Swiss Cultural Laws

One of my Swiss friends has just found out that she will become a grandmother (to twin girls, no less!) and she is very excited, of course. I had met her daughter and remembered that she is not married (though happily living with her boyfriend). So I asked about Swiss laws and cultural expectations. These girls will automatically take the surname of their mother. Their father will have to file papers to acknowledge his paternity.

Registered Partnerships between same-sex couples has been legal since 2007. However, at this time, registered partners may not legally adopt children. Surrogate mothering is not legal.

Prostitution is legal. One must be 18 and register. Pimping is illegal.

It is not easy to become a Swiss citizen, but it is easier if you marry a Swiss. Especially if you live in Switzerland.

Until recently a woman had to take her husband’s name when they married. Now the choices are wide open.

Women got the right to vote as late at 1990 in one canton, and as “early” as 1959 in another.


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