Advice on baby having father's surname

Eilliee - posted on 01/28/2013 ( 88 moms have responded )

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Hi my son is 5 weeks old. My baby's dad walked out on me when I was 6 months pregnant. He did buy our son some stuff. My son doesn't have his dad's name on birth certificate and his dad hasn't seen him in over 2 weeks. He wants nothing to do with him unless I change his surname to his. I know he will not change his mind and said if I go to CSA he will not pay a penny and will play dirty (whatever that means). I could do with support as I know he would provide for his son. Please can I have some opinions on this.

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Cecilia - posted on 01/28/2013

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If he doesn't want to see his son, fine he doesn't have to. This does not mean he does not owe you support. There is little he can do in the way of stopping the court from ordering it. I know you want him to be in your child's life and feel you need to conform to his wishes but the truth is he's only making excuses. If he loved and wanted to see his child it wouldn't matter if you named it purple flying monster.

Cecilia - posted on 01/28/2013

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To petition the court for a name change-----

For a person under 14 years of age, the petition may be submitted by:

Both parents, if both are living, or the surviving parent.
The guardian or person who has legal custody of the minor if both parents are dead or if parental rights have been terminated by judicial proceedings.
The minor's mother, if the parents have not married, if the child is not adopted, and if paternity of the minor has not been established.
One parent, if that parent has been unable to locate or serve the other parent with the petition. If the other parent is notified and objects, and has not abandoned the child, the court will require consent of the non petitioning parent.

I know because i legally changed my son's name when he was 13. It wasn't to be nasty or anything. He never liked his first name and always went by the name Will. So we changed it to will and left his fathers last name intact.

Alienalias - posted on 01/30/2013

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Hi there... I'm a man on this site who joined when wifey and I were having some trouble and disagreements on baby girl and our sleeping arrangements. This place has been a great and supportive and helpful community, and I felt welcomed and encouraged by many here. So, hopefully you don't mind a mans perspective.

Although I will say his approach is wrong, and it is clearly a way of him doing what he can to force you into getting his way, a few questions to ask: Are you not naming the child with his last name as a means to punish him for his lowlife behavior? Do you believe he will be there for the child, be active, and be a daddy to this little boy once the dust settles on all of this?

My suggestion is this: Call him. Tell him you're hurt and heartbroken that he broke your trust, and that what he did was wrong, but that isn't the purpose of your call. The most important thing for BOTH of you to recognize is it's not about you, it's about this little boy. It's not about either of you, it is about HIM. Tell him you WANT to name the child his last name, but that if you do give him his last name and he disappears from the child's life it will break that little boys heart. Tell him it is time you both put your differences aside, and instead of making threats and accusing each other of stuff, you both put that beautiful little boy FIRST. Then tell him if he can demonstrate that he cares for this child, will be there for him, and be a daddy to this little man for his entire life, that you will change his last name to daddy's. Remain calm, don't get emotional, even if he gets upset. If he gets loud or angry, just say "_____(his name), I really want to make this work. It is incredibly important to me because this is no longer about me, but about our little man. Please just talk to me about this, and let's figure it out." If he doesn't, tell him you have to go and are willing to talk about this calmly and rationally when he is ready to do it.

Then, work something out, where if he DEMONSTRATES this is all due to the fact that he really loves this child, is planning to be there for him, and planning to be a DADDY, you will gladly give him dad's last name. If it is simply an ego trip and the guy is being an idiot, walk away and let the lawyers handle it. If he is willing to be rationale, and is simply heartbroken himself because he loves this little boy and has dreams of throwing a baseball with him, and his son being called by his last name with pride and joy, give it to him.

A son needs his daddy, and I see WAY too many emotional responses on here along the lines of, "Screw him! He's an ass! Forget that jerk!" Put those all aside and picture your little boy 13 years from now, looking up to daddy. No matter who you marry, this man will always be this little boys daddy, and if this man decides to be there for him, that little boy is going to look up to him and want to be like him, warts and all.

