should I give my baby her dad's last name if he doesnt wanna come around?

Murrae - posted on 05/26/2010 ( 642 moms have responded )

2

10

0

i want to but then dont want to give her is last name because if he is not going to be around why does she need his last name? am i wrong for doing this?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Emily - posted on 06/04/2010

3

19

0

I totally understand where you are coming from on this situation. My child's father is in and out of my child's life mostly due to his job, but he seems to be coming around as my baby gets older. However, I too struggled with the last name. At birth my child had my last name but we changed to his dad's last name. Mostly because, if something happens to my child's father, it's easier to claim his social security benefits with his last name. Don't mean to be cruel or heartless, but if the father's can't contribute in life, at least they can in death.

Jessica - posted on 05/27/2010

23

3

0

I didn't give my daughters their dads last name. I am very glad that i didn't because he has never seen, paid a dime in child support, or even cared enough to ask about them. For me and my girls this was the best decision. I would suggest to you that if he absolutely does not want any part of her life then don't give her his name. But it is something that the two of you are going to have to decide. Best wishes to you.

[deleted account]

While it is generally easier if you two have the same last name, it doesn't carry the stigma that it would have twenty or thirty years ago.
That being said, if there is ANY CHANCE that the dad is going to be in the picture, and you two are going to try to coparent, even on a limited basis - then I would suggest discussing this with the father. Get his opinion on this. It could permanently damage your relationship and ability to coparent with him. Or he could not care at all. You won't know until you ask. This is only the first of MANY decisions you two will be sharing over the course of your daughter's life.

Christe - posted on 05/28/2010

15

4

1

Most deffanitely. Should your child ever want to do a Family Tree for school or whatever they will need it. Also if anything happens to you then the child will not automatically go to the state as I have seen before. Also another thing is should God Willing your baby's father inherit some money your child might miss out. Good Luck and seek legal advice to make sure of all circumstances before leaving dad out.

[deleted account]

If it were me, I would NOT at all. When my daughter was born, I gave her her dad's name. BIG mistake. I had to go to court to get it changed, and while it wasn't as hard as I thought it was still very stressful and caused me a lot of tears and regret until I got it changed to my name. Luckily he was such a deadbeat he didn't show up to contest the name change. But in my experience, originally giving her his last name was a HUGE mistake.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

642 Comments

View replies by

Ashleigh - posted on 06/04/2010

1

112

0

Hey,
I don't think your wrong at all. Your baby doesn't need his last name.
Speaking from experience with my daughters dad. He broke up with me as soon as we found out I was pregnant and got another girlfriend straight away.. Anywho..
I thought for my daughter I wanted her to have both that way she has a sense of where she has come from. But thats my personal view. I think now I should of just used my last name but hey I guess it's too late now. I have hyphenated the names and it actually goes together :)

Well in the end you will know what you will feel BUT make sure its because you feel its right noone else! :)

Gina - posted on 06/04/2010

2

10

0

Your child is YOUR legacy. Think of all the doctor appointments, school... later on if child wants to change their name, well then dad can pay the $$$ to make that happen.

Iris - posted on 06/04/2010

1

23

0

I dont think your wrong either way, I gave my child her dads last name so even if hes not around she still has a sense of where she comes from. For that day she asks questions, plus even though we arent together now, there was a time him and I were and we concieved her in love, and thats wheat i'll tell her. Now not giving the child his last name is completely in your right and you should do what works for you. Besides a name doesnt make a parent, being there and raising your child does.

Rachel - posted on 06/04/2010

5

113

1

I decided on my own to give her BOTH last names... now that he is HARDLY involved... I really wish I wouldn't have, but she has her heritage... her REAL background tied to her. this way, if for some reason... I wasn't around, and she needed to find her dad.. I guess she would know her real name? ... It's always hard to decide that, but I think you can decide whatever you want, and if they don't like it... Well, they can ALWAYS change it when their older. Hope this helps

