Am I wrong for wanting my child to have my last name?

Elizabeth - posted on 03/28/2010 ( 250 moms have responded )

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I recently decided to give my child my last name instead of the father. Some say i shouldn't do that while others think I have every right but am i wrong

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Sharon - posted on 03/28/2010

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My kids have my last name. I don't give a shit and a half for what other people think.



Oh and I'm married to their father.

[deleted account]

It doesn't matter whether you are married to the father or not, like him or not, or if he's a good father or not. There is no law in the US that says a child has to be named after the father in any circumstance. Name your child whatever the heck you want. Why shouldn't a child be named after the mother? It is ridiculous to think the father has an automatic "right". There are many reasons to name a child after the mother (or father); do what you believe is best for your child and makes you happy.

JESSICA - posted on 03/30/2010

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MY YOUNGEST SON'S DAD PUT UP A HUGE FUSS ABOUT HIS LAST NAME BEING MY LAST NAME, SO HE TOOK ME TO COURT ABOUT IT AND CAUSED A SCENE. MY ADVICE: DO WHAT OUR JUDGE DID IN OUR CASE....GIVE YOUR CHILD BOTH LAST NAMES SEPARATED WITH A HYPHEN. LEGALLY, YOUR CHILD CAN USE BOTH OR EITHER ONE THEY WANT. ONLY CONFUSION CAN COME IF YOU DON'T AGREE WHAT TO PUT ON MEDICAL/DAYCARE STUFF. PRESCRIPTIONS HAVE TO BE ASKED BY EITHER LAST NAME FOR MY SON CUZ HIS DAD ALWAYS JUST USES HIS OWN LAST NAME, AND IT SOMETIMES CAUSES TROUBLE. GOOD LUCK (AND DON'T LET THE DAD PUSH YOU AROUND!) ;)

Jenny - posted on 04/01/2010

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Charlotte you make me want to barf! You are you to pass judgement just because it's not for you doesn't make it wrong! Women didn't have the right to vote for hundreds of years either would you like to go back to that as well? Have an open mind and realize what works for one person may not work for another.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2010

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I think that it depends on your situation. If the father is a part of the childs life then maybe you should leave the name alone unless he agrees to have it changed as well. But if the father is not going to have anything to do with the child then by all means give the kid your name. Ultimately though it is up to you and what you think is best for your kid.

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250 Comments

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Eve - posted on 04/01/2010

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It is up to you. I have two sons and am married to their father. The first son has my last name because it sounds better aesthetically. The second son has his last name because it sounds better with that son's first name. They're just names. You should do what you like. My only advice is to discuss it with the father if he is involved with the children and come to a compromise if necessary.

Susan - posted on 04/01/2010

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It's a personal decision and you have to do what is best for you. I chose to hyphenate...we are not married, the father is involed and a part of his life and identity so that choice worked for me.

Alexandra - posted on 04/01/2010

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Amen Danielle! Charlotte, this has nothing to do with ego...when men start bearing and being the primary caretakers for their children they can make these decisions. Until that time, if they are mainly acting as sperm donors, mothers need to do what's right for the child, even if that's putting a deadbeat dad behind them and not saddling the child with that guilt by association!

Alexandra - posted on 04/01/2010

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If you and the father are not married then there seems to be no question, the child shoud have your last name. If you get married in the future, it is a fairly simple matter to change the childs name if your husband adopts your child.



I was married to my son's father, but in the process of divorcing with the suspicion that he would most likely drop out of my son's life. Since I knew I would be the custodial parent, I gave him my name believing that it will be simpler in the long run when registering him for school, etc. The ex insisted on adding his name hyphenated, which I did do on his birth certificate, but don't use the hyphenated part day-to-day. Hope this helps! Good luck.

Petula - posted on 04/01/2010

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We split the decision. My daughter has both names hyphenated. Mine and then his. This way she can make the choice of which name she wants when she is older.

Susan - posted on 04/01/2010

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It's never wrong; it's your choice as the mother -- and if your baby's father is in the picture, then his choice along with yours. My oldest daughter has my last name as well and it's always been simpler for her because her dad wasn't an active part of her life although he loved her. She liked us having the same last name. Interestingly, it's not someone else's choice although they'll always have an opinion. Don't doubt your motherly choice!

