What last name should i give my child?

Karen - posted on 09/12/2011 ( 137 moms have responded )

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I have a 1 year old son who has his father's(my ex's) last name and his name is on the birth certifiacte as we were together when he was born, i am expecting our second child in December and we have been separated and not in contact at all for around 5 months. What do i do when my baby is born? Do i give the baby his last name even though he doesnt want the child and wont sign the birth certificate/pay child support? My ex hasnt bothered to make contact with me to see our son either, but then there is my ex's father, whom which lives with my son and i and wants my unborn baby to have his last name(the same as my ex's).. ? I dont want my son to feel like he is the odd one out if he is the only one with this last name that he doesnt know who it belongs to. What should i do?



just clarrifying - we were not married, only engaged and in De Facto relationship. My ex's father lives with me, not my ex-partner and he is very hands on with my 1 year old son.

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Jodi - posted on 09/12/2011

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If it was me, I'd go with the same last name as your other child.

With regard to the child support thing? Are you kidding me? Take him to court, force a DNA test, establish his paternity and sue his arse. He doesn't get a choice in the matter. If he saw fit to have sex with you, then you should not be the only one to have to deal with the consequences. He has a responsibility and you have every right to make sure he lives up to that. He doesn't get to pick and choose whether he wants the child or not.

Kelly - posted on 09/13/2011

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Just an FYI. He doesn't need to accept the child to have to pay child support. You put his name on the birth certificate & file for child support. It will be up to your ex to prove that he is not the father which isn't true. The state will go after your child support. Id go with the last name as your other child. Good luck.

Alison - posted on 09/13/2011

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With a deadbeat dad, I think it is always best to give the baby mom's name. You could always change your first child's name too. Do NOT let grandpa make this decision for you. It is not his to make. You are the only one who will without a doubt be a part of his life till the bitter end.

Hang in there mama!

Catherine - posted on 09/14/2011

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i have been in the same situation . i gave my second son my surname then changed my first sons surname to mine by deed poll so now we all have the same name

Katie - posted on 09/13/2011

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I think the most important part for your kids is that they know they are part of a family who loves them.

With that said and knowing that's not the answer you're looking for, here's my opinion: They are going to learn last names and really start to question things if your last names are different. They are going to ask you about who their father is/was. If you give both of your kids his last name, be prepared to never speak a bad thing about him to your kids, because their last name will be what his is, and you don't want to raise your kids to be ashamed of what their last name represents and will remind them of every single day. What if you have another baby with another man? What if you get married again? Will you start working with a third last name?
If you have any intentions of that, maybe it would be best to give both of your kids your maiden last name, and someone comes along who loves you enough to marry you and give up his last name and/or your baby together's last name - for the sake of one-ness in your family, then everyone will be on the same page. Your kids with your ex will know that your potential future husband isn't their father, so it's not as important if they have the same last name as him, but it will be for your "next" baby.

I agree with everyone else on the legality of proof of paternity though. It's a pain in the butt and not a whole lot is going to come of it, but it's important that it's on record, just in case.

137 Comments

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Colleen - posted on 05/30/2013

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he keeps his father's name after all he is a part of his father. You don't own rights to your Son he was a gift from God up above and God chose to give him to you and your ex so thus I think his name should remain what it was at birth. I feel so bad for fathers who's relationships fall apart and thus the women doesn't want the father to see his child anymore its sad.

Amy - posted on 01/01/2012

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Your name doesn't have to change if you chose to marry. I believe that a last name is part of a persons identity and why anyone would want to change it for a man/women I do not know. Just do what your hearts telling you to do.

Charlene - posted on 12/30/2011

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If you give him your ex's last name it gives him more legal options good and bad. If you ever decide to re marry your last name will change as well. As with your ex's father you could definatly give the last name as a relation to him :)

Amy - posted on 12/29/2011

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Id chnage your other childs name and all carry the same last name...yours. Would make sense for you all to share your last name

Canada - posted on 12/27/2011

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I think a man should only be on the birth certificate if hes the dad...and a man that does not provide the things a parent does financially physically and emotionally...does not deserve to be on it...if hes not being a dad!!! And really worried about him not knowing where he belongs? As long as a child has one person in there life that loves them unconditionally! They will always know where they belong! Im tired of society sugar coating situations for deadbeats..weather its the father or the mother! Looking down on the parent thats actually taking care of there responsibilities and saying its ok for a absentee parent to do whatever they want, When they are ready they can just bounce back in and out of a childs life and screw them up! I think the justice system needs to straighten up. I think if you walk away from your responibilities. If the mother doesnt want anything from you..she should be able to tell you where to go and how to get there! & the courts should back her..or him up!!