Valerie - posted on 06/04/2010

2

9

0

Every situation is different and you need to do what's in the best interest of your child. My personal experience is I should have never used the father's last name nor even put his name on the birth certificate. The father hasn't been around, not called, not one penny in years (which is good for me). Even signed his rights over willingly. I just want to terminate his custody for my child's protection in the event something should happen to me, he would go to my family. But with old TN archaic laws every child has a "right to his father's inheritance", so it's a huge battle to change anything once the damage is done. So if you put his name on the birth certificate or gave him his last name, if you should later decide to change it, you could possibly be in for the court battle of your life. Even if he's not contesting it! If your last name is different from your child's it makes it more difficult to register him for school, take him to the doctor, etc. You have to prove YOUR the mother! It's ridiculous! Especially if the father isn't around and your the one suffering. So, my situation may be extreme compared to yours, but so far it's cost me two years and over $4,000 and still more to go to fix a mistake that could have been easily prevented by giving him my last name and not putting the father's name on the b.c. So really think about your situation and what's best for you and your child before you decide to do anything if you haven't already.

Karen - posted on 06/04/2010

4

3

0

Its up to you. I did put my kids their father's last names but because I made the decision. And really a last name shouldnt matter cause one day your daughter might want to change her last name. If you look at it like that. If you know for a fact he is not going to be around then maybe consider your last name, and makes your life more easier. It all comes down to you and how you think your child will feel in the future. Wish you the best of luck in your decision

Sandra - posted on 06/04/2010

1

12

0

It's only a last name it doesn't make who she is .... and since he's not around that just confirms it doesn't matter anyhow. She's your daughter at the end of the day =]

Rane - posted on 06/04/2010

1

20

0

No, it's not wrong to not give her his last name. If he isn't going to be around then you can give her your last name. Why put his name on a child that the only thing he helped with the child was to produce it? That's my opinion.

L Michele - posted on 06/04/2010

5

18

0

Emily, if u have the father listed on record as the child's father, then the child will get his SS if he dies. The child doesn't need to have his last name for that or any other government benefits. I know through experience.

Nathalie - posted on 06/04/2010

3

15

0

My son's dad is not around and my son has my last name. I didn't even give it a second thought!

Depending of the local law, you may be able to give both names (you can put a last name as a first name for example- or give dual last names with hyphen) that way your kid can chose later. Depends of local law too...

Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 06/04/2010

3

11

0

If there is any doubt about him being around, I would give your child your last name. The question of the father being around wasn't my real concern when we chose our son's name, I flat out said we are not married so he is having my last name (this was 5 yrs ago). The father was not happy with that but dealt with it. We used the father's first name as the middle name so there is still a bit of a connection. I have always told him that if we end up married then we can switch his last name. We now have a daughter together (who is 6 months) and this issue came up again. Once again she has my name b/c we are not married or an official anything. He had a real hard time accepting this and second time around, since she may end up loosing her last name at some point if she gets married. I don't feel wrong for doing it or regretting giving my kids my last name. The father is around more now that there are two kids but still not real reliant and not paying child support. It makes it much easier when filling out forms and all having the same last name. My son just recently asked why daddy isn't a (our last name). I gave him a simple explanation that he accepted and the topic was dropped. Just know you can always change it to the child's father's last name if you two do work out and you would prefer it that way esp if he is listed on the birth certificate.

L Michele - posted on 06/04/2010

5

18

0

My daughter got my last name and there are not regrets even when he was a part of her life. He even tried to have her last name changed in court, the Judge wasn't having that. My daughter was glad it did not get changed, because she really likes her last name even now at the age of 24. Her relationship with her father turned sour because he couldn't let go of blaming her Mother for having her. I have a smart child and she realized at an early age that her father wasn't visiting her because her cared about her but because he was being vindictive towards her Mother. Hope it goes well with you, not to many men are like her father but then they are all different, one thing I learned don't put a lot of trust in them even when u think u know them, cause u might get surprised with a different reaction, good or bad, either way, it makes it easier to get things done in their younger yrs, when they have ur last name. Good luck

Jenny - posted on 06/04/2010

2

14

0

Absolutely not, you do not know what the future holds with respect to his involvement, you will be the one 100% responsible, ya dads should have some responsiblity, but lets face it, its you at this point and only you, if his involement is questionable now it always will be. Take the credit for this beautiful little child.

