to stand by Ds wanting to change his name?

(305 Posts)
poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:13:15

Ds is seven, his father and I seperated when he was just a couple of months old. I met my now husband when he was 18 months old, and he now has two brothers. He sees his dad evey other weekend.

DS has his fathers surname, but for the last year he has wanted my surname (the same as my husbands and his brothers), he just started to write it at school and at home. As a compromise I suggested that he use both names, and we approached his Dad to make sure he was happy with it. He's not, and will entertain no conversation about it.

I don't know what to do now, seems so unfair sad

fluffyraggies Wed 20-Mar-13 12:16:03

Very tricky. Watching with interest OP.

No sound advice other than to play the whole thing down short term perhaps, for the sake of your DSs feelings.

It needs the permission of both parents for a child to change their name doesn't it?

KobayashiMaru Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19:18

Were you married, and does he have PR?

Wereonourway Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19:38

He is his father, I'd imagine his farher is quite upset at the prospect.

It's not like he is an absent father, I think you should speak to ds positively about his name, explain that although its different its special etc?

Dahlen Wed 20-Mar-13 12:22:48

You need your X's permission to change your DS's name legally. However, there is nothing stopping you having your DS 'known as' at school etc as long as he realises that all formal correspondence and exam certificates etc will show his legal name not his chosen one.

All that said, your DS's name is part of his identity. He has a father who is involved with his life and his name reflects that. It would be different if your X had no involvement. I understand your DS's desire to not feel different to the rest of the family, but it should be possible to reassure him that he is just as loved and included. IOW present the name difference as something that includes his father rather than something that excludes him from the family unit.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:26:39

We weren't married.

I should have worded this differently, he doesn't so much want to change it, but add to it... a double barrelled surname, so LittlePoxy Myname-Dadsname

I can see why, he wants his 'family' name to reflect both his families, so I get it, which makes it harder to be positive about his Dad saying no...

ladymariner Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:04

My friend had this situation. Her dd now has a double-barrelled surname comprising of both her real fathers surname and her stepfathers surname, which I thought was a good result for them all.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:15

Dahlen - his school requires permission from both parents

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:51

I have quite strong feelings about this and I think he should keep his name especially as he has regular contact with his dad.

bit late now obviously but for those it isn't too late for: if you are not married to your child/imminent child/future child's father give it your surname.

can i ask why you gave your son his father's name instead of your own?

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30:09

Valium - he will keep it, it will just be added to.

Dahlen Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30:32

Does he have PR? Because if he doesn't, you can do what you like anyway.

FWIW, while I would disgagree with you strongly about losing your X's surname completely, I think adding to it is perfectly reasonable and it's rather selfish of your X to deny that. May be he'll calm down about it?

This is why, IMO, men should take women's names on marriage and why all children should automatically take the mother's surname.

TheCraicDealer Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:10

Agree with Dahlen. If I were your DS's Dad that would break my heart. He's seven, it's unlikely that he's aware of the hurt that it would cause to change his name to his Stepfather's. It seems like such a rejection of his own Dad, which is unfair considering the ongoing (and important) role he has in his life.

Maybe take this opportunity to remind him that having a another name means that he has two daddies who love him very much, rather than being "different".

SanityClause Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:26

His father has said no, but maybe that was a knee jerk reaction.Maybe after some time to think about it, he will be more receptive to the idea.

Who spoke to your ex? Was it just you, or was it you and DS, together? If it was just you, maybe it would help if DS put his case to his father.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:43

I didn't feel I had a choice swallowed. It was just 'what you did'. I was quite young, and naive.

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:35:41

So by 'my name' you mean your new husbands name? Or your maiden name if your new husband has changed his name to your maiden name.

Timetoask Wed 20-Mar-13 12:39:05

I think you are wrong to stand by your ds.
I feel very sorry for his real dad, it would break my heart into pieces.
What you should be doing is telling him to be proud of his name, of who his real dad is, that he is part of your family as much as the other two children, etc, etc, etc.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 12:39:44

If he has regular contact with his dad and he has PR then you should not agree to this imo.
Just supposing you and your dh split up (I know that's not a nice suggestion, but it happens).
I know a family where the mother kept adding surnames as the father wouldn't agree to name changes. She had 3 more husbands and the dc had 4 surnames.
It is more important to support your son with the current situation and explain why it is like that, and understand why his dad isn't happy with the situation.
Also look at it from your xh point of view, would you like it?

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:42:22

Personally I would never ever agree to my child having the name of a non biological parent. Who wants to end up with the name of a former step parent if the biological parents gets divorced? His Father is his Father, his only one.

lottieandmia Wed 20-Mar-13 12:42:28

YANBU - it's your son's feelings that matter most about this. It's his life. It's his name. His feelings about this come first - not his dad's, however hard that is for him.

I was never really with DS's natural Dad, and I met my DH when DS was 7 months old and we have been together ever since. X-P has had regular-ish contact with DS, and agreed last year to DH adopting DS. I made a promise that it would never affect DS's relationship with X-P's family etc., or his contact with X-P. We then asked DS what name he wanted to be known by, as he currently has mine - and he chose (at age 12) MyNameDH'sName - double barrelled, without the hyphen. DS will change his name by Deed poll when he is 16 and can do so by his own decision.