[deleted account]

My friend just recently had a baby. It was agreed between her and her husband that if it was a girl, they would hyphenate her last name (knowing it would most likely be changed when/if she gets married). If it was a boy, it would carry just his last name since he would be perpetuating the family name. (She had a girl BTW) It's a personal choice. I chose to give my son his father's last name knowing we would get married eventually. (It took 6 years!) But you do what you feel is right for you.

Chontayne - posted on 04/01/2010

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It depends as my maiden name was HELL for me people assumed because of my name I was a feral person (I'm not of course) I never did anything to make people think this they just assumed due to this name tacked on the end of my name I was in the same class as those wankers before me... bottom line is my parents loved each other and still do after 36 years.. I was glad when I finally changed mine after marriage and both my kids have their dads surname... I think that if we were ever to separate my kids would keep their Daddy's last name as my kids were conceived from LOVE..

But in saying the above if Dad isn't going to be around it would make it easier I suppose - but I"m sure your baby was conceived out of love... For kids to grow up not knowing their dads and not having their dads on the BC and shit like that is cruel I see it all the time in my job kids not knowing who their fathers are or anything about them it is a disgrace..

Lesley - posted on 04/01/2010

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elizabeth; you are the mother of the child its you choice what surname you use ;i gave my children both my surname and there farthers surname on the birth cetificate ;and used my surname for school porpposes E.T.C as thay got older it was there choice which surname thay want to use ..good lucky with what ever you decide ;you make the decission yourself at the end of the day your the one that has to live with it not the people that are judging you ...

Jeannette - posted on 04/01/2010

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its up to you girl.dont listen to what others say there not living you life

Cindy - posted on 04/01/2010

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my daughter has her fathers last name and he isnt in her life 100% and we (her and i) have been talking bout it...she wants my last name to be hers also...it cost so much to do it thou and i dont have that kind of money to do it thou...do you have any ideas of where i can get it done....thank you

Melissa - posted on 04/01/2010

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My daughter has my last name and not the fathers. I would never give her his last name because he has only seen her once in her five years of life and basically wants nothing to do with her. So if dad is not in her life I say change it.

Anne - posted on 04/01/2010

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Our son has my last name and my husband's first name as his middle name. Friends raised eyebrows but it is fine. If you want to later, you can add husbands with hyphen.

[deleted account]

When my husband and I got married, I wanted to keep my last name and my husband chose to take my last name. I never understood how something could be "wrong" for a woman and that same thing not be wrong for a man. I don't like double standards and I think the decision is yours and the father's.

Carolann - posted on 04/01/2010

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There are many factors one considers when naming a child and I'm sure you have weighed these all up before coming to the decision you did. You have every right to name your child exactly what you want, so don't let anyone pressure you otherwise. A friend of mine was totally unsure, so she named them with a hyphenated last name and then later when the father was no longer part of the picture, she simply dropped the second part of the name. I say go with your gut instinct on this one - it's usually the right choice for your child.

Petula - posted on 04/01/2010

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We split the decision. My daughter has both names hyphenated. Mine and then his. This way she can make the choice of which name she wants when she is older.

Heidi - posted on 04/01/2010

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No you aren't. My son has got my last name especially as we'd split up during my pregnancy & weren't married. My daughter even has my last name too, I changed her name by deedpoll to mine, we weren't married & her dad stopped seeing her 10 years ago. I think it is good that we've all got the same last name.

Rosa Lee - posted on 04/01/2010

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Oh, by the way...Elizabeth,

If you wanted your child to have your last name, that would be fine if you placed his last name in the child's name. ( That's what I did)

Rosa Lee - posted on 04/01/2010

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Question: Why would you not give the child his/her father's last name? How do you think that makes the father feel?



I had a friend that did that, and she did that because she was not married. I had another friend who did that because it was not the "father's" child. What was YOUR reason, and did you even discuss or consider the father in your decision?



I am not trying to be mean. I am bluntly honest, and I always say what I feel (only my opinion) and not what people want me to say.



I feel like the issue of carrying your last name should have included the father, and if he was allright with that, then you were NOT wrong. If you did this without any input from the father, then that certainly is not right.

Barbra - posted on 04/01/2010

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what does the dad think? He has a say also if he's in the baby's life. Maybe hyphenated???/ (i.e., Smith-Jones) if he's not or he's a big ass, it's up to you and who cares what others say......

