Which last name do you give the baby?

Kalea - posted on 11/18/2011 ( 35 moms have responded )

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Hello!

I am new to the site and my first child is due in January. The father of the baby wants him to have his last name. We are not together and I do not see us ever being together. He is a good man and wants to be involoved in the child's life, but since we are both military we will not be able to live in the same area for at least 3-4 years. I've heard it makes some things more difficult to not have the same name as your child. I like my last name and would like to give my baby my last name, but also want to keep his father included and our relationship friendly. I have considered hyphenating, but my last name is extremely long already. He has also not been very involved in my pregnancy, which may or may not be indicative of how involved he will be with the child. I know that I am the primary caregiver and have much more invested in our baby than he does. What are your thoughts on this issue and how do you recommend dealing with it?

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Bernadine - posted on 11/21/2011

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To avoid any legal complications I've given my child my last name. Her father isn't even on the birth certificate. In South Africa the law is pretty much for the father but my daughter's father was not involved in the pregnancy at all, I lived alone and still do and therefore he automatically forfeited all his paternal rights. I chose to exclude him because I refuse to allow him to walk in and out of my daughter's life as he pleases. Raising children is an all or nothing thing and I will not allow him to break my child's heart over and over as it suits him. Thankfully this is a decision we could make together and he is mature enough to understand why I asked him to sign her off legally a year and a half after I gave birth (after he didn't even call to hear if the birth went well and if it was a boy or a girl).
Kalea, give the baby your last name. And you need to consider that you will always have to find him to co-sign things or get his permission for things regarding your child if you do give the baby his last name. Even just to take the baby out of the country for a holiday will require his permission.

Sandy - posted on 11/19/2011

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I went with a hyphenated name for my girls. Their name always stands out because it is so long! I told them I wanted them to have both their parents names because we both love them so much and that when they get older and they feel it is a problem that they can decide to shorten it. So far, they like it because it stands out on everything with names on a list at school, for chorus, band, whatever, lol.

Brittani - posted on 12/02/2011

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My daughters "dad" wanted nothing to do with her. We didn't speak throughout the pregnancy (except for a short period of time in the beginning). He's not on the bc & she has my last name. After I had her, he heard I was in the hospital & tried contacting me but it wasn't long before he took off again. There's not a single day that I regret my decision. I say, if the dad's not going to be around, why give the kid his last name.

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Marva - posted on 12/15/2012

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Giving ur child a father's last name is a privilege and it has to be earned.. Wanting to be there and being there are to different things. But its up to you on what to decide. & you can always change it...
Good Luck

Ann - posted on 12/13/2012

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If you and your husband are married and you use your maiden name-husband's last name then what last name do you give your
children?

Sonya - posted on 12/31/2011

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I was totally different. My son's dad hd nothing to do with me while I was pregnant and i knew he would not be in my son's life. I had been divorced before so I decided to give my son my Grandparents last name out of respect.
The choice is yours and do what u feel in your Heart is right. You will know what is best for your child.

LizE - posted on 12/30/2011

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You really have to do what you think is best. I gave my daughter her father’s last name. It never caused a problem with anything accept when I wanted to get her a passport but it was quickly resolved. Her father turned out to be the scum of the earth and now I wish I would not have given her his name. My kid is older now and wants my last name. We plan to change her last name after middle school. I say go with your gut, you know what’s best for you.

User - posted on 12/24/2011

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I gave my daughter my last name even though me and her dad were together at that time. I made the excuse that I wanted my son (from a past relationship) and my daughter to have the same last name until me and him got married because I didnt trust that he'd actually be a good man. He was ok up until we got married, then he turned out to be abusive in every way. Im now fighting for custody of her... but the best thing I did was give her my last name

Amy - posted on 12/23/2011

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i was in a similar situation and i gave my sons father the benefit of the doubt and gave my son his dads last name, a decision i regret and am currently trying to rectify, it does make thing very difficult having a different last name to my son, but i would say go with your gut on the decision as ur gut instinct will be your best friend as a mother!!