User - posted on 12/21/2011

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I would keep the name, the same as the first child. I know this hurts .... ( I do understand). Key is the love in YOUR FAMILY. You will do what is right and best - much prayers to you and yours. KEEP THE PRESSURE on the CHILD SUPPORT and DO NOT BACK DOWN. He will be found.

User - posted on 12/20/2011

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if he ownt sign the birth certificate you can give the unborn child his last name

User - posted on 12/20/2011

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if he ownt sign the birth certificate you can give the unborn child his last name

Lynda - posted on 10/21/2011

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give your baby the same last name as your other son and the csa are hopeless and the system is very frustrating, but you have your ex father to help and support you so in that respect you are lucky and I am sure regardless of whast name your children have they will have a family with you and best of all be loved by you good luck with everything xoxo

Donna - posted on 10/19/2011

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hmm, i think i would just give the kid your ex's last name. Its always confusing when siblings have different last names if you ask me, plus at least someone in your exes family is man enough to step in and help out

Niviene - posted on 10/19/2011

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My ex left me while I was pregnant with our son. He said he wanted nothing to do with the baby and that he didn't believe it was his even though I had never cheated. He wants contact with our 5 year old daughter. She has his last name, our son has my grandfather's last name. All of my kids have different last names (except 2 share a last name). They have never acted like it was something that left them out. I think it gives them a special identity instead of separates them.
I think your baby will know he/she is loved and it won't matter what you name him/her. Do what feels right in your heart concerning the name.
Concerning the child support, the father has no right to not pay. You can take him to court and get his wages garnished. He may ask for a paternity test, but he will have to pay for it.
I wish you lots of luck.

Kim - posted on 10/16/2011

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Personally, I think you should give your new baby YOUR last name, then petition the court to have your 1 year old's last name changed to yours as well. Then no one is the odd one out, and life can be as it was meant. I don't know why on earth anyone would want to name their baby after the father if he is clearly a deadbeat and doesn't want any part of what he has helped to create...he'll regret it eventually.

Courtney - posted on 10/16/2011

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im on my 5th kid and same thing happen to me have the unborn baby have your last name.whatever that is.And that baby wont be the odd one because when you get married chage both babys last name or for sure the one.

Courtney - posted on 10/16/2011

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im on my 5th kid and same thing happen to me have the unborn baby have your last name.whatever that is.And that baby wont be the odd one because when you get married chage both babys last name or for sure the one.

Amy - posted on 10/12/2011

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Mary Anne ... Bologna? Really?
As I said.... WHERE I LIVE you cannot put the father's information on a birth certificate unless you are legally married or he signs an admission of paternity so she should check the law where she lives. As the mother of 4 & grandmother of 2, I'm pretty sure I know the law WHERE I LIVE.

Antoinette - posted on 10/12/2011

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Oooh Evette, I'm with Megan, while you're entitled to your opinion your response is way off topic, presumptuous and, well, a bit rude to be honest.
You basically assume that because someone is unwed or single that they are grooming their children for relationship failure, how narrow minded can you get?!
While I am sure that most people would love the marriage, the kids, the white picket fence it’s not usually reality. Some couples may go their whole lives unwed but blissfully happy and content with blissfully happy and contented children. Other couples may marry and later divorce bitterly and end up with bitter children. Other couples may marry, realise they hate each other but stay together ‘till death do us part’ and end up with bitter children. The possibilities are endless as to how any relationship might play out.
Life is not black and white, open your eyes, embrace the rainbow!

Donna - posted on 10/12/2011

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I thought about this for a while and what really caught my attention was the part where you wrote: " I dont want my son to feel like he is the odd one out". I have a 9 month old baby boy and I am 5 months pregnant *with another boy. Have you considered giving him the same last name as his brother just so they can have the connection of sharing last names as siblings?

Megan - posted on 10/10/2011

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Okay Evette seriously? What's confusing? Did you not bother reading any of it. Both children have the same father who she is not with anymore, they were engaged but broke up. She is living with the children's grandfather who is the father of her ex. It's not like she's off sleeping with whoever she feels the urge to do it with, and even if she is that's her business. So maybe you should get off your high horse and read what she was asking. Which was should she give her second child the same last name as her older child since they have the same father or should she give the baby her last name? The grandfather requested that baby number two have the same last name as the older child because it is his last name as well and he is an active person in the child's life. She's not letting her ex treat her bad or manipulate her into anything. The children have a positive male role model in their paternal grandfather. Her relationships are none of your business and you went totally off base with it. Now a days it's not uncommon for children to have different sets of parents whether it's from a breakup or divorce, but for you to assume that she's basically a slut for having children outside of marriage and that they have different fathers because she wasn't married is just wrong. I wasn't married to my husband prior to the birth of our first two children and we had a functional relationship and when my son asked why my last name was different I told him it's because his father and I weren't married then after we got married he asked me if my last name was the same as theirs now and when I told him yes he was like "okay". Kids don't care one way or another if their parents are married, just as long as they are taken care of. She only asked for opinions on what she should do in reference to her child's name, not get an earful by somebody who didn't even bother to read the post when there was nothing confusing about it.