You have some figuring out to do, but I will tell you that if my ex-wife had decided to name my son her last name, my first reaction would have been anger, hurt, and pain. I NEVER would have threatened to not be in my son's life, but it would have KILLED me if she'd made that choice (even though I would've fought the decision in court). That is what this man is feeling, hurt, pain, loss of pride, and possibly some guilt for his own idiocy. Don't do anything knee-jerk here, and give it some time. Try to work with him, discover and learn his intentions and what is "really" going on with him and how he plans to be in this child's life, and move forward as an adult with putting any spirit of vindictiveness in your rear view mirror. It is about that little boy.

One other thing... it is REALLY hard for many dad's to connect with a tiny infant. Research it, as it is very common. We didn't carry them in the womb. We don't feel them kick inside of us, and we don't have that maternal, natural, motherly connection. Getting to see a child every other weekend for this little creature that just eats, poops, and cries, is weird for many men, especially if they don't have the opportunity to connect with that child via getting up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, calming their cries and hearing their coo's. If the guy is a "real man", he is going to come around, and you know this guy and his heart better than anyone, deception aside. Maybe he is a sex addict, or whatever. Maybe he's a scum bag, I don't know. If he is a good guy who has a problem or just did something dumb, work with the guy and don't do it for yourself, do it for your son.
My .02... good luck, and God bless!

Cecilia - posted on 01/29/2013

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you just said he doesn't want to be a dad or grow up. You think he really wants that baby? Even if he got shared custody, that won't matter too much. You really think he wants to be a full time single dad JUST to get back at you over a name? Plus to take a child off a mother requires real proof she is a danger to the child.

If you're a good mom, there is nothing he can do to you. End of story.

Firebird - posted on 01/28/2013

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You know, he could petition to the courts to have the baby's last name changed to his. Is it really that hard to work out a compromise? Why can't the kid have both your last names?

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Gwen - posted on 03/19/2013

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Don't let him take that baby without a custody order in place, from personal excperience he can walk into court moments after he leaves your house and get full TEMPORARY custody until you two go to court (14 DAYS LATER). Lucky for me I had money and a damn good lawyer so I had my boys back in under 48 hours. BUT HE CAN DO IT!!!!!! IT's shocking how damn easy it is.

Josie - posted on 03/18/2013

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Eilliee, two stories here: I carried my mom's surname since birth and my father's name was not on my birth certificate. When it came time for my mother to receive child support. My father openly claimed me as his biological daughter, without the need of DNA testing. He and my mother had an open agreement when it came to child support. I'm glad, though, that he was more present in my life than most fathers.
My son's biodad left when I was 7 months pregnant. When I gave birth, I was not able to include the name of his father on the birth certificate, unless he was present at the hospital. When my son was growing up, he had some questionable health issues. None of which anyone on my side of the family has. So about 5 years ago, after consulting my son and my husband, I did an internet search, in hopes to find his biodad and get some medical history information from him. Well, I found biodad and he denied being his father and a DNA test was required. When the DNA test proved his paternity, they enforced child support on him. The sad thing is, the state he lived in did not enforce prorating payments back to his birth date and only from the date of proof of paternity.
So, if you look at both situations, you have to really consider how the relationship between you and the father will be. Will you both be civil as the years go by? Will he be dependable if you should need any financial help? Really, there's no harm in having his biodad's surname, if you want to ensure that later down the line, he will be forced to provide financial support to your child.
I hope this helps in some way. Good Luck!

Eliza - posted on 03/18/2013

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Ok hun I am in basically in your shoes so I feel you on this. I dont know where youre from but check with your state laws. Where I am from if the dad misses 3 payments they go directly to jail. Also, whether they see them or not they still have to pay. Here it is 17% of their paycheck. So, you can either get a paternaty test and have your state force him to pay or have him give up his rights.
If hes acting this way because of the childs name theres more issues to him then you think and I would not want him around. Sounds like you deserve better and so does that baby. I wish men would stop treating their kids as if theyre just a paycheck.

Gwen - posted on 03/15/2013

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Hmm...you picked a real winner (I did too). Ha! Anyway, I gave both my boys their dads last name. I'm not a traditionalist by any means but I felt that it was appropriate as they are boys, had I had girls I believe I would have given them my surname. In retrospect, I do not regret my decision. As a side note, things will get better my dear, I have been where you are, give it a couple years. You will be happy again. (: Blessings!