Christina - posted on 12/19/2011

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Sounds like you may still have a little bit of time to think about it..just do whatever feels right to you. When I was in this position and my daughter was born, I knew that we would not be together, so for me, I wanted my daughter to have my last name. Her dad is still involved in her life but I feel like I was the one who went through the pregnancy and my daughter was going to live with me, so I went with my last name. But it worked out - she got my last name and her daddy's looks! so, good luck in whatever you choose and whichever you do choose, it will be the right answer :)

Sherry - posted on 12/19/2011

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I gave my daughter my last name since I am raising her. It might have been a different outcome if I was a co-parent. Being a single parent, it made my decision very easy.

Rhiannon - posted on 12/17/2011

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My children have my last name (from my mother's side) When I married my husband took my name, now divorced being a single mum with children that carry on my families name.

Amy - posted on 12/16/2011

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you can give the baby both last names. moms last name goes first and then dads.

Carrie - posted on 12/15/2011

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I would definitely give the child your last name. You will for sure be a constant in the child's life and you never know how it will turn out with the father, especially since he hasn't had too much involvement thus far. You won't regret it.

Erica - posted on 12/14/2011

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your last name, if he isn't involved in the pregnancy, he probably won't be as involved as he says he's going to be after baby is here.

Jodie - posted on 12/14/2011

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my son's father has nothing to do with him(his choice even before i gave birth) but i still gave my son his dad's surname, and also have written a letter for my son to read when he is 16 years old, that explains why he has his dads surname, and i'm letting him decide if he wants to change it to my surname or if he wants to leave it the same, either way i'm happy, he is still my son and i love him more than anything! At the end of the day it's up to you, do what your heart tells you! All the best! :o)

[deleted account]

I say give the baby your last name if you and the father is no married. Thats what I believe. But u have to make that decision on your own!

Maree - posted on 12/10/2011

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I gave my son my last name as i was not married to his dad.I was not willing to give my child anyones name that i wasn't married to..dad or not !!! Im happy with my decision as we never married.
My son changed his last name to my husbands last name when we married,he was 10 at the time. His dad obviously had to agree to it.He now has the same name as the rest of the family and our new daughter so it worked out well. Hyphenating is probably the best bet if you are concerned with the dads feelings and don't want to fight about it otherwise i'd give the child your name.

Christie - posted on 12/10/2011

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Well for me I gave my daughter my last name just because for the simple fact her father wasn't actively involved with my pregnancy & now he's currently in jail. So it was nothing much that I could do. Do whatever it feels right for you.

Heather - posted on 12/10/2011

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I hyphenated my sons name. Makes it easy and with it being his legal name you can specify with name is first and which one you want used most. My first son had my last name.absent father. I married and hyphenated my last name and my second son has the hyphenated name too...we are
covered either way. But since your not married, its easier for the child to have your last name for medical and legal reasons.

Michelle - posted on 12/10/2011

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I think if your child will be most connected with your life, you should give him your name. I didn't think it would matter as much. My son is now 6 years old and he is asking to change his name. He understands more about family names and traditions. He sees other children within our family having our name. I told him he would have to keep his name in school but at home I would sometimes call him by my last name. Me showed me that a name is a great part of who you are. I would give the child your name.

Tammi - posted on 12/01/2011

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I am a single mom and there was never a question about giving my daughter my last name because I knew the father wouldn't be involved. I have also had some single mom friends that have given their children the fathers last name and hyphenated with both names. If you hyphenate you can always drop his last name for things that are not legal documents, such as school etc. and just go with your last name until your baby is old enough to decide. I strongly recommend, depending on where you live to NOT only use his last name if you are not going to be married because I have seen how that can present problems, legally. Such as if you do get married to someone and want to put your husbands name on your child's you have to have the father's consent, which will probably not happen. Really look into it and ask people with all different situations to really figure it out. You are the mom and you will be making most if not all the decisions for your baby and esspecially if you are living hours apart and in the millitary it would probably be better to stick with your name. I wouldn't worry about his feelings right now, because a name will not determine if he sees his child or not, but it will ensure you and your baby's rights. Unless he is putting a ring on your finger you are the primary parent. You are not being mean to not use his name you are just looking out for the best interest of you and your child.