Holli - posted on 10/10/2011

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Then you should give him his fathers last name. Most people give the child the fathers last name. I personally gave my daughter mine because I knew the moment I was pregnant he wouldn't stick around he signed the birth certificate but I refused him getting the joys of passing down a last name because my dad has all girls one of us has got to do it. your situation I'd say give him the same as his brothers

Evette - posted on 10/10/2011

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Ok, I am thoroughly confused, but, I will try to answer you: Your first baby should have his father's last name or keep whatever last name he has. Unless you are married to another person who will adopt your kid and parent/father him, (and depending on the child's age), leave his name as it is...If you are now married to someone & depending on your child's age, you can add your husband's last name to your kid's, but, let your kid have a say in this, too.

As for your 2nd baby, I'm not sure if this baby has the same father as your first kid, but, if he does, then, yes, they should have the same last names. If it is by a different father, then, that's a different story.

Basically, you need to get it together.. You can't keep making babies with men to whom you're not married...As you probably already know, this is not only confusing for you & your kids, but it causes heartbreak, loss, emotional instability, etc., which is not good for any of you.

I'm not sure which 'ex' lives with you now, and/or who you're pregnant by this time, but, YOU have got to get things together for your kids. If they are by the same father, then, it may be best to give them both the same last name.

If you are now married & your husband will be adopting both kids, you may want to add/change their last names, but, you will have to look into the legalalities of this, especially if the bio dad does not give up his rights.

You are raising at least one boy child & you need to think about what you're teaching him about being a man/dad/father and how women/mom/mothers allow guys to play with their children's lives...Believe it or not, women have a lot of power in this area and we need to stop putting our children through all this emotional drama that we don't even want to or can handle. Take care....best to you.

Elicia - posted on 10/10/2011

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i wud give him the same last name as your other son. i know with me i had twins and when they were born they gave them my last name becuz i wasn't married yet. it was really hard to change them to their fathers last name but for us it was worth it. we got married a short time afterward. but my husbands family the kids all have different last names and it doesn't bother them. so i guess it depends.

Sarah - posted on 10/10/2011

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my daughter has never met her father nor has he ever bothered to make contact..her father made it clear he wanted nothing to with either of his children so yr story is very familiar to me..i gave her ..her fathers last name same as i did for her brother..my ex did not sign the birth certificate but i felt it important she have his name.personal choice..as a result of not knowing my ex's address i was told by child support i had to go for DNA..because i didnt do anything about it my daughters FTB was cut until i did follow it up..legal aid will not proceed with a case for DNA in respect to child support payments unless you have his actual address so mail can be delivered to him..nor will they chase down his location if he is not worth a decent amount of child support..yep thats what they told me..they are unable to go through centrelink records as i saw suggested in a previous comment but they will send a letter to centrelink asking your child support obligations be waived..as they did for me..less than 2 months ago

Megan - posted on 10/08/2011

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My husband and I had a lot of problems in the begining of our now 6 year relationship. Heck we didn't even get married until a few months ago. We had a lot of issues when I was pregnant with our oldest and he was refusing to even admit that the baby was his, eventually he grew up and stopped being stupid and immature and when our son was born he signed the birth certificate under the condition that our son got his last name instead of mine. When our second son was born I made a joke and told him not to sign it until we did the dna test so his family wouldn't say anything he looked at me and said "why you got something you want to tell me? no? so give me the stupid paper" he laughed as he signed it because he knew i had never cheated on him and how stupid he was the first time. We are now expecting our third baby in a few weeks and he officially gets to touch the paperwork prior to signing it because we're now married. It's ultimatly up to you what last name you give your baby. But who cares if the douche won't sign it birth certificate, that child is still his whether he signs it or not. And you said that his father/kid's grandfather does actively participate in your lives. Don't punish him for his son's stupidity. Your children have the same dad and even though you aren't with the father they should have the same last name, even if he doesn't sign you can still give the baby the same last name as your other child. This baby is wanted by people in that family even if it's father is a jerk who wants to act like a little kid instead of a man and step up for his children. You are very lucky to have basically your father in law in not only your life but the lives of your children. Honestly he's the better man and the fact that he asked you to consider giving the baby his and his son's last name really says a lot about him. Forget the douche and maybe one day he'll grow up and if he doesn't your children will still have a strong male role model who is proud of them and proud that they have his last name.