Cathy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I did the same thing with my daughter, I wanted her to have my last name since she was living with me and I knew I would never marry her father, she is so happy I gave her my last name and I never had to make any explanations to her school, doctors or teachers as to why we had different last names. she is 24 now and has thanked me since she was a teenager for giving her my last name. She did however give her children her boyfriends last name, I tried to reason with her but she did not want to make him angry. I thing you made the right decision, it worked well for me and you are your childs mother and the child will be living with you until adulthood. Good for you for standing your ground and not letting others influence you!!!

Karina - posted on 04/01/2010

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OK the 1st obvious anology is you are not married to the father right? If you are asking is it because the father wants to give the baby his last name? I am a single mother and I gave my daughter my last name. Only reason was because her dad wanted nothing to do with her. But believe me I would give anything for her father to recognize as his daughter and give her his last name like she deserves! My opinion is you cannot take that right away from your child unless the father refuses him/her.

Colleen - posted on 04/01/2010

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I gave my four year old son my last name, because his father wanted nothing to with him. My other kids have their father's last name and the thing of it is some times I wish I didn't do it either, but that's me being pissed at their father. Now my kids (at least two of them) are of age if they want to change their name if the so wish to do so. So no you are not wrong. If your child wants to do any thing different withn his/her name later on when of age let 'em.

Daisy - posted on 04/01/2010

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P.S. I have my mother's last name too. My mom decided not to give me my fathers last name cause they were not married... Maybe that's part of the reason I kept my last name hard to say I like to believe it is because my last name is just so awesome haha

Daisy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I am married and have been for 6 years, I kept my last name and my son has my last name too. My husband is not bothered by it at all. I keep trying to get him to change to our last name cause it is way cooler then his but either way not worried:)



If it works for you and your man then do it!!!!

Daisy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I am married and have been for 6 years, I kept my last name and my son has my last name too. My husband is not bothered by it at all. I keep trying to get him to change to our last name cause it is way cooler then his but either way not worried:)



If it works for you and your man then do it!!!!

Kelly - posted on 04/01/2010

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If your child will be living primarily with you, then he/she will want to be part of mom's team and have the same last name.

Christy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I gave my daughter my last name instead of her fathers. I knew that she would be with me 90% of the time and it would cause for less questions when she got to school. It worked. I can understand if you guys are close and it is going to be a boy and all the carrying on the family name and such, but if not i wouldn't worry about it.

Vicky - posted on 04/01/2010

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You have every right your baby anything you like, providing the name meets the very loose guidelines - which is why there are people in the world called things like "Moonbase Zappa". If its important for you to have your baby have the same surname, then go ahead and give the baby your surname. If you have a good relationship with the father, I would take his opinion into account, but ultimately you are the one that has the baby, you are the one who fills in the birth registration forms, and therefore you are the one ultimately responsible for the name of your child. Keep in mind that if you want some record of who provided the sperm, there's a space on the birth certificate for the father's name. The only reason babies got their father's surname is tradition, dating back to the time when there was no other way to determine who was the father of the child - and therefore who had a claim to his estate on his death (and there's probably been many a baby given the surname of a man who is not their biological father for this very reason - evn now)

[deleted account]

Give your child your last name. Once he is in school it will be easier too. I'm sure you will be the one most involved - it is just confusing for everyone if the child has a different last name than the Mom.

Gail - posted on 04/01/2010

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You are not wrong for wanting that, most Woment/mothers often wish for that very thing, however....when you join in matrimony (if you have with the father) then his name is the Surname of the family....therefore by societal tradition and marital law in most States of the USA it is the surname that the child is endowed with. A better way would be to hyphenate your childs last (sur) name then he/she will not be "different" from other children. Your last-father's last name. Think about your child identity as it grows to adulthood and not your feelings, this is a truly the maternal way.



Now if you are not married, then it is OK, for your child to carry your surname which is that of your father's.

Danielle - posted on 04/01/2010

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@charlotte....all i can say is wow.... whats been selfish for years has been all the kids that have had their fathers name and havent done shit for their kids... so why should a child carry a name when if anything it should be the mothers that ends up doing all the real work... from the door to the very end

Mimi - posted on 04/01/2010

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Im married, was for 6 years before our daughter came along and because were a family, were the "Kelly" family it was an automatic. However if your situation is more complicated and your family will not include the father and it will be your immediate family bringing up your child then maybe it should be Davis because that's the family the baby will be part of.