Anita - posted on 06/04/2010

1

2

0

My son is 14 and has my last name, which he is very proud of. I allowed his father to be involved in the decision and his flippant answer was, "Give him your name, that's what the others have done." (not his first ball game) Then when he showed up for a vsit when our son was 2 weeks old, he asked if our names could be hyphenated. I told him he was too late, has had a name for two weeks! As for those who have encouraged putting the father's hame on the birth certificate, I am not sure if this is true everywhere, but in Illinois unless he is present to sign the birth certificate, then he doesn't get on there anyway. We went to court to legally establish paternity and set up his legal responsibilities to our son. I have not once regretted giving my son my last name. His dad and his family have been involved sporadically throughout his life, but the people who have been there day in and day out share his name. I think that stability has been important to him. Also, his dad does not carry the name he was given at birth, he changed his name at age 18 from his mother's maiden name to the last name of the aunt and uncle who raised him. For me the whole point of carrying on the father's last name is about heritage, and that was already not an option. My last name carries much more of a sense of heritage and a clear connection to a family tree. Congratulations on your little miracle!

Dani - posted on 06/04/2010

5

13

0

Give her your last name. Even if he wants to be part of her life - it will be easier for you in the long run. And as he will probably not really contribute - you will have the pride of her having your last name as you will probably be doing it alone. Then when you do meet a man and if you want to get married and have his name - it will be easier.

Brooke - posted on 06/04/2010

7

12

0

I gave my daughter her sd last name and now I regret it. He denied her my entire pregnancy then he was there when she was born. He said that she has to have his last name. I thought this was a turn about and he was actually going to claim her and be a good father! boy was I wrong! He has seen her maybe 10 times in 3 years. he didint sign her birth certificate but did sign the paternity papers so I could get child support. Which by the way is a joke. He complains that he has to pay $150 a month and that's when he's actually working. I am looking into what I can do to get her last name changed. I hate that when I take her to the Dr they say Mrs dnd his last name. I'm not married to him and never was. I hate when they call me by it and assume that me and her have the same last name. His family has a bad name around town and it sucks that now she is going to be automatically assumed by tyst last name. I would definitely give your child your last name. Its so much easier.

Brooke - posted on 06/04/2010

7

12

0

I gave my daughter her sd last name and now I regret it. He denied her my entire pregnancy then he was there when she was born. He said that she has to have his last name. I thought this was a turn about and he was actually going to claim her and be a good father! boy was I wrong! He has seen her maybe 10 times in 3 years. he didint sign her birth certificate but did sign the paternity papers so I could get child support. Which by the way is a joke. He complains that he has to pay $150 a month and that's when he's actually working. I am looking into what I can do to get her last name changed. I hate that when I take her to the Dr they say Mrs dnd his last name. I'm not married to him and never was. I hate when they call me by it and assume that me and her have the same last name. His family has a bad name around town and it sucks that now she is going to be automatically assumed by tyst last name. I would definitely give your child your last name. Its so much easier.

Brooke - posted on 06/04/2010

7

12

0

I gave my daughter her sd last name and now I regret it. He denied her my entire pregnancy then he was there when she was born. He said that she has to have his last name. I thought this was a turn about and he was actually going to claim her and be a good father! boy was I wrong! He has seen her maybe 10 times in 3 years. he didint sign her birth certificate but did sign the paternity papers so I could get child support. Which by the way is a joke. He complains that he has to pay $150 a month and that's when he's actually working. I am looking into what I can do to get her last name changed. I hate that when I take her to the Dr they say Mrs dnd his last name. I'm not married to him and never was. I hate when they call me by it and assume that me and her have the same last name. His family has a bad name around town and it sucks that now she is going to be automatically assumed by tyst last name. I would definitely give your child your last name. Its so much easier.

Brooke - posted on 06/04/2010

7

12

0

I gave my daughter her sd last name and now I regret it. He denied her my entire pregnancy then he was there when she was born. He said that she has to have his last name. I thought this was a turn about and he was actually going to claim her and be a good father! boy was I wrong! He has seen her maybe 10 times in 3 years. he didint sign her birth certificate but did sign the paternity papers so I could get child support. Which by the way is a joke. He complains that he has to pay $150 a month and that's when he's actually working. I am looking into what I can do to get her last name changed. I hate that when I take her to the Dr they say Mrs dnd his last name. I'm not married to him and never was. I hate when they call me by it and assume that me and her have the same last name. His family has a bad name around town and it sucks that now she is going to be automatically assumed by tyst last name. I would definitely give your child your last name. Its so much easier.