I suggest you tell your DS that he is too young to make that decision just yet. His Dad is still very much involved in his life, and that's just how it is. It's easy to understand your DS's logic, but in this instance unless your X-P changes his mind, it's not going to happen.

akaemmafrost Wed 20-Mar-13 12:49:39

I understand why he want to change it or add to it, but he is a child. It's a huge thing to change and his reasoning for it will be one of a child, wanting to be the same etc. When he is older its quite likely he would regret it especially when he has a child of his own.

He is NOT his stepfathers child and if I was his Dad I would be devastated with my child having the name of a man that my ex happened to meet and marry who has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

halesball Wed 20-Mar-13 12:50:57

I have never replied on a IABU thread. And i'm likely to get flamed for this but IMO yes YABU. I presuming that you and your X had a conversation before DS was born about names and decided to use his surname instead of yours. Also maybe instead of suggesting a double barrelled name to your DS. You could tell him that his surname makes him special as his biological father loves him and that he is lucky to have two father's who care about him. I'm guessing because he has his fathers surname and he was born after 2004 that your X does have PR's, so you won't be able to do it without his permission. Also (and i really hope this never happens to you) but what would happen if you and DP split up and DS who has no biological connection is stuck with the name? Or worse still you get another DP and DS wants to change his name again? Where does it stop?

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 12:51:59

I completely disagree with lottie's post and agree with aka

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:53:04

Exactly akaemmafrost. I don't get all this need to change your child's name to that of a step parent, and all this step parent adopting!

SIL's boyfriend has called about 4 of his Mum's boyfriends 'Dad' and she isn't with any of them now, it's not healthy.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 12:56:45

"if I was his Dad I would be devastated with my child having the name of a man that my ex happened to meet and marry who has nothing whatsoever to do with me."

It's amazing the importance men's feelings are given in these matters while the child's mother is just expected not to be remotely bothered that none if the children she bears will ever have her name.

The child wants his name to reflect both of his families.

That's what is important here, not the "devastation" of a man who is bloody lucky the child has his name at all.

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:57:59

She doesn't have her name! She has changed her name to her new husbands!

akaemmafrost Wed 20-Mar-13 13:00:19

Personally athing I agree that everyone should keep their own name when they marry and in ideal world children's names would be double barrelled --sniggers at the horrifying combinations that could ensue>> but that's NOT how it is and I was answering the OP on that basis.

WorraLiberty Wed 20-Mar-13 13:01:31

Why is a 7yr old paying so much thought to his surname? confused

Surely to him it's just the name he's always had and there are other things to be thinking about?

akaemmafrost Wed 20-Mar-13 13:02:09

And as astley said his mother STILL isn't represented in this scenario is she? So this child has a double-barrelled name representing his father and step father and mother still nowhere to be found.

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 13:02:22

Why is he 'bloody lucky the child has his name at all?' confused

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 13:03:13

I agree worra and I would investigate further why this is such a big deal for a 7 year old.

Wibblytummy Wed 20-Mar-13 13:04:31

Not much help but I know of a few examples of this going wrong. My DH name changed in his youth to his step father's name, he wanted to match his mum and new baby brother and his own dad at that point was uninvolved in his life. That marriage later broke down and his mum went back to her maiden name. My poor DH felt confused and a bit lost and eventually chose to go back to his original surname from his own father. The exact same has happened to my cousin who name changed to match her stepfather and her new siblings. 10yrs later the stepfather uptook gambling and up and left, she eventually name changed to her mother's maiden name. It's a tough choice but I think if your DS's father is still actively involved in his son's life and upbringing, he has ever right to say no.

akaemmafrost Wed 20-Mar-13 13:04:59

And then what happens when all these double barrelled children start marrying grin? How will their kids be named? I didn't think this through.

Best as another poster said. Everyone keeps their own names and children can be named after one or other of the parents.

halesball Wed 20-Mar-13 13:05:29

No-one said mothers feelings have no importance and that the fathers feelings have more importance. But if the situation was reversed and the DS lived with his dad, how devastated would the mum be if DS wanted to change his name to reflect his dads possible new partners name? Like i've said in my last post i would guess that they had a conversation about names before DS was born and chose to give him the name he's got now.

I agree with the other poster who said that if DS feels that strongly about it, he can change it by himself when he's 16.

LittleEdie Wed 20-Mar-13 13:06:48

Ae you sure it's not you wants him to change it?

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 13:07:46

"Why is he 'bloody lucky the child has his name at all?' "

Because he lives in a society where it is assumed that children will bear their father's name and not their mother's.

This assumption has even recently extended to unmarried women who are made to believe that they should give their children a name they can't share.

The OP thought (wrongly) that she had no choice but to give her child her boyfriend's name, rather than her own.

That's why he's lucky.

At least his name is part of his child's name. As far as naming goes his mother is invisible.

TroublesomeEx Wed 20-Mar-13 13:09:11

Astley My son's father cheated on me when I was 8 months pregnant and then kicked me out with only the clothes on my back. When DS was born, I sent him the form he could complete to have his details on DS's birth certificate and be legally recognised as the father. He didn't return them and, other than one phone call asking me for money, we haven't heard from him since.