Perdita - posted on 10/08/2011

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i think you should give ur ex i mean the child's daddy's last name to him cos one day one day he will come looking for u guys and it will trun into something else.or kid kid will grow and not understand u why u shld take such a thing to him and will get mad at u.and with the child support too drag him to court and let the court punish for not taken care of his kids.but pls give ur sec kid hte last name as the frist on thats their dad's.

Alicia - posted on 10/07/2011

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In your situation I must agree you need to get him to pay child support , but I would take your name since he's not acting like a father. I myself am struggling w/ a similar issue except my ex wants to be on the birth certificate which I feel is just out of control of me and not my child.
These men should not be able to get away without the consequences. This day and age you can very well give your son your last name.

Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2011

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First let me say that I feel it's really important that the Father's last name be somewhere in that child's name as long as there is no doubt about paternity. In my opinion, you have 3 choices:

Give the child the Father's last name (after all, there's no doubt that the child came from you).
Make the child's middle name, the Father's last name.
And the last option, which my Cousin did and I think is a totally classy move for someone having a child out of wedlock, legally change your last name to that of the Father. It doesn't exactly connect you to the man, but will minimize questions your child may have later in life. You reply could be that you loved him/her so much that you wanted all of your last names to be the same.

I don't envy you, this is such a tough decision. Follow what your heart tells you to do.

Good luck!

Katrina - posted on 09/30/2011

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Karen, Only you can decide what will be the best decision for you and your children. This is your choice. You could change your first child's last name if you decide that is the right thing to do. Good luck!

Carolyn - posted on 09/28/2011

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Whats in a name as long as your Son and unborn baby has you then it shouldn't matter, but it would be nice if you all have the same name, and would be nice for Grandad also. My Daughter had her ex's surname put on my Granddaughters birth certificate, but has since changed it by deed poll to her surname as it just makes it easier to say the same surname and when filling forms in etc. Your ex should be made to support his children, as Ive always said " they help make them, they should help support them" get your child support service onto him, and what they do is take a percentage of his wage to help support your children. All the best with your new baby, and I hope you get the father to hold his hand up and support his children

Grandma Christine - posted on 09/28/2011

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The name game. Actually give the child what ever name you feel most comfortable with. Both my girls had their father's last name when I got remarried they wanted to use their step-father's name. They did in school for a bit until one teacher told my daughter she just couldn't do it it was just plain wrong. So no matter what name there will be opposition just let the child know who they are is not defined by a name.

MomOf1 - posted on 09/27/2011

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my child father wasnt claming the child so i gave him my last name and an name i choose but now when its close to the baby bein born he want to come back and try to run verything bt im not goiin for that

Amber - posted on 09/27/2011

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If you can, I would change your one year old's last name. He is young and won't know the difference. My son has my last name because my ex and I weren't married. I had a friend who had to go through hurdles a lot in life when it came to her two daughters because they had a different last name than her. She was the one who told me not to give my son his last name and I am sooo happy I didn't. My son's father got into drugs and is a horrible influence so I am so happy my son has my last name and doesn't carry his dad's name. If my son wants to change it when he is over then I am fine with that. But while he is young and in my care 100% of the time, he will have my last name because it makes things easier and because it is what is right. Taking someone's last name is a privilage not a right.

Lisa - posted on 09/26/2011

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As a single parent, I elected to give my child my last name. I did so because I will always be in my childs life. Not being married does not assure me that my child's father would always be there. So she will know she is family I gave her my last name. If I ever get married I will hyphen my name so that my child and I will always be connected. When children are young (my child anyway) wants to feel like they belong. They do not want to seem different or feel like an outcast. If he has chosen not to be a part of the child's life and he is not going to sign the birth certificate I would opt to give your baby your last name. I know it's a hard decision but if the father has made things clear you have to concern yourself with your baby and do what's best to show the love necessary for your child. He is still financially responsible for assisting you with the care of your child whether he signs the birth certificate and whether the child carries his last name or not. God Bless!

Morgan - posted on 09/26/2011

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i have two children with the same man and my kids have my last name. i told him if we ever get married we will change our names but for now we are just enjoying our non traditional family.

Samantha - posted on 09/26/2011

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I made the mistake when i had my son and gave him his fathers name because i thought we would be together forever. To change a name at a later date u have to have that parent sign paperwork from birth deaths and marriages to have a name change can be a drama. In retrospect i found out u can hifernate the two last names, but put your last name first and the fathers last name last because you can at a later date drop the last name that is at the end, but not the first one, if its his.