Kkaytlynn - posted on 11/28/2011

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Do what ever you want. I would give your child your last name because I took my dad's last name and I get questioned all the time about it.

Johanna - posted on 11/27/2011

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My son has both my ex's last name and mine...but I didn't hyphenate it so it's not mandatory that I use both. I generally use just mine which is last but I left both there so in the future my son can choose...

Victoria - posted on 11/25/2011

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When my daughter was born I changed her name 3 times lol. First I gave her his last name, then I hyphenated it, then I changed it to my maiden name. Each time I saw the name on the certificate it just didn't feel right. I really wanted her to have my last name and that is what I finally did. Our situation was much like yours - both military, not living in the same area, not together, good relationship - but as a single parent I thought it was better for her to have my name. I think he was upset by it, but it was (for me) the right thing to do (for her). Eventually I married someone else and my husband adopted her so we all have the same name now anyway. Her bio father is on her birth certificate though.

Meg - posted on 11/22/2011

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Give your child your last name!!!!! I told my daughter's father....if and when we ever get married, we'll both change our last names. It never happened. My daughter is 13 and hasn't seen her father in 11 years...I really think it would've added an issue if she didn't have my last name.

Brandi - posted on 11/22/2011

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Do what you think is best. However, I chose to give my son my last name. I am glad I did. It is less confusing for the schools and activities he is involved in. If things work out later or you marry someone, he should adopt and then you can have all the names the same.

Christina - posted on 11/21/2011

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In my situation, my son's father and I are together. However, because the subject of marriage is iffy at best, my son has my last name. Sometimes, I think it may be a source of some of the bigger underlying problems between us, but what can you do?

[deleted account]

Well, this was a big point of contention between my son's father and I. We were on and off during my pregnancy, off when I was getting ready to deliver. I was really uninterested in his opinion about the last name because I knew deep down, I would be raising my son alone (good call on my part because that's exactly what happened). So, I gave my son my maiden name. I've since been married and divorced, I kept my ex-husbands last name, which was fortunate because we reconciled a year later. But, since 2005, my son and I have had different last names, but he's proud of his last name and happily shares it with his uncle (my brother) who's really been the only constant male role model throughout his life. I'm happy because my brother won't have his own children and it's only he and I, so my son is able to carry on our family name. My mom has been married 4 times and we haven't had the same last name since I was a baby, never was a big deal for me in school, didn't figure it would be a big deal for my son either. Most importantly, give your baby a name that he/she will be proud of, after all it will be theirs for life.

Brenda - posted on 11/21/2011

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Give the baby your last name!!! I am so glad that i didnt give my daughter her fathers last name!!!

Lacye - posted on 11/20/2011

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When my daughter was born, her father and I weren't together and not sure if we were going to stay together. I gave her his last name because I felt it was right. Now her father and I are married and it really was the right thing. Otherwise I would have had to spend about a thousand dollars to have her last name changed to his and mine.

Lisa - posted on 11/19/2011

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The decision is really up to you...if you put the father on the birth certificate, you are acknowleding that he is the father, that is NO guarentee that he will get his last name. Usually your first instinct is the correct one. And if you are worried if you do not give your child the fathers' last name, the father will no longer be in the picture. You do not need that man in your lives anyways. If he's an adult and if he's responsible, then he will understand regardless of your relationship! I wish you the best of luck! :)

Apryl - posted on 11/18/2011

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You can do whatever you like. I gave my child her father's name as that would have been the name if we had married. The having different last names didn't cause me too many problems other than going to the school and the teachers automatically assuming my last name was the same has hers. I just kindly let them know my last name was different and usually didn't have that problem again. I think the biggest thing is how you feel about it. I know it is common for children to have different last names from their parents because of divorce, remarriage, and singleness. You have the right to do whatever you like but I tried to think ahead of how it may affect my child in the future.

Krista - posted on 11/18/2011

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I would do whatever you feel is right. I know my ex fiance and I gave him his last name but sometimes I do regret it because we don't have the same last name and I am his primary care giver and the ex is pretty much a weekend dad. So I would do whatever you feel is best. I know it doesn't help much sorry.

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