I have known my stbxh since school, we got together when my DS was 15 months old and married 5 years ago. My husband didn't adopt him because the LA told me I'd have to get permission from his biological father for this to happen and that quite often that causes more trouble than it's worth! so we didn't bother. But when we married, our daughter had her birth certificate reissued in our new family name and my son chose to change his name by deed poll.

We have now split up - he also cheated on me so I kicked him out - and there will be no reconciliation. But he is still the children's dad. He pays maintenance for both children, he treats them equally, he has contact with them both - together and individually. He is my son's 'dad'. And (whatever I think of what he has done over the last 12 months) he has earned the right to that label.

The children will never have another 'dad'. They will never call anyone else I ever date by anything other than their name.

Your issue is one about mothers introducing a series of dads than it is about a step parent adopting or a child taking a new surname.

FWIW, in the OP's case, I can see why your son might want to change his name, but I'm not sure he should - even to add it on. I would be incredibly hurt if I were his father and I can fully understand why he has said no.

TroublesomeEx Wed 20-Mar-13 13:10:31

Oh both children had my surname until I married and then they kept the same name as me.

Should I ever get married again, I wouldn't take on another name. I'll keep the one I've got.

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 13:10:37

She is invisible because she has chosen to take on another mans name. So her son wants to be the same as everyone else. She could have kept her name and then he probably wouldn't feel so left out and secondly might have chosen to double barrel with her name.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 13:12:39

As to why a child might think about his name? hmm

FFS kids are smart, they think about stuff

My cousin decided to change her name to her mother's at around that age.

My aunt was a bit perplexed, but to her daughter's 7 year old mind it made sense for the girls in the family to have the same name and the boys another.

Luckily her Dad wasn't a spoilt twat who needed to mark his child with his name until another man claimed her.

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Mar-13 13:13:35

I think the test for this is to ask yourself, 'if his father had a wife, who kept her own name, would I be happy for my child to have her name added'. If the answer's no then don't do it. Just be firm with your 7 year old that his name is the one he was given by his parents.

MarianneM Wed 20-Mar-13 13:18:20


Your DS's father is - massively.

Why are people so bothered about such things?

I understand your DS. I did this when I was a child - changed my name to my stepfather's (and mother's). No-one made any problems.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 13:19:11

'if his father had a wife, who kept her own name, would I be happy for my child to have her name added'

No, that's not the same.

The same would be

If my son had been given only my surname at birth, and later his father married and changed his name to his wife's, and had two more children with that name.

Would I tell my child that he was not allowed to add the name of his other family to his existing name?

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Mar-13 13:25:07

OK, that way round then, AThing. The principle's the same, you have to ask yourself how you'd feel about it.

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 13:31:07

YABU; he's only 7 so this could be a passing fad which will cause unnecessary anguish to his birth father.

I would just be firm & say no, he can't change his name then explain why.

Btw - I think children should take their mother's surname if unmarried; & i disagree with women name changing on marriage - but i'm a feminist & that's just my view.

It's too late for that in your case; it obviously means a lot to his father & that's why i'm saying YABU.

fluffyraggies Wed 20-Mar-13 13:31:34

Yes, children do think about this sort of thing. Especially at the OPs DSs sort of age - when they start to think about 'fairness' and 'rightness', and wanting to fit in.

It's a mine field, changing names to match step parents. I have a different name to my DCs. When i divorced their father and returned to my maiden name my youngest DD asked if she could change too. I gently explained that my name did not affect the fact that i'm her mum, and that her name at birth is her name to keep for as long as she wants it. She was ok with this.

I've re married now and changed my name again. I'm glad the DCs are happy with my ex's name. It has no bad feeling connected with it for them the way it has for me.

I don't agree that the father's feelings must override the DS's feeling about the name.

Just because he is the bio father doesn't mean he is the only man who can love that child.

After all, by that logic someone who actually adopts a child wouldn't be able to change their name.

To me, a name is just a way of identifying yourself. I get perplexed by the number of people who go on about wanting the same name as the family, etc.

My DCs have their father's surname, yes, but we did discuss it beforehand, and had some valid, if sad, reasons for this. I do not intend to ever change my name. (The sheer hassle of changing address when we moved house was enough to put me off changing the name, even if I wanted to, as it's sure to be worse).

Kendodd Wed 20-Mar-13 13:48:31

What a mine field last names can be.

If you could go back in time my advice to you (and all women) would be- never change your name for a man. If you have children with a man you are married to or in a relationship with, double barrel the children's names. Never change them, the children have a right to both parents names and it's up to them to change them if they want when they're adults.

My cousin has had about five different last names and her two children have had four during they're childhood. Both children (now adults) have gone back to they're birth names. Madness.

I await my flaming.

No flaming from me. Even my mum, at the age of 69, has recently said if she had her time over again, she'd not change her name.

Kendodd Wed 20-Mar-13 13:59:38

If people are so concerned about all having the same name I think it would make a lot more sense for my cousin when she met/married a new man for him to change his name (admittedly that would have been to her last partners name). That way only one person would have to change their name instead of three people, my cousin and her two children.