Lynnsey - posted on 09/26/2011

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Give the baby your last name. The father does not want to acknowledge the fact that he is a dad then so be it. My daughter fell pregnant and I made her put the baby in our family name (she was 17 maybe different to you) the father can still be on the birth certificate so he is acknowledged and your child will always know who he is. But the surname of your child should yours, you are the primary care giver. I have seen it so many times with my friends they split up just before the birth or just after and have put the baby in the father's name and they are then referred to as Mrs such and such particularly at school because it is the child's last name. Hope this helps.

Pam - posted on 09/21/2011

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take him to court and they will make him pay child support, that is not a choice it's the child's right to be supported by his father. that is a very hard choice, maybe things will change down the road. You can always give the baby his last name and tell the baby you named him/her after their hands on grandfather...

Peju - posted on 09/19/2011

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I think its the right thing to do,let the baby have the same last name even if you dont have him inyour lives.There will be less explanations for you to do in the future when the child asks questions.

[deleted account]

I chose to give my son his father's last name. Not because his father deserved it, but because it is my daughter's name. In my mind he has HER name, not his father's. Given that you have a great grandad with the same name in the picture, you can just let both children carry his name. They can be proud of their name as they grow up. Worst case, you can always change both their names later if you think it's a good idea.

Rebecca - posted on 09/18/2011

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My children have their dads last name. All three have different names. Not the way I envisioned it but its what happened. I agree that both kids need their dads last name. My sons dad didn't see him for six years but he eventually remembered that he had a son and became a part of his life. You never know about the future. You may marry and your name will change. If you changes theirs and than divorced, would you change their names yet again?. Leave them the same as their fathers and instill great values in them both and change the awful cycle of the family name for the better. Make their name something to be proud of and not ashamed of......

Marla - posted on 09/16/2011

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give your baby the same last name as your other child otherwise he may feel he doesnt belong

Tricia - posted on 09/16/2011

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Change your sons name to double barrelled name yours and the fathers no hyphens.. give the baby the same name.. The reason i say no hyphen is because you can then choose to use either name on their own.. Your children can be registered in school under your name but will later have the option to use both together if they like! Normally I would say change the older childs name to just yours and give the baby just yours but the grandfather seems to have a lot of love for your son and by the sounds of it will do the same for the new baby... you seem to not want to hurt his feelings as well as have a good outcome for yourself and this is the only way i can think of solving this issue.. I really hope this has helped and my ramblings havent confused you :)

[deleted account]

You should be able to ask the court to establish paternity. I see that you are not in the states and don't know the laws there when it comes to paternity and child support. As far as the name, I would put it the same as your other child. They are full blooded siblings and should know that they will always have that bond. Don't make this about the Father. The CSA will find him, if not now, eventually. If you get it in 20 years, you can give it to the kids for school etc. You can do this without him. Don't even put another once of energy into fighting him into being there/apart of thier lives. He made a choice to leave, so be it. Keep your head up doll, you can do this. And enjoy Grandpa being around, it's a blessing.

Sun - posted on 09/16/2011

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In our society, in is customary for the child to have the father's last name. We don't get to pick and choose a last name, just because we regretted the choices of who we choose to procreate with. You already made your choice- as long as you were not raped, you made your choice. I'm really sorry that you decided after procreating that you chose the wrong person to father your child. But that's something that so many young people have had to deal with for a long time now. It seems like so many are trying to deal with their mistakes by trying to alter what happened. You and someone else chose to have sex and in turn had a baby. I understand if you feel as though that was a mistake, but to say that you are going to say that someone else is the baby's father on the birth certificate (and that is what is indicated by the last name, too)- is like falsifying records to suit your fancy.

Peggy - posted on 09/16/2011

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Again, I'm begging you to change your son's name to yours and to give the baby your name! I had a jerk father who was abusive and abandoned us at a very young age. My mom remarried and I ALWAYS hated having my a** hole father's name. I changed it myself when I was old enough but that didn't make up for having to grow up with that name and feeling out of place in the family I lived with and that loved me.

Natasha - posted on 09/15/2011

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kelly few posts up hit the nail on the head could not of said it better, my children are so proud of there family name, it is a huge thing, our family is big and very close, i think a last name is the biggest thing it is who you are

Natasha - posted on 09/15/2011

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What a situation to be in i feel sorry for you, can you change your other child's name to the same as yours? that is why i never put fathers last name as children's unless married and am thankful for it as now my children have my last name and we are not together. if i was you i would try change the child's name

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