not whatever my first name is.
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Paul

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 02:34:17 PM »
What they said.
But you can choose.

Would you really want to devastate your daughter's future by calling her 'Smith Li Fei'?

Just leave to the wife...


Mr Nobody

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 12:32:31 AM »
Daughter uses Mrs N's family name and her chinese name in China, and uses her English name plus her chinese name as a middle name, with my surname in Oz.

She speaks English to bignoses and Chinese to xiaobizi, adjusting and translating for them, and answers to the right names, but changing to my family name isn't yet understandable to her.

She's only 4 so the last bit is a bit confusing to her yet. Probably because it isn't used much here.

Her legal name is Alexandra Zihua MySurname, on her Oz passport.
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fullricebowl

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 04:25:39 AM »
I'm curious if the opposite is true- if a western girl married a Chinese guy is it common to keep your maiden name while in China and change it to your husband's family name in your home country? Or are women in this situation less likely to change their names at all?

jpd01

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 04:35:02 AM »
Hmm well generally I'd assume that a female expat marrying an asian male is a much rarer site. Depends on the girl, she wouldn't have any pressure to change it in China as this would be against customs, in her own country it would depend on her. A lot of women these days don't change their name after marriage or do the hyphen thing.
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The Local Dialect

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 04:36:56 AM »
I'm married to a Chinse guy fullricebowl (ahem, we're rare, but not that rare). I haven't changed my name legally since there's a hassle involved and we live in China there's no cultural expectation for me to change it. Usually I go by a hyphenated last name, but it isn't legal, it is just what I use in e-mails and such. It does confuse Chinese people sometimes, especially when I'm job hunting, because they see a "Wang" at the end of my name and assume I'm Chinese or Chinese-American.  

As a Western woman you can pretty much do whatever you want with your own last name. Your boyfriend, if he becomes your husband someday, probably won't care one way or another if you keep your own last name or change it. When we go back to the States I will probably get my name legally changed because I want to have the same legal last name as my husband and especially my kids.

cobra

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Re: Marriage... and names
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 03:44:50 AM »
I'm curious if the opposite is true- if a western girl married a Chinese guy is it common to keep your maiden name while in China and change it to your husband's family name in your home country? Or are women in this situation less likely to change their names at all?
I keep my maiden name here in China and I didn't change my husband's name in my country... so it's ok)))