PrincessUnderpaid Wed 20-Mar-13 14:01:36

DS has always had my name as ex-p and I were never married, ex-p was a little hmm when i announced he would have my name not his but i didnt give a monkeys as he actually wasnt even in the county when Ds was born.

8 years on, I am now married and have my maiden name and my DHs name (no hyphen just 2 surnames) as I wanted to keep the same name as my Ds. DS spends every other weekend with his Dad but he is very close to my DH and has started expressing his desire to take the name same as me, when I asked him his answer was that if DH and I have any more children he would like the same name as his siblings so I guess this indicates he is thinking about his future and how he perecives his place in our blended family.

In my opinion, perhaps your own DS wishes to identify himself with his brothers and hopefully your ex-h will have the emoitinal maturity to respect his sons feelings.

Best of luck

juneau Wed 20-Mar-13 14:03:30

Kendodd - that's fine if you get married multiple times and have DC by different fathers (and I appreciate that you won't know this will happen in advance), but if you get married once and have DC with that person it's MUCH easier for the family to all have the same surname. I considered keeping my maiden name when I married, but I'm sure I'd still get called Mrs X at the DC's school, whether that was my name or not.

As to the OP - if your DS feels really strongly about this you may need to request formal mediation. If your ex refuses I suspect your DS will have to wait until he's 18 to change his name by deed poll.

mungotracy Wed 20-Mar-13 14:06:52

"I don't know what to do now, seems so unfair"

You wait until your son is an adult and can make his own decision instead of trying to change a name when he is arguably heavily influenced by you. He has a name and its his legal appellation. You tell your son he may change his name when hes an adult.

Kendodd Wed 20-Mar-13 14:09:49

"but if you get married once and have DC with that person it's MUCH easier for the family to all have the same surname."

I married 17 years ago, both kept our own names, it has never, not one single time, ever been the slightest problem in any way. I imagine changing my (or DH's) name would have been loads of hassle, and ongoing hassle (admittedly not much) having to list previous names on forms.

Kendodd Wed 20-Mar-13 14:11:26

You wait until your son is an adult and can make his own decision instead of trying to change a name when he is arguably heavily influenced by you. He has a name and its his legal appellation. You tell your son he may change his name when hes an adult.

Agreed, don't mess with your child's name.

GreatUncleEddie Wed 20-Mar-13 14:13:37

It smacks of rewriting history, I think. His name is his name.

I have been with DP for 26 years, and not once in that time has anyone ever had a problem with me not having changed my name.

Kendodd Wed 20-Mar-13 14:23:33

but if you get married once and have DC with that person it's MUCH easier for the family to all have the same surname

Can you explain why you think it is easier to all have the same name? I'm not having a go, I just want to know if this is a common view and if this is putting women off keep their own names.

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 14:27:38


This would destroy me if the shoe was on the other foot. Your DS's relationship with his dad shouldn't be downgraded because your relationship has ended.

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 14:29:20

Oh and I have kept my maiden name since getting married. No problems here.

CockyFox Wed 20-Mar-13 14:39:35

One of my schoolfriends was adopted by her stepfather when we were 12, she changed her name to his, nearly 20 years later whenever we are talking about her she is referred to by her birthname. Nobody took a blind bit of notice, her mother and stepfather divorced and her mother married again. By this time we were adults so friend has first stepfather's surname and is reffered to by everyone by her original surname and is different to her younger siblings (who were children of stepfather one but adopted by stepfather 2).
I think once a child has been given a name that name is theirs not their mothers or fathers and it is irrelevant where it came from.
(she says a traditionalist who took hubby's name and gave it to her children)'

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 14:45:39

It would "destroy" you if your 7 year old kid wanted to share part of his name with his new siblings?


Get. A. Fucking. Grip.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 14:49:16

"Your DS's relationship with his dad shouldn't be downgraded because your relationship has ended."

Oh FFS, how can people this childish be allowed to have children?

Nothing is being downgraded.

A child wants to upgrade his relationship with his mother and brothers.

But apparently he is to be told to go fuck himself because his Dad is too immature to care about what he wants.

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Mar-13 14:49:42

I changed my name when I married. At the moment a woman's maiden name is usually her father's name so we don't have a tradition of womens' names (but I'd be all for starting one). I chose my DH and like him so I prefer to have his name

Kendodd, I think the idea that it would be easier for everyone in the family to have the same name is just part of the traditionalist's ideas that a woman should change her name, following the changes in law that meant a married woman was no longer actually owned by her husband.

As I said earlier, I've never had a problem with not having the same name as the DCs or DP, and I firmly believe that changing the name is an anglo-saxon thing.

AThing I totally agree with your comments, it's almost like the father owns the child as well as the name, isn't it?

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:14:26

I think this all started when his brother started attending the same school as him - where surnames are more prominently used. his friends who have brothers/sisters in the same school share the same names and DS, although understanding why he has a different surname, wanted to have that link to his brother.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:17:21

He first mentioned it a year ago and still, brings it up now I'll often see him write his name how he wants it to be.