Kayla - posted on 03/14/2013

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Dont give him the name. Let your baby have ur last name. My daughter kept my last name and when i got married my husbands able to adopt her bcuz she had my last name if not we would have had to go to court with the biological dad. Her biological dad did nothing for her so im happy for that

Crystal - posted on 03/14/2013

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Especially when ALL a child will have of that parent is their name... it's a damn shame indeed.

Teresa - posted on 03/14/2013

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I sure regret giving my son his so called fathers last name because he is one sorry ass. I was thinking about looking into getting it changed to my last name. His father has never been a part of his life. It looks like he would have tried to turn his life around after all these years but he's still the same way. I just don't want you to do something that you'll regret and have A hard time changing in the long run.

Teresa - posted on 03/14/2013

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My opinion is you should leave your baby's name just like it is. If your son's father wanted his son to have his last name he should of put a ring on your finger, got married, spent some quality time together, and then have a child. He is just making up excuses not to spend time with son and that's a damn shame. I would tell his ass to let's play dirty then because what in the hell is he going to do he sure isn't going to try and get custody. All he's doing is making his bed hard and his ass would lie in it if it were me. Don't change your sons name take it from someone who knows you will most likely regret it if you do .

Lindsay - posted on 03/14/2013

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My ex did the same thing to me! Cheated on me and left me when I was 7 months pregnant. My son has my last name and I wouldn't change it to my ex's last name ever. File for support. They will enforce it and garnish his wages if he chosen to play dirty.

Amanda - posted on 03/12/2013

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First i feel horrible that you are going through this...and that your son is in the middle of it! Your x isn't being fair to either of you, and he is being VERY selfish. Your son doesn't need to have him be in his life that bad. It's pretty pathetic that a father has to have excuses to be a part of his own childs life. It just shows what kind of a father he will be. From what i would gather is he is just trying to control you. In the end it has to be your decision. But you have to think about that precious little boy's life. The way i look at it, is that it is up to us mothers to make those decisions for our little ones as they can't speak for themselves. It's a very hard decision. And puts alot of pressure on us as a parent! Good luck to you!

Crystal - posted on 03/11/2013

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Good to hear. I hope all goes well for you two. I hope it's a lasting love he finds for his baby boy.

Eilliee - posted on 03/11/2013

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Hi my baby's dad has finally come around to support him. We are changing the surname in a few weeks if all goes well... that could yet change.

Crystal - posted on 03/10/2013

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"He wants nothing to do with him unless I change his surname to his"

Right there, that tells me this 'man' is no man at all. He doesn't deserve the wonderful blessing that is children and should consider getting snipped or grow the F up!

My daughter has her fathers surname, we're not married, however her father is with me still and loves her (regardless of name) to the ends of the earth and back. I wouldn't have had it any other way. However, had he walked out on us and made such an ultimatum, not only would I have kept her surname under her moms (you know the parent that is 1000% dedicated to making the best life for her) but he would have to prove it to her and me that he's much of a man at all.

Sada - posted on 03/10/2013

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my fathers name is on my birth certificate though i know who he is i have my mothers surname and glad as if is a deadbeat
my uncles daughter has her mothers surname even though it is on the birthcert and he was present for the first 6 years of her life before he let the drugs take over
my brother has my mothers surname
my three cousins have their mothers surname and is not on the birthcerts he turned out to be a serial cheat and deadbeat and ignores one of them the youngest and offered his surname to his eldest who is doing really well in sports
my other aunt is married and her three kids have his surname
another aunt who married her partner after 20 years and two kids who have his surname
so i think it all depends on what the woman's situation is and her choice a dad should be there no matter what and i think this is just a control issue and he cant deny you maintenance although i will suggest you have his wages garnished so you don't have to chase him down everyting which happens a lot

Cecilia - posted on 03/09/2013

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I went through it in NY and PA. It is not going to take forever. It takes longer to change a name than it is to get a DNA test. That you can't dispute. The full process of name changing can take 4 months to a year to fully complete. A DNA test once done, at most might take 2 months to finalize.