Gayle Ann - posted on 06/04/2010

5

51

0

hi am a single mum and have a two year old boy i give him his dads last name we never married bt felt it was a part that he shold of had he doesn,t c his dad that mch bt at the end of the day it is totlly upto what u want to do and niobody else can make that descion for xx

Angela - posted on 06/04/2010

27

15

4

I gave my children their fathers last name eventhough we didnt stay together but that was my choice. If you already know that hes never going to be around then I say no but if there is a chance then you should weigh your options. also if hes not listed as father on her birth cert then she doesnt need his name because it will raise more questions as she gets older.
I gave my children their fathers name because anything he gets I feel they are entitled too no matter when he gets it. When he went into the military (14+ yrs ago), I made him list my children as his dependents (eventhou I got no child support) and if anything should happen to him my children will be taken care of..but again the choice was mine when they were born..you have to weigh the pros and cons

Brittany - posted on 06/04/2010

1

17

0

You are not wrong for wanting to do this. I wanted to give my daughter my last name but since her father and I were getting divorced I still had my married name and needed to have his permission to do so. Of course he didn't want to do that but he wants nothing to do with her. I didn't know any of this going into the hospital. Make sure to find out what you need to do in your state. I don't see the need for your baby to have his last name if he won't be around. It's harder to get it changed after the fact. Good luck in your decision!

Fiona - posted on 06/04/2010

1

40

0

My partner left me when I was 2months pregnant, and never came round. But then decided to be interested towards the end of my pregnancy, and was there for my daughters birth. So I decided to give my daughter a hyphenated last name - eg: smith-jones, to keep both sides happy. I now regret my decision, as her father has since left again and shows no sign of being a responsible father and role model.
So, if there is not much chance of the dad being involved, I would most definitely give your child YOUR last name.

Good luck :)

Michelle - posted on 06/04/2010

9

11

1

I was in the same situation. The "dad" left me when I was in my first trimester and I found out he was with another woman the entire time. I ended up caving in at the hospital and gave her his last name I totally regret my decision. If he comes around you can change it but I wouldn't do it!

Danielle - posted on 06/04/2010

5

22

0

I hate that stigma! No, you should NOT give your child the father's last name! I gave my son my last name the moment I knew it was a boy and that was it! My son's father, being a typical deadbeat, saying he will do this that and the other while doing nothing at all, wanted "his son" to have his last name, but once he realized "our son" deserved better, he stepped off that pedestal. A child should only bear the name of the person who gave him/her life. If Dad were in the picture, that's a completely different story, but if he's just a deadbeat and is not even remotely involved, then no, don't give the child his name, it will just cause alot of issues as many women have stated on here. As for the birth certificate, my son's father signed the papers, but the official paper says "name not recorded" under Father, so even if you wanted to give your child his last name, it's likely the government wouldn't record it.

Steff - posted on 06/04/2010

7

31

0

It's completely up to you, but make sure you make the choice based on what you want, not what other people tell you you should do. Men will say the baby needs the father's name just because that is traditionally how things go, but there are no rules anymore. If he doesn't want to be involved, then why should he be granted the privilege of sharing his name with your baby

Candice - posted on 06/04/2010

15

17

2

My daughters biological father didn't want anything to do with her so i gave her my surname. It is your own personal choice. I made the right choice for me. Good luck with your decision

Karla - posted on 06/04/2010

1

15

0

If he is not going to be a part of the child's life, then NO! Give your child your name. You should, however, put his name on the birth certificate. If the father were to die, then your child would be entitled to social security benefits. In addition, if you were ever to travel with your child, it's hard to cross international borders with a child who has a last name that is different from yours.

Sierra - posted on 06/04/2010

2

0

0

i went through the same thing, however i'm a very strong believer in my kids having the same last name as me. you know as a mother that you're always going to be there for your child, but you can't make that guarentee with the father. make him fight for the right to have his last name

Cassie - posted on 06/04/2010

7

21

0

my daughter has my last name her father wasnt there til she turned 6 monthsand i refuse to have it changed for the simple fact that men they can leave mothers are here for life so the way i feel is until my last name changes neither will hers

Christine - posted on 06/04/2010

1

7

0

I had the same situation a few years ago. I made the decision that if the SOB isn't going to be in my son's life then I'm not going to disgrace him with giving my kid his last name. I had to sign a waiver so that the State of FL won't change my kids last name. It was the best decision I ever made because my last name is so rare that now it gets to "live on". Also, since we have the same last name nobody asks any questions.