This is entirely from him not me, I couldn't care less what he's called, he's still my boy, but I hate to see him upset to spare his father's feelings.

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 15:19:59

Wrt it being easier when all members of the same family have the same name -in 12 years I have never found it an issue in any situation, in fact I can't think of a situation where it would be difficult. ( ds and I have different names because I wanted to keep my name after marriage )

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:20:26

Fry one - that's the reason his Father gave for him not wanting him to change it; "because it's makes me think he's mine" to be precise hmm

aldiwhore Wed 20-Mar-13 15:22:30

Call me insane, but this is surely something that your son and his dad need to discuss?

Because ultimately (if you don't care either way) it's just about them, I would suggest that your son isn't too young to discuss this, but if his father says no, and his permission is required, there's not a lot you can do.

You then talk to your DS about loving him regardless, and that he will have to power to do what he wishes when he's older.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:25:49

aldi - he has spoken to his Dad about it but his response wasn't exactly inviting a conversation. DS is quite emotionally advanced and he's well aware of how strongly his Dad feels about it.

Once he made a 'spy card, and used my surname as as 'spy name' at his Dad's house, it didn't go down very well, let's just say.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:26:56

I think the fact that his Dad hasn't given him any reason makes it harder for DS to accept.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 20-Mar-13 15:32:51

When my brother in law married, his step daughter had a double barrelled surname made up of both her parents' names. She swapped the mum part of her surname for the new family surname (ie brother in law's surname) and kept dad's name to form the new double barrelled name. She wanted to keep her day's name but share the name of the family she lived with.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 20-Mar-13 15:33:03

Dad not day.

MarianForrester Wed 20-Mar-13 15:41:54

I think he's too young, and may well change his mind.

Dss's mum changed his name to her new married name though he still had regular contact with his dad, who did not object at the time as he was persuaded best for dss. It is difficult for forms and stuff though and led to real confusion, like him looking at gravestones with his new surname and thinking they could be ancestors, bit sad.

I see why it seems desirable, but I'd leave it for now. When he's older different name won't seem such a big deal.

ChunkyEasterChick Wed 20-Mar-13 15:48:08

I don't think YABU to stand by your DS but w/out his DF's permission, I can't see a way around it. I can totally see why your DS would want his name to reflect his new family but can equally understand his DF's feelings as my DH expressed having quite strong feelings about me changing my name when we married although the lack of discussion is wrong.

I did change my name, FWIW, because I liked the obvious sign of marriage and like my dc having the same name as both parents BUT I don't see myself getting married again/changing names/having loads more kids with different names. My DH was brought up by a step-father but retained his DF's name - so I guess my family's name is not actually a reflection of who actually was my DH's "Dad" just his father iyswim...

Names are complicated in modern life - perhaps we should adopt a Scandinavian type concept of Dad's name for boys & Mum's name for girls??

thegreylady Wed 20-Mar-13 16:03:23

Fry I am like your mum-same age and really regret changing my name when I remarried after the death of my dcs' father.This means I have the same surname as my stepdc but not as my own dc.
I love dh and stepdc but feel I have somehow 'let down' my lovely children sad

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 18:08:57

Yes but OP when you keep saying he 'made a spy card with my name' etc, what you really mean is he made a card with your new husbands name on....unless you two happened to have the same birth name.

So to his Father he's not taking your name, he's taking another mans name, a man who is not your sons Father. Can you really not see the difference?

mynewpassion Wed 20-Mar-13 18:23:35

Leave it as it is. Tell him if he feels strongly the same in 9 years, he can legally change it at the time.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 18:28:44

"what you really mean is he made a card with your new husbands name on....unless you two happened to have the same birth name."


Are you fucking serious?

I find the idea of women taking men's names unpleasant, but I still accept that a woman who has chosen to take her husbands's name has a name.

You are saying that the OP is nameless. That because she changed her name when she got married she does not have her own name, but just gets to use a man's name.

The name the little boy wants is the name of his brothers and his mother.

And if his father is such a chauvinist twat that he can only see it as another man's name, then shame on him.

What kind of juvenile asshole would you need to be to be cross with a seven year old for their choice of spy name?

What a total fucking prick.

millie30 Wed 20-Mar-13 18:39:16

Completely agree (as usual) with AThingInYourLife.

And this is why I will always be grateful to my Mum who called me the night before I was due to register DS. I was 5 days postnatal and had been browbeaten into agreeing to give him my DP's name, until she spoke to me about how I would feel having a different name to the baby I had just carried and given birth to. 4 weeks later I was a lone parent and have been raising him alone ever since. I am so glad I listened to her.

VelvetSpoon Wed 20-Mar-13 18:49:28

I think your DS's dads view is completely valid. If he had done a runner shortly after, if not before DS was born, never seen him or only maintained sporadic contact, then I think he would be in difficulties objecting, but not in the current situation.

I have to say this is one of the reasons I wouldn't change my name if I got married. I have 2 DSs, DS1 (who has never met his father) has my surname. DS2 (whose father I was in a relationship with for 8 years) has his dad's surname. I always intended to keep my own name if we married so that DS1 would never feel different to the rest of the family, because there would always be one other person with the same name as him.