Even with the last name, he might still want DNA done. So there for time was wasted changing the name.

Ella - posted on 03/09/2013

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Cecelia Baily-depending on where u live,some courts take a lot longer. It's not a walk in the park. If you've ever been in this type of situation,you'd understand better. Guys like him plays lots of mind games. You give in they don't want it,u don't give in,they get dirty. All I was trying to say is be prepared for anything. Ellie,good luck.

Allyshia - posted on 03/09/2013

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What he means by fighting dirty is taking jobs that pay under the table, under reporting his income, changing jobs every 6 months, etc so he doesn't have to pay as much, claiming to be unemployed. I don't think he understands the system as much as he thinks he does though. I don't know what state you live in, but many states have a minimum, and will base the amount off of what both parents make, not just him. They also don't accept unemployment or underemployment as an excuse for nonpayment. I have known unemployed fathers end up in jail for not paying their child support, because at least in VA, they put you in jail for that. They also garnish paychecks (why some men change jobs every few months), and revoke drivers' licenses for it.

If he wants to fight dirty, let him. Let Child Support Enforcement fight dirty back.

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2013

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Why is he making any demands? Do not allow him to have that control. Keep your baby's name what you want it to be, as you are the one who carried it all alone without him in the picture. Take him to court and get child support from him. The last name doesn't have to match his, just the DNA.

Doris Nkiru - posted on 03/08/2013

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Hi, I know u must moved on with your life by now, but your sons identity is what we are talking about... Give the man right over his son, it gives them joy to know the have an offline... He cares I bet he does

Nicole - posted on 03/08/2013

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Hyphenate. That is what I did. My last name isn't the same as my husbands, therefore, I hyphenated. That satisfied all...

Doris Nkiru - posted on 03/08/2013

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Go ahead give the baby the father's last name.... Besides is his blood line and you own him that to have a sense of belonging since he choose to walk out which I term childish.....

Lisa - posted on 03/07/2013

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I know in some states if you don't give your child the father's last name he has to adopt his child. Don't do it. I grew up without my father's last name. Glad I did. He wasn't really around either. He comes around sometimes now that I'm older and wants my kids to treat him like his is Grandpa. I tell them to say hi smile and nod. But he was part time in my life. And less in theirs.

Jenille - posted on 03/07/2013

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Hi. I am a single mom and my son is recognized by his father. My son is using his father's surname. I am happy that my son is recognized but what is in a name anyway. His father plainly recognized him and just see and come visits our son only on his birthday. What is in a name anyway. keep praying to God!

Angel - posted on 03/06/2013

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I dont think u should it if he wLked out on you and if u callCSA he has yo pay or he goinh to jail

Ana - posted on 03/06/2013

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GOD will provide for you & baby boy. It may get hard & you may get tired but GOD will never leave you or forsake you or "do you dirty"..he's a father to the fatherless... & a husband to us women. I had my son in my teens...the journey felt long & hard, I was hurt deeply, but with the love of my son (who has my last name :) & with the love & strength of GOD in heaven I grew stronger & made it thru. Years up the path we met a real man who stepped up & stepped in. He is now my husband(4 years :) & is teaching my son what the first one couldn't...how to be a real man..and we do plan on adding my husbands last name to his.
Pray baby gurl..GOD will show you the way :) † ♡

Angela - posted on 03/05/2013

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this guy is nothing but a selfish prick and will have karma pay him a visit, makes me so angry when there are guys like these around

Holly Lynn - posted on 03/05/2013

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i dont think u sud have to go through that at all if he dosent wanna see his son he dosent have to u sud just let him go because he sounds like bad news he cud bribe u with anything wich isnt good at alll like if hes saying he will play dirrrty thats counted as some kinda hurasment and u can def call the cops i dont think u wud want him apart of u or ur childs life just for safty cuz it was his choice not to be around and i dont think u sud have to deal with that

Miranda - posted on 03/05/2013

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I ran into this prob. I wouldnt change the babys name if dads not in the picture.
I live in FL my x seen his kids every other weekend and WED. The court in FL will order you to change the babys last name to dads.BUT ONLY IF HE PUSHES!! At least where I live. I didnt know my dad. my mom gave me his last name and ive still yet to meet the guy.. good thing i was a woman and my name changed when i married. lol
I hope you find what works for you and your child. My kids are both older 8 and 6 and I was just ordered to change the last name. Not fun when they are already in school.