Anita - posted on 06/04/2010

15

15

5

there is no easy answer and in the end it is going to be you making the decision. i don't think feelings should come into play. you need to make the decision based on what your brain says, not your heart. just cause you are angry with him, he is still part of her whether you like it or not. :o)

Renee - posted on 06/04/2010

1

24

0

I say give the child your last name. You are the one who will be raising this child. And if he ever decides to man up and become a part of the child's life, the name is changable. My daugther has my last name and it makes life soooooo much easier.

Karin - posted on 06/04/2010

7

13

0

My partner's mother convinced me to give my daughter her father's last name even though we were not married. She said my child would be teased mercilessly at school if she didnt have her father's name, and when we got married we would have to change her name anyway. Naive as I was, I believed her. 4 years later when we split and it was just her and me, we had different surnames and that was even harder. We went through the time-consuming and expensive process of changing her surname back to mine and having to apply for a new birth certificate. All in all it took almost 2 years, and I had to lie on the birth certificate and list the father as unknown, otherwise I would have needed his permission to change the surname and he never would have allowed that. Today my daughter is grateful to have a family name she can be proud of. She loathes her natural father and doesnt want much to do with him. The point is that here and now, you are the only person who it is going to affect. Its not going to affect your daughter for many years, and eventually her surname would change anyway if she got married. My opinion is to give her your name, and if you and her father end up getting married and you take his name, it will be easier then to change her name too, than have to change it back if things have not worked out.

Bernadette - posted on 06/04/2010

1

9

0

I was in a similiar situation and was advised to give my daughter my maiden name because if he changed his mind he would legally be able to take her from the school and it not be classed as kidnapping, have a stronger case for access/custody etc. I gave my daughter my maiden name and immediately applied for sole custody, which i was granted. 3yrs later the father changed his mind and wanted access and tried to take her out of my arms at the court house, i asked him to let her go because he would hurt her, he said no and a police officer , who had heard the conversation said if you don't let the child go we wil charge you for attempted kidnapping. If you give your child your surname you are protecting your child in more ways than one and his name still appears on the birth certificate. You are not wrong for giving your child the best protection they are entitled to have. You are spot on in doing it as this is what my solicitor advised me(as earlier stated). I hope this was of some help. Good luck, Bernadette.

Catherine - posted on 06/04/2010

10

9

0

If in doubt as to which way to go you can always hyphenate it. then you can drop one of the names or use both. My daughters is hyphenated but she goes under my name, because she doesnt see her father

Allison - posted on 06/04/2010

1

14

0

no u aint wrong i have gave my baby he dad last name and it the worst thing i ever done. just cos he name is down on birth ceretifficte he thinks he can come and go when it suit him. dont do it

Grace - posted on 06/04/2010

2

12

0

Hi, my son's father made it quite clear from the start he didn't want anything to do with his child. I insisted his name was put on the birth certificate. I decided it was best for my son to have the same surname as me to avoid awkward questions and so I used his father's surname as my son's middle name. It's quite common in Scotland for people to have surnames as middle names anyway. My oddity is that I kept my ex husband's surname after I was divorced from him!

[deleted account]

I didn't.
When it comes to a number of legal, medical and school-related affairs, if your child has his last name, it is seen to mean that he is a participating parent and his written authorization is needed, for example if you want to travel abroad with your daughter.
Of course if his name is already on the birth certificate then you will still have to deal with these issues.
As someone else suggested, if you have any kind of relationship with him, he is the best person to talk to about it with as it may affect your relationship later.

Madelyn - posted on 06/04/2010

8

20

1

I gave my daughter my name as well at the time her father still payed maintenance but never came to see her, now just before she turns 4 he informed me that he wants to sign her off and not be in her life at all. so I have done the right thing in the beginning.
Good luck. And above all enjoy your child, in the end it does not matter what last name she or he has.