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 18:50:30

Athing you come across as a little bit aggressive in tone...

I really don't think OP ex partner can be called a chauvinist twat based on the information we have. I didn't take my husband's name and my daughter has both our surnames but still can completely understand why OP's ex dp isn't keen on his son taking his step fathers name. A name represents more than just a name IYSWIM.

OP's ds is still only 7 please remember and no matter how emotionally mature he is can't fully appreciate the gravity of the decision.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 20-Mar-13 18:53:13

Can you (as I have done with my 8yo ds1 and ex) negotiate a waiting period, say a year, and if after that time your ds still wants to change his name, then you can discuss it between you all rationally.

As it turns out, my ds changed his mind after a few months so I'm glad I didn't push the ex into agreeing to the name change.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 18:57:42

"I really don't think OP ex partner can be called a chauvinist twat based on the information we have."

He thinks the child having his name is a sign of ownership.

He won't even let the little boy use his mother's surname when he is pretending to be a spy.

That is enough information.

Poor little kid.

elastamum Wed 20-Mar-13 19:10:36

I never changed my name when I married, but my children have my ex husbands surname, so have always had a different surname to mine. It is something I regret, as they would have been much better off with both our names hyphenated. I have been stopped by immigration and asked to prove the children are mine and now carry copies of their birth certificates when travelling. DS2 also asked if he could change his surname to mine after his dad remarried as he wanted to be recognised as my son, but he wasnt allowed to.

I did look inot this with my solicitor and she said that at 14yrs, if you make a court application on behalf of the child the court will go with the childs wishes.

All those who are saying the child shouldn't be taking on the name of another man. Well, it's the name of his mum, and his brothers, and yes, his step-father. But, it's a name that links him to his new family. So, if he double-barrels it, then he has a link to everyone he cares about.

It's not about rejecting the bio dad, but about adding to the link with that dad.

The dad is being unreasonable for a flat NO without even any discussion with the child's mum. The only reason so far given, "because it's makes me think he's mine", seems very possessive. He's only considering himself and not the child's feelings.

If he was at least willing to discuss this with the child, that would help, even if the end result is that the son would wait until old enough to do the change himself. Because then it wouldn't look like he's ignoring the child's feelings, which are as valid as anyone else's. Is it really right to make the child feel his feelings won't count?

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 19:16:06

It's a bit of a jump to say he thinks his son having his name is sign of ownership. Where from the OP did you get that?

You also don't know that he bought up the spy name with his son, it could have been a conversation between him and the OP. I also can understand how he would be hurt to see his son write his name as his step father's name rather than his own. Are you really that lacking in empathy? You come across as a bit man hatey...

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 19:19:38

My post was in response to Athing just to be clear.

Fry you make a good point, I think perhaps double-barrelling the surnames would be the sensible thing to do but can understand the OP's exp upset at the suggestion to lose his name altogether. I probably would be the most rational if the same thing was asked of me.

JenaiMorris Wed 20-Mar-13 19:26:36

How is it that a 7yo has even noticed that he has a different surname to his mother and her other children?

Double barrel your eldest's name, OP. And double barrel your other children's so that each has their mother's surname as part of their own.

Bowlersarm Wed 20-Mar-13 19:26:58

Blimey Athing are you having a bad day?

I feel a bit sad for your ex-OH, OP, but also for your DS although at 7 he is still very young to be making such a big decision about his name, and one that he may regret (if he changes it) as his relationship with his father develops over the years. I don't think you should do anything rashly, discuss in more detail with ex?

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 19:41:35

^wouldn't be the most rational^

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:45:15

To be clear:

He is not losing his Dad's name, he wants to add our name to it.

The 'ownership' reference probably refers to DS's Dad one and only reason for not letting him change it which is "because it makes me know he's mine"

The spy name was brought up with DS, he got such a telling off that he crumped the other card he had made and hid it in his trouser pocket - it was me finding that and asking Ds that brought it out, I wouldn't have known about it otherwise

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 19:45:22

"How is it that a 7yo has even noticed that he has a different surname to his mother and her other children?"


Seriously? How stupid are the 7 year olds you know?

My 5 year old has noticed that I have a different name from her. And decided to change it for me so I match the rest of them.

Kids notice shit.


that's the reason his Father gave for him not wanting him to change it; "because it's makes me think he's mine" to be precise

The child's proposal is that he keep his Dad's name and add his mother's and brothers'.

The only thing this man would lose is exclusive "ownership" rights.

There are good reasons for delaying or denying the kid's request.

But his father being a spoilt, childish wanker who outs his own feelings ahead if his child's isn't one of them.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:47:37

Jenai -I mentioned before, this came up when DS's brother started at school.... scroll down

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:50:28

Thanks Athing.... it's quite therapeutic hearing someone else call him a wanker grin

MissPants Wed 20-Mar-13 19:54:50

What a strange thread!

OP "My son wants to change his name, I have suggested he double barrell it, AIBU?"

MN "YABU, don't change his name, double barrell it instead"

How very odd grin

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 19:55:14

I think leave it a year or so as other posters have suggested; as your son may change his mind in that time.