Joanna - posted on 03/05/2013

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When he walked out on (a pregnant) you at 6 months he also walked out on his son. He hasn't seen his child over a name? That's absurd I think you are a smart woman for giving your child your last name and I wouldn't change it for him. Go get that child support, maybe things will change when he's paying for a child he doesn't see due to his own ignorance. Keep your head up!

Danielle - posted on 03/04/2013

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wow let him play dirty as he put it no matter what visitation and support are two different things and regardless of what he thinks the courts will not allow him to go without paying child support. By the way if he is gonna be that way now it sounds like he is gonna be like he is gonna come up with various reasons why he dont come see him you see this may make you upset right now but once your son gets old enough and realizes how his father is he will realize the type of woman and mom you are. I know its difficult right now cause I am a single mom of two with no support but that is by choice because in most states the law is when a child is of age they can sue a parents estate for back child support so I dont want anything from him if he doesnt want to be in my kids lives and when they get older it will be their choice and he wont be able to do anything about it. my kids have my last name by the way

NinaPatricia - posted on 03/02/2013

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My son is now 20, he has his father last name but has never met him. A father would be a father regardless of the last name. I opted to have it for what I though was my son's benefit (I thought a the time) but he never had any interest in him. Put your feelings aside, if you think your child should have his last name then go for it, but bare in mind his father is still not going to be around (sorry Hon, but for what you tell us he wont be around).

My Son is going to change his last name.

Cecilia - posted on 03/01/2013

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Esther- No there is nothing bad about giving the child the fathers last name. In our culture we are allowed to choose. We can even choose to keep our own names when we marry. We have choice.

She made her choice on giving her son her surname, her choice was based on what she thought was the best choice for her child. He is trying to bully her into changing her mind. That's where the problem is. I do not like bullies no matter what age. He was trying to scare her by telling her he won't pay child support, help or and maybe even take the child because of her choice. That is a bully since she has every right to make that choice without worrying about these issues.


Ella ,
That is not true what so ever. She can get child support just as easier without doing any of the things you suggested. All you need is a DNA test which requires a cheek swab, and a week of waiting.. you need to do this even with the last name and him signing the birth certificate!


Eilliee, How is it going with you? I havn't seen you post recently and wondering what you chose to do since you first posted a month ago.

Lisa - posted on 03/01/2013

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Forget about changing your son's last name. Get an attorney and go to court, establish paternity and have him pay child support. Making demands that you change the name or he won't pay is ridiculous and what happens when you give in and he still won't pay.

Ella - posted on 03/01/2013

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If you need the support,give him the last name. When your son gets older,he can change it if he wants. Make him pay for his son. You can still make him pay for your son even if his name isn't on the birth cert. it'll just take a lot longer and more stress for you. Get what you can out of him. Been there done that. Waist of time and money. Good luck

Alicia - posted on 03/01/2013

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I think he's trying to be controlling in a situation where he already opted out. Do nothing he wants unless his actions show that he is ready to commit to being a full-time father. God always makes a way. The financial situation will work out without his assistance, demands, or threats. Someone who was really interested in being a parent would just do it without stipulations. Courts will always rule in favor of the child's best interest, so don't be afraid of losing your son.

Constance - posted on 03/01/2013

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Our children have both of our names but my husband would have been fine with only my name.

The father of your child is being a child over a name. A father's love shouldn't come with a price.

Phoebe - posted on 02/28/2013

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Im a young mom and I kind of went through the samething but in the end i gave her, her dad last name but it really up to you need to do what's best for you and your baby if you don't think he's going to change then you will not really want your baby to know that he have an ass hold daddy I think it's best to not have a daddy than to have a daddy that hates you, im sure that you do not want to see your baby going through a hard time with the dad.