Danielle - posted on 04/01/2010

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its 2010 what does it matter whos last name he / she has...my youngest son has his last name as a first name and my last name as his last name... Mason Holmes

Andrea - posted on 04/01/2010

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Hi both of my children have my name. I live with my partner and both of our chldren are his but i am very happy with the decision i made. You have to do what you feel is right and what you want not worry about other people ;)

Stephanie - posted on 04/01/2010

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when unmarried men have children then they can give the children what name they like!

Brandy - posted on 04/01/2010

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isyour baby gana know her father? if so then i think she should most deff. have his last name.if not then no she should have yours. i have a 4yr old n i was never married to her father n em not with him anymore but she knows him n knows who he is. she has his last name. i also have a almost 3mo old son n im married to his father n he has his last name.

Zelda - posted on 04/01/2010

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Hello Elizabeth, if you are married to the dad, I would prefer giving the daddy's surname, but if not, rather give your surname, I gave the daddy's surname and can't do anything for my own child. It make me very sad!

Charlotte - posted on 04/01/2010

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I think you all are going to far with this. SO WHAT if you have to take the child to school and what not, how is it easier???? And so what if it is. I think it is the most stupid and selfish thing to not give the child the father's last name.

Charlotte - posted on 04/01/2010

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Yes you are wrong. The child should have the Father's last name. Period the end. that is how is should be. I know this is old fashioned, but I am old fashioned about this. If the father was a bad abusive person, I could see it, but if not, you don't have that right. The child should have his father's last name and you are being selfish.

Edith - posted on 04/01/2010

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U have every right to give your child ur last name. Your baby can have both last names if u want. My son has both last names and he goes by both last names.

Bex - posted on 04/01/2010

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Even if the father is involved, I believe that if you both decide to do so it should be done. I have a good friend who did so. There are so many personal reasons for doing it. One simply may be that you are sick of a patrilineal society when we do the childbearing. That is all the reason you need. Do not listen to others. Do what you feel is right for you and your family.

LISA - posted on 04/01/2010

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I gave my daughter my last name, due to the fact we are not married and i am the one that has to do the whole school thing and its just easier that way. In fact we are not together anymore and he is in her life , but i wouldnt change it ever. but its your decision and yours only to make .

Jacy - posted on 04/01/2010

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i think if the father isnt in the childs life at all then its your choice on what last name he/she has. i would disscuss with the dad if they are in the picture and see how he feels. you also can hyphen the name.

Missy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I agree with what Heather said. This is what I was trying to say in my first responce.

Lisa - posted on 04/01/2010

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I feel that if the father isnt a part of the childs life you have every right to do so. Recently i have been debating to change my son's last name to mine. His father is a deadbeat and never sees his son. I have child support which he doesnt pay, but im not to sure if im able to change it without his consent?

[deleted account]

Uhm, my biggest mistake was giving my child his fathers last name. Girl, give your baby YOUR last name, not the fathers, if thats what you really want to do.

[deleted account]

Uhm, my biggest mistake was giving my child his fathers last name. Girl, give your baby YOUR last name, not the fathers, if thats what you really want to do.

Girlio - posted on 04/01/2010

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You are not at all alone on that thought. My partner and I are not married and it is not in the forseeable future to get married (neither of us are really into the sacrament of marriage). But we talk about having a child/ren together. He has two from a previous relationship. I empathize with you on the last name conundrum. Does the baby take my last name and have a different one than its siblings or take dads last name and leave me the oddball out with a different name than all, and then trying to explain to teachers, doctors, and the child why moms name is different.



When my partner and I discussed it, he thought it would be "just the way things were" and he had never thought the baby would have his last name.



In dealing with his kids and ex, she wanted to change their kids last name to the boyfried de jour's last name...



Personally, I think that yes mom and baby should have the same last name so that means, should you plan on marrying dad and spending the rest of your lives together, then baby should have ALL of your last names (daddy's last name) however if there is even a remote hesitation in your mind of this, then definately keep your last name for the wee one.

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