The double barrelled surname is a good idea; but if your exP is anything like my neighbour (who is a single dad & gets jel of the mum's new man) then he will not want your son to have the name of your husband at all.

TheSecondComing Wed 20-Mar-13 19:55:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:56:47

I know MissPants.... I did say I'd worded it all wrong, might have had a better response if I was clearer grin

Bowlersarm Wed 20-Mar-13 19:57:11

The more I think about it the sorrier i feel for your ex.

Maybe he just didn't articulate well and said 'ownership' meaning love, emotion, stayinf close when he can't physically, the tie to his own parents and family etc. maybe he is scared he is losing his son lock stock and barrel to another man and is unhappy about it. Your DS wants another mans name, and that must be difficult for him

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 19:59:43

Latara- he first brought this up a year ago, and just today I saw him write his name with my surname... he just doesn't seem to talk about it as much now. he has stopped double barrelling it now though, and just uses my name.... exDP may have just shot himself in the foot there, DS is quite defiant at times grin

squeakytoy Wed 20-Mar-13 20:00:51

A few years ago, my stepchildrens' younger half sister wanted to change her name so that it was the same as her older siblings. Her dad didnt want her to, and so she kept his surname. She is glad of that now, because she had a good relationship with her dad, and sadly he died when she was just 17, so this is her link to him which she can carry on.

I can totally understand why any father would not their biological child to take another mans surname.

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 20:01:36

Unfortunately it doesn't take much to make some men feel threatened in their relationship with their children when they are separated or divorced.

Your ex may be a 'wanker' in your opinion (as some men can be) but you still should consider that he has feelings on this subject.

Best to give your son time on the surname issue, because children do change their minds over things quite quickly.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:04:53

Well he will lose his son if he keeps acting like such a twat.

Poor ickle man, little boy wants to share name with brother waah, waah.

Oh sorry, did I say brother?

I should have said other man's son kill him

Maybe he should just piss all over his son to mark his territory?

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 20:05:17

I was going to suggest that maybe DS would be trying to wind his father up; a friend of mine has a stepson who would play his divorced parents off against each other at a similar age.

I'm not sure why kids do that sometimes, but in their case they had a lot of animosity that the stepson had picked up on.
Ironically the parents ended up working together to stop the boy's manipulative behaviour.
I've also seen it with my neighbour's 5 yr old DS; he often refuses to call his dad 'dad' just to annoy him!

squeakytoy Wed 20-Mar-13 20:07:27

you dont like men very much a thing... do you.. confused

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:08:26

I like men who aren't twats.

Which is most of them.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 20:09:37

Latara... why on earth would I consider his feelings over my sons? His feelings are absolutely of no concern to me hmm

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 20:16:03

Sorry OP I had missed your post where you said his name would be added to rather than dropped - my mistake. But I think your unfair to say you have no concern for his feelings... I do hope you're careful not to pass any of this attitude on to your ds.

I can still understand his position though, I would struggle if dh and I broke up and dd lived with him for most of the time then wanted to add dh's new wife's name. Might not be entirely rational but I'd still struggle.

Athing you are an angry woman! IME most men aren't twats, some are but then so are some women.

Latara Wed 20-Mar-13 20:17:17

I think it's better to work with other biological parent rather than not consider them at all, IMO anyway.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:22:47

"IME most men aren't twats"

Yeah, that's what I just said.

But this guy is.

I can't get over the spy card thing. It makes me want to cry.

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Mar-13 20:27:40

Call me old fashioned, but I have the right to my opinion before I get shot down.

Personally, and it is my personal opinion that I won't be swayed from, it is appropriate that a child carries his/her fathers family name. I'm sure someone will be along to announce we live in a patriarchal society yada yada, but until we evolve our culture and society to adopt the matriarchal line, then there is a the cultural expectation

In the context of the OPs son, he merely wants to conform with the rest of his half siblings and 'fit in'. The whole question of what name to use wouldn't even arise if the Op and Ex were still together, irrespective of whether the Op and Ex retained their own surnames.

Personally I'd like to see the European way become the normal naming way - Given Name, Mums family name, Dads Family name.

With regards to school - they have no authority whatsoever to have both parents in agreement to a 'name change' - the MIS has the facility to have legal and preferred names, both given and family names. So Joseph Black-Smith can actually choose to go through as Joe Smith - the legal documents will go through as James Black-Smith

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:30:18

Probably the way to deal with this, if your ex wasn't such a child, would be to kick it down the road a good bit.

Although the name is a family name, it is worth remembering that it is a name he could, in time, regret taking because it is not either of his parents' birth names.

He's only 7, and that's too hard for a little boy to grasp.

So you could offer him a deal - that you'll revisit it in, say, 5 years time and if he still wants to add your name then he can start adding it at school etc. and build up to maybe at 16 or 18 changing it officially.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:33:02

"The whole question of what name to use wouldn't even arise if the Op and Ex were still together, irrespective of whether the Op and Ex retained their own surnames."


Tell that to the kids in my extended family who changed surname from what they were given to the other parent's surname.

Why on earth wouldn't it arise?

EvaM Wed 20-Mar-13 20:35:51

I hated my name when I grew up, but it's only that - a name and not that important in the grand scheme of things. I think you should leave it as it is - it saves the dad's feeling and might send a message to your son that there are somethings one just has to live with.