Kayleen - posted on 06/04/2010

2

13

0

i deffinetly wouldnt i had the same thought just before my little boy was born but i endd up giving him my last name and i have not had any regrets an now i have a new partner and if we end up getting married it wnt look funny :) but i deffinetly wont regret it

Catherine - posted on 06/04/2010

1

0

0

My daughters father and I were not together when she was born, his decision but he has played a very full part in her life. I was all over the place and considered giving her his name but it was actually him that made me realise that she and I should have the same name. It was totally the right thing to do. It will pose an issue in the future if I'm ever blessed with more children or want to get married because it would mean my children having different names which I wouldnt want, I think this is the battle I'll have with her father, wanting to change her name to another mans. But for now my advice, for what its worth, is give your daughter your name. Best of luck to you

Christine - posted on 06/04/2010

6

17

0

I had my first daughter 11yrs ago, and gave her my own last name as her dad and i had split before she was born, I didnt know it at the time but he rarely ended up contacting her. My 2nd daughter was born also out of wedloc and so i also gave her my own name. This all worked very well for many years. Recently i Met and Married for the first time and now Both my girls have a different last name to me. I and they are very lucky in the sense,that we are all happy having this man in our lives. Now Both my girls are keen to have there last names changed to my husband and i's last name. What my point is, is that no matter what you do, there are always things thatcome up and change your life. You never know whats coming in the future and it's best to do what feels right to you. Hope this helps,, Christine

[deleted account]

When I was pregnant with my oldest son, his father said he'd be around (he is when he wants to be) but I wasn't sure who's last name to give the baby because we ended our relationship before he was born. I did talk to his father about what last name to give our son and his response was "You'll find it easier for the 2 of you to have the same last name. If you want to give him my last name, that's great but if you give him your last name, it doesn't make him any less my child and it won't make me love him any less." I eventually moved on and began another relationship which produced 2 more beautiful children. Since I wasn't married to that father either, to me it was never a debate about what last name my children were going to have...all 3 children have mine. Both fathers turned out to be deadbeats and I'm raising them all on my own. And with them having different dads, us all having the same last name helps provide a sense of family unity and my children don't know what a half-sibling is. They just know they all came from Mommy, we share the same name, and there just happens to be 2 daddies. I don't think you're wrong at all for giving your daughter your last name, especially since it sounds like her father isn't going to be there. And...if you live in California or have a state with similar rules as California, you won't be able to list the father's name on your daughter's birth certificate if he's not there to sign it. If that's the case, why have 2 different last names for mother and baby?

Rachel - posted on 06/04/2010

1

38

0

not at all. I never gave my daughter her farthers last name, he wasnt around until ay least two months into her life......but i wasnt going to change it for him. I put her down on her birth certificate with my surname. she is four now and will only accept herself being called what i named her on her B/C. she kmowds daddy has a different name to us but she is very understanding of it. When she is older she can do what ever she wishes if she wants her dads name, cool i will have to try accept it!.

Michelle - posted on 06/04/2010

1

54

0

I didn't give my daughter her fathers last name, it didn't effect our relationship at all, he still pays child support and sees her sometimes. I have found that it has been alot easier having the same last name.
Maybe if you were married, you would all have the same last name, but until then, I would keep all my kids with my last name.
But remember the choice is yours and yours only to make.

Mel - posted on 06/04/2010

8

14

0

Give her your last name. If he couldn't be arsed even coming to see her, why should she carry around a name for her life that means nothing to her? You're the one who's going to be there for her, so tie her to your family name. Good luck!

Janet - posted on 06/04/2010

4

123

0

a friend of mine published in a couple papers, small towns, requesting name change, and did it legally rhrough the courts.

Janet - posted on 06/04/2010

4

123

0

you do know its easier with a girl than a boy, a boy will carry on the family name, when I had my son, his dad got upset I didnt give him his last name, but he had alres]ady sgowed he wasnt gonna be there, in and out through the pregnancy. where my parents were always there. they had 4 girls no boys, so I gave my son our family name, a boy to carry on the last name. when I got married, my daughter was 17, and my she and my husband kepi ieasing that he was going to adopt her, and he really wanted to. But at least girls will get married and their names get changed anyway!

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. ...
  8. 13

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms