My baby's last name??

Kayla - posted on 10/19/2010 ( 200 moms have responded )

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so i am very close to my due date and i am still deciding if i want to give her my last name or her dad's last name my last name is Osterholm which is kind of a difficult name to grow up with and his last name is Gonzalez. me and the dad are off and on dating...its been complicated so my question is should i use my last name or the dad's?

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Casey - posted on 10/19/2010

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If it was me I would probably want to give her my last name, I just think that if things are still undecided between you and her dad then she might as well have your name until you decide weather you are going to marry or not and if when then time comes you need to change her surname then you can cross that bridge then, but it will be easier when she goes to school and even while shes in hospital if she has your name so people can just put two and two together. How does her dad feel about it? would he prefer her to have his name or is he ok with whatever you decide on?

Jodi - posted on 10/20/2010

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I would go with your last name. It is a pain in the neck sometimes having a child with a different last name. My son has his dad's last name (we were married at the time), but I have remarried and changed my name, and there have been a couple of times this has been an issue. It also makes it more difficult when you travel internationally - even though I have full 100% legal guardianship of my son, and I have a court order to that effect, I am not allowed to travel without a letter from his dad saying he is ok with it. If we had the same last name, I'm pretty sure no-one would even question it as long as he had a passport.



So given your relationship isn't that stable, I'd definitely go with your last name because it may avoid future complications.

Charlotte - posted on 10/26/2010

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Since its on and off, I would stick with your own. You can always use Dad's last name as a middle name so, she has it as part of her identity but doesn't have to hyphenate. Good luck and enjoy your little girl :)

Alison - posted on 10/20/2010

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There is nothing inherently wrong with the name Osterholm. Imagine the two possible scenarios: 1) you call her Gonzales, but he totally disappears or turns into a deadbeat dad. 2) You call her Osterholm, you resolve your differences with her dad and he holds a grudge over the name thing for the rest of your days. Decide which scenario is more desirable or undesirable.

And remember:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Hayley - posted on 10/20/2010

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my partner & i aren't married but we have a child together. when our son was born my partner wanted his last name & i wanted mine. we ended up compromising & gave him both our last names hyphenated with his name first so that if we marry we can drop my surname from the end & if not he can keep both our names unless he decides to change it when he gets older.

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Bobbi - posted on 10/26/2010

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You should use your's.You will always be in the child's life and she will always have a connection to you through your last name. I have had the same cituation and cost a lot of money to give the child the name that should have in the beginning.

Laurie - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hi, I think you should use your last name on everything. There will come a time when she will notice you have different last name and ask about you about it also when she is old enough and wants to have her dad's last name than you can deal with it then. Good luck and congrats - baby girls are the sweetest. Hugs

Sandra - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think the baby should have her dad's name.the baby should know her dad.

Marybeth - posted on 10/26/2010

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In my personal opinion ,since you and the baby's father are off and on.I would put the baby's name in your name. Is the father going to pay child support or try and get away with it

Gail - posted on 10/26/2010

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Today, anything goes...but I certainly would keep my children under my name... For the most part, father's come and go, and when she gets married, who knows, she may or may not change it...

Alison - posted on 10/26/2010

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It should be his last name. That's still his child even if you guys don't get married. My step son has his mother's last name ( was supposed to be my husband's last name and she changed it last second because she was mad it him) and it's always bothered my husband that his son doesn't have his last name (he has 4 children with me and they all have his last name). You also have to think about the future. What if you guys do get married? Will you change the name then? She would have to get used to another name then. And depending on where you live the father could petition to have it changed anyways.

[deleted account]

I realize that if you and her dad don't work out, you'll most likely be the one who does most of the parenting and so I can see how you might want to give her your last name. But even if you two don't work out, he is still her father. She is still gonna love him, she is still gonna want him in her life even if you two don't work out. And I'm not saying this with attitude so please don't take it the wrong way, but it's not all about you, it's about her. She's gonna want you forever and she's gonna want him forever. Why wouldn't you want to give her something as binding as his last name as a gift from her father and from you? I saw your comment below, that he wants to give her his name. Translation - he wants to be in her life too. Why not give her that?
Look at it thru her eyes. He will always be her father. You might be able to replace him with a different lover, but your daughter could never replace him with another dad.

Michele - posted on 10/26/2010

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In my state if you are not married the child would take the mothers name. unless the father is at the delivery and he signs the birth certificate.Check your laws

SARAH - posted on 10/26/2010

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My daughters bio-dad was very angry I wouldn't give her his last name as her last name! He was a flake & I was scared I would someday have to explain why she had a different last name from me & answer why he wasn't around! I got around his anger by hyphenating her middle name!!! He did turn out to be a dead-beat & I was VERY happy she had my last name (that I always hated) WIseman! Now I am married & my hubby adopted her so I guess it didn't really matter what last name she was born into....

You gotta do whatever is comfortable for you!!!!

Priya - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think you should give her both your surname and her dad's - even if you are on and off with your boyfriend, he will always be your baby's dad and you will hopefully always want her to have a relationship with him so this way she has a link to him but she also has your mark, you being the most constant person in her life.

Shana - posted on 10/26/2010

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Yes, this is true, but, in order to keep things easy, such as paternity tests and such, and future "questions" is all I was saying. Just keep it simple.

[deleted account]

But wouldn't it be on the birth certificate any ways, the fathers name that is? It doesn't mean that the baby HAS to have the fathers last name. Like if there are not too many people in the mothers family with that name, and you want it to continue (and since you are not married) you can call her Dolly Parton if you want.

Shana - posted on 10/26/2010

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In some states, if the baby has the mothers last name, it's harder to get the father to make child support payments. Just something to keep in mind. Find out the laws in your state.

Rebecca - posted on 10/26/2010

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Yeah, if you and the dad aren't solid, I'd DEFINITELY give her your surname. If you name her Gonzalez, and later (for whatever reason) you want to change it, it will not ever change on her birth certificate, and then you'll need to carry around extra documentation at all times, just in case there's ever a question of parenthood. Not worth the hassle if you and your (ex?)boyfriend are so... unpermanent.

Heather - posted on 10/26/2010

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the post regarding a hyphenated name is an alternative that could work, but it will NOT be her choice to drop one name until she is 18 years old. Both parents on her birth certificate must consent to a name change, unless one parent has legally given up parental rights.....

Tanja - posted on 10/26/2010

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I would give her both. 'Osterhom-Gonzalez... It's long, but it honours both parents role. I grew up with an uncertain surname because of a similar situation, and I think by using both parents last names your child will feel as if she doesn't have 'to choose' between the two parents. If at a later stage your child wants to drop one of the names, it will be her choice.

Heather - posted on 10/26/2010

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I gave my daughter her Dad's last name, it was one of my worst decisions aside from telling him I was pregnant in the first place. I am now married to someone else. With his son, and my daughter we have 4 different last names, very confusing! I constantly get called "MRS. (her Dad's last name)" it's very annoying and confusing with school and doctors offices etc. If you give her your last name, and decide later on you'd like to change it you can, if you give her his last name, you can't change it without his permission if his name is on the birth certificate. You may not want him on the birth certificate if you think he may not stick around unless you think you'll have to fight him to get child support. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

If you are on again, off again, what's to say dad will be more on again then off once the baby is born? I would use your last name, afterall, you seem to have managed it for this long. Just do the baby a favor, and don't call her some thing like Olive or Pearl.

JoAnn - posted on 10/26/2010

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My daughter has this exact situation in that she has a child w/ the father's last name. Now they are not together and the child started school, she thinks that when she puts her name on things she is spelling our name...My daughter is going to change her child's last name so that she doesn't wonder why she is the only different one in the family. The father has nothing to do with our precious grandchild, by his choice.

KIM - posted on 10/26/2010

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I made the mistake of giving my child 2 last names (mine and her father's, in that order). He was on/off, as well, but never even showed up to sign the birth certificate. She is now almost 6 and I am now going through the costly process of having his name dropped from her legal name. I would have done this differently knowing what I know now.

Remember, you can add the name later or the child can opt to change their name as they get older, but I would advise having your last names match. It is confusing for the child, the school system and doctor's visits when your last names are different.

Kathleen - posted on 10/26/2010

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I was advised (even though we were getting married soon) to give the twins his last name because if anything were to happen, he would be held responsible to pay child support for the children. Sometimes they will make you wait for a DNA test if they want to say the kids are not theirs. I do not know how true that is, it was from a step sister that has three kids with three different men.



I had a friend that hypenated her daughters name with her name first and the dad's last. She just recently stopped using her dad's last name and since everyone knew her as Victoria Majkowski-Bunch Changing to just Victoria Majkowski is not a big deal.



Unfortunately after 18 yrs my kids dad and I separated. I have a different last name than my kids but never had a problem with it other than people calling me by their last name. Getting them into school or taking them (mostly my son, the daredevil) to the hospital. I think in the hospital they do not always remember names but see you together and match you that way. They always look at the chart to figure out how to address you.



Hope this helps and good luck with the relationship with the dad, hope you guys can talk and works things out, It's never perfect and you have to pick your battles so both of you win from time to time.

Jeanne - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hi Kayla,

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby. I think that you should do what you feel is right for you. What does the dad have to say about this? Does he want the child to carry his last name or is he leaving it up to you. You also have to check the laws in your area (whether it be state or province) to find out if you get to make that choice or not. Here in Alberta, you have to chose to register the child with the father's name or the baby is automatically registered with the mother's last name (even when married). In Quebec (where I am originally from) you are allowed to chose or to hyphenate the baby's last name. What my parents did to include my mother's family name was to include it in our middle names...also a possible solution. Do what you feel is right for you and the dad and not what anyone else might say....this is your baby.....and in the long run you will find what fits for you. Good luck.

Candyce - posted on 10/26/2010

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Use yours unless you're in a committed relationship. Some states may require you to give the child your own name if you and the father are unmarried. It just makes things much less complicated in the event y'all don't actually settle down together.
Blessed Be

Solmarie (NaNi) - posted on 10/26/2010

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Ok. Now I would say the dad's, but not because yours is difficult to grow up with. I feel like even if you & the father are on and off doesn't mean you should take the privilege away from the child. She should be able to carry something of her father. I was stuck in the same situation, but without a doubt I used her father's. Plus in my family; married or not it's tradition.

Beth - posted on 10/26/2010

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My husband and I have different last names. We hyphenated our sons name. I will admit its a big burdensome name with a big hyphen.

If I had it to do over, I'd have tried to convince my husband to let him have my name only . Would have been a difficult thing to convince him of, but really, why should a child have the fathers name and not the mothers?

Liz - posted on 10/26/2010

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I share a last name with my first 3 children, but not the fourth. Some members of my family had disueded me from changing my name back to my maiden name after my husbands death saying that it might make the children feel like we aren't a family anymore. After naming my fourth after her father (we're not married) I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter much. She knows that she's my daughter regardless of the name. The biggest confusion is at the school... They keep calling me Mrs Watrous... My name is Ms Murphy, lol. Of course, there is always the option of hyphenating the name for legal documentation, and teaching her the easier name to use until she's older. You'd be surprised at how fast they learn things. In fact, they don't know what they can't do until you tell them they can't, and don't know that something is hard unless you tell them so. I think she would learn your last name just as easily as her fathers if you start teaching her early. My 6 yr old can spell Morgan Jessica Cecelia Watrous as easily as she can spell cat, and she is NOT all that bright.... just an average kid.

Guess I'm not much help. Sorry

Kelly - posted on 10/26/2010

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give her your last name, if you do end up getting married it will be easier to have the last name changed then. Also I don't know how common the name Gonzalez is where you are at but here it is very common. At least with the last name of Osterholm, her teachers will remember who she is. hope this helps. you can put his name on the birth certificate as the father but that doesn't mean you have to go with his last name.

Alysia - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think if the dad is going to be in the child's life - whether or not he stays in yours - then you should use his last name. I don't think the question is whether or not your and his relationship is solid, but whether or not his and the child's will be. If you think it will be hard for you to get things done when you have primary custody of the child, how much harder will it be for him when he doesn't have primary custody. My parents were divorced when I was 5 and I kept my dad's name and my mom went back to her name. We never had a problem with her having a different last name. Having my dad's last name allowed me to stay connected to him (in a small way) that was important as I didn't see him as often. The child is his too, not just yours.

Courtney - posted on 10/26/2010

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I was in the same sitituation when I was pregnant with my daughter, When I had her she had my last name until she was about 3 months old and then we had it changed to her real dad's last name. Well we broke up for good and have not even thought about getting back together, well Im now married to a really great guy and my daughter's father has nothing to do with her, she doesnt even call him daddy she calls my husband daddy bc that is the only daddy she knows, now my husband and I want to have her last name changed to mine and we have to go through a lot of legal papar work, and its been very hard on me this whole time bc her father doesnt do anything to help out or even pay child support.... Im not saying the same thing will happen to you but just keep an open mind about giving her your last name.

Sally - posted on 10/26/2010

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I gave my child his father's last name and regret it terribly. If he is committed to the child then you can always change her name later. If he was committed to you and the baby; marriage would be involved and the name wouldn't be an issue. People always assume that he has my last name and I get a sinking feeling every time I have to correct someone; especially since his dad chose to not be involved in his life. Do you like your last name? Do you have good family with that name? If so, then she won't have a problem with it.