Amanda - posted on 02/28/2013

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My 3 yr old son has had my last name from day one. We established paternity (even though there was no question about it, he insisted) and I got child support set up. He still doesn't see my son. I am the sole guardian and he doesn't have visitation. If they were real men, they would realize that the name isn't the most important thing. They would understand that being a father is more important than the name. I said if he gets his act together and is a dad to my son before he starts kindergarten, then I would have his name changed...he has another year and a half to go and I still have yet to see any effort made on his part. Do what you think is best for your child. Do not let dad pressure you into doing something that you do not feel comfortable with. You are mom and you are the only constant in that child's life.

Monique - posted on 02/28/2013

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and whether he likes it or not if you go through the proper process for support for you child then bilaw he has to pay you whether he sees the child or not. A name is a name. id be most concerned about the support then the surname. make sure he helps provide for the child you both created together!

Monique - posted on 02/28/2013

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im not sure where u live but here in the province of ontario if parents do not agree on the surname government will hyphenate it combining both surnames

Jenny - posted on 02/27/2013

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All you need is DNA test to prove he's the father. Take his butt to court! I was left at 5 months pregnant, gave my daughter MY last name, not my "Doner's" name. I didn't need his support anyway. So, she's never met him, and he's never paid a penny to support her. She's now 17 and totally fine without him. Though, I never kept any
information away from her. She knows his name, knows his parents names, and if she chooses to look for him someday, that's up to her. ( at this point, she says, " what's the point?") This is just my story, but the baby's last name should have nothing to do with him supporting his own child. Maybe if he proves to be a good dad, you can change it later on..... but, he's left before, what makes you think he won't leave again??

Skylee - posted on 02/27/2013

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I'm pregnant, as of now still with the baby daddy. Both of us have agreed that the baby will have my last name until we get married... Real men will think of the baby over himself.

Esther - posted on 02/26/2013

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Am a Nigerian, that's our culture, a child must bear his father's name, so I don't see any thing bad about it

Alienalias - posted on 02/25/2013

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"love your son more than you dislike his father ... negotiate ... negotiate ... negotiate"

Excellent post. What I was trying to say a couple pages back.

Krissy - posted on 02/25/2013

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My son has MY last name and I have never had a problem filing for child support for him. He is now almost 5 years old. So don't let anyone scare you about that. There is no need to change your sons name.

Martina - posted on 02/24/2013

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I dont know which country you are in ... but over here in Australia ... child support will be taken out of his wages .. and if he owes child support ... no tax return or him being able to travel overseas ... so let the courts decided the financial support ......In relation to his surname. Why not suggest that he sign the birth certificate and then he can have his last name ... you could always put your last name as a middle name for your child ... stops the couble barrel name ... the child will have his fathers name on the certificate ... and also see (hopefully) his father as he will share his fathers surname. From experience ... a boy needs role model and if he doesnt see his biological father (even if its his fathers decision) ... he will blame himself for the rest of his life ... love your son more than you dislike his father ... negotiate ... negotiate ... negotiate

Synthia - posted on 02/24/2013

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Both surnames means you can drop his later on if you choose to, but your baby will always be able to grow up knowing his father and his heritage, as hard as it may seem.

Laura - posted on 02/22/2013

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Seriously? It amazes me that men want nothing to do with the child when it's convenient for them but when he see the miracle that is your son...... well, that's his son and he better have his name. I had a similar situation where my daughter's father was not in the picture until the very end, was not there when she was born and guess what? She has my last name. THAT is a privilege, not a right. Things are worlds better now and we are all living as a family - quite happily - but the name stays. Sorry. DNA tests were done and he is the father ( like I had any doubt ) soooo it's child support or let's make this work and all love each other. And PLAY DIRTY??? How old is he? Unless he's going to flee to a foreign country until your son is 18 then he can shut up with the threats. You need to get your child support in order ASAP. And, by the way.....he won't have to pay a penny.... they will garnish his wages. Good Luck, Sweetie.

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