Also, even though my child has his father's last name; he is not financially responsible for him or responsible for him in any way. Please take that into consideration.

Sarah - posted on 10/26/2010

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Use your last name. It makes things more confusing when they are learning last names and how to spell them.

Michelle - posted on 10/26/2010

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That is a difficult decision. Is Dad planning on being part of your daughter's life? I know it was frustrating for my kids when I got divorced and I did not keep the name. They wanted mine to be the same as theirs. Hope this helps. Good luck with everything! Congrats and Hugs. Just concentrate on your pregnancy and enjoy it.

Joyce - posted on 10/26/2010

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By giving the child the fathers last name, will make him financally responsible if you need it.

Amanda - posted on 10/26/2010

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Its really all up to you.....is the dad going to stay in your life and be a good father is the question I would ask myself. Its really up to you my mom gave me my dads last name then we changed to her maiden name. Later when I got back with my dads side of the family I was always asked why did you change your last name you're not our sister blah blah blah. Its hard to explain everything that happened. I would say pray about it and the lord will give you the answer.

Katherine - posted on 10/26/2010

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Since things are so unstable with her father, I would go with your last name. I wasn't married to my daughter's father when I had her and I wish now that I had just given her my name, but hey, not much i can do about it now.

Heather - posted on 10/26/2010

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My sister went through this when she had my nephew last year. She is living with the baby's father and originally gave him his father's last name. But when she went home she just didn't feel right about it yet. Her and the baby's father were having some tough times and it could have been hormones or what but before the paperwork went through she went and changed his last name to hers. The father wasn't too happy about it (still isn't) but she just tells him that if they ever get married then they can change it then. They have had some ups and downs and hopefully things will work out for them, but if not then the baby has her name & she felt better about that. Do what feels right for you.

JENNY - posted on 10/26/2010

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THIS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE A QUESTION, THE BABY SHOULD HAVE THE FATHERS LAST NAME ! THIS IS PART AF A PERSONS HERATAGE DONT DENY THAT FROM HER.

Loralie - posted on 10/26/2010

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My granddaughter used her last name with her first child and the father's last name with her second. The first child she has total guardianship over. Even though we found out the second child actually does not belong to the man she named on the birth certificate, she gave him parental rights by putting his name on it. They are no longer together and he is making as much trouble for her as he can. He knows he is not the biological father, but is constantly trying to get custody of the child. I hope this helps you with your decision.

Casey - posted on 10/26/2010

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What it comes down to is that it's your decision. If you feel like the father is actually going to be very involved in your child's life then use is name but if youre already at odds and dont tink hes going to be there, use yours. youre doing all the work right now anyway right? WHat if down the road you get married and that man wants to adopt your child and give them is last name? It will be easier to just use yours. no matter how difficult the decision might be, it is your decision.

Kelly - posted on 10/26/2010

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"A rose by any other name would still smell just as sweet"

Don't sweat the small stuff, flip a coin :)

[deleted account]

Definitly use her Dad's last name. If you are on-off with him, it still does not change the fact of who her father is. Chances are that baby will stay with you, so it would be nice for the baby to have a piece of Dad, because no matter what, you can't change where she came from. It's a fact of life. You have to start thinking of baby and not just you anymore. Just be sure you make the right decision, because you will have a very hard time changing it once it's done. Good Luck!

Kim - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think that if you are not sure if you are going to be with the dad for the rest of your life then you should give the baby your last name. I think that both those last names will be a bit difficult to grow up with. If I had it over again I would have given my son my last name rather then his father but I didn't think that he would walk out on me like he did when my son was 2 and a half. So what I am saying if you are unsure about whats going on with you and the dad then just give the baby your name rather wishing you did in the first place. I hope that this helps a bit

Rosann - posted on 10/26/2010

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I think you should give the baby both for legal reasons. You want to be able to get child support or any other benefits that the baby is eligible for via her father and having the same last name helps. You can also drop his last name from your everyday usage but put in the birth certificate and other official documents. If he's not on the birth certificate or you don't give her his last name, you might have to go through hassles. I am not a lawyer. I have just heard of these kinds of issues from others.

Cathy - posted on 10/26/2010

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My daughter is two and we still haven't decided! Daddy has said fine to go with my name but that doesn't feel fair even though i would like that! So un named she remains :(

Christina - posted on 10/26/2010

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That is tough. I think if she is going to be with you full time she should have your name. It makes things easier. And in the future if you and the father get together for good(married) you can change her name to match yours. Hope that helps.

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