OBface Wed 20-Mar-13 20:37:20

Just your opinion Athing, I don't see this man as a twat at all.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:37:33

And actually it is a very, very recent cultural expectation (1 generation) that an unmarried mother would give her child its father's name.

In fact the cultural expectation was that the child would share its mother's name, but that a married woman would have her husband's name.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:40:03

You think it is acceptable to give out to a little boy because he chooses another man's nane to put on his cardboard spy card?



Cos that's probably the twattiest thing I've read on here today.

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:41:00

"send a message to your son that there are somethings one just has to live with."

Wow, great message hmm

Dinosaurhunter Wed 20-Mar-13 20:44:46

My dh wood of been so upset if my dss had changed his name in fact it never came , he was/ is his fathers son so would he change his name ?
Admittedly your son has a opionion about this so slightly different .

Dinosaurhunter Wed 20-Mar-13 20:46:09

Arrgh - would not wood !!

JenaiMorris Wed 20-Mar-13 20:48:05

I missed the double barreling bit it the OP, sorry blush

And yeah, all the 7yos I've ever met are thick, athing hmm

discrete Wed 20-Mar-13 20:59:32

YANBU. Your ds is exploring his identity and it is right that you should support him and stand behind him every step of the way.

That is not to say you should pick a massive fight with your ex. But I think it would be entirely reasonable to tell your ds that although it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to you what his name is, you are supportive of him choosing whatever works best for him, but that legally he cannot do it without his father's consent until he is 16.

Your support is likely to mean more to him than the actual outcome, imho.

Bowlersarm Wed 20-Mar-13 21:04:31

Just because athing OP has written a lot of posts doesn't make her right wink.

However "it is worth remembering that it is a name he could, in time, regret taking because it is not either of his parents' birth names" is spot on

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 21:11:19

No, obviously that's not why I'm right, Bowler. wink

<puts down empty cooking sherry bottle>

simplesusan Wed 20-Mar-13 21:15:47

What a minefield.

I now you have done it now but I do agree with giving your child your name (ie the mother's name).

It really is a very modern thing to give a child of unmarried parents the fathrer's name, as others have said.

Also agree with the posters who asked you to consider how you would feel if your ex added his girlfriend/wife's name to the mix.

ratbagcatbag Wed 20-Mar-13 21:26:39

I'm sorry but I can see the dads point of view. My DH sees his son 50/50 split, has had his surname since birth, DSS mum never mentioned changing names ever, then she announces she's getting married and wants DSS to have my Dh's names and her new husbands name. My DH said no, if she wants to change DSS name it becomes doubled barrelled to her surname and his surname, not someone she marries. She wasn't happy with this and said it was unfair. DH maintained that he would double barrel but not her married name. Also if it was so important why wait until 6 years after the split to raise. To be fair DSS never changed his name in the end and were now another five years down the line an it doesn't cause any issues for either family.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 21:40:43

Thank you discrete, I really appreciate your post smile

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Mar-13 21:42:45

There is very little in life more odd about how we feel about our names.

When I had my second eldest child I agreed with the dad that he would have his surname with the condition that I would also change mine to his and it was agreed at the time that under no circumstances would I change back to my maiden name,this was a condition of me changing my name and giving my children the same name as me.

I later married the dad I have since divorced remarried been widowed and remarried again and are now separated but I kept the name as per the deal we made.

Every year without fail I get a shitty letter from my ex demanding I stop using HIS name,he is less than impressed when I point out it is also MY name and that we both agreed to this before marriage and this is the reason why our children have the same name.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 21:42:47

thank you too AThing... you are like the voice in the back of my head whenever I have conversation with exDP about this.... my fave is obviously all smile , but in my head I'm screaming most of the things you have said on this thread!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Mar-13 21:45:44


If she takes her dh's name that name then becomes her name so if your dh is happy for dc to have her name then her name is the same as her new dh.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 21:47:22

It does make me sad when we're filling out forms say, and it asks for the family name (we were asked this recently when buying a season ticket for a local attraction) and I often think about what DS1 feels when that happens... I means what should I do there? Are name is Poxyfoxy.... except him, he's exDPName? Or just say it's Poxyfoxy...?

Corygal Wed 20-Mar-13 21:49:51

He's 7. Can he do this legally before he's 18? No.

You'd have to do it, which will make a world of trouble, by the sounds of things.

Explain he can take his decision when he's able to act on it.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 21:50:22

Our! Not Are! Doh blush

ballstoit Wed 20-Mar-13 22:11:06

I don't know if YABU but if the concern is that you don't all share a name, why don't you all double barrel to share his name?

I guess you'll think that's a ridiculous suggestion, why would you want your younger DC to have your ex's name? Which might perhaps help you to see your ex's POV a little more.

musicposy Wed 20-Mar-13 22:19:06

Corygal it's not 18, it's 16. After 16 you don't need parental consent. So if he's still as keen, it could be done before his GCSEs.

OP, I'd give the school a "known as". We did that for years for DD2 and very rarely had problems over it. That way he doesn't need to upset his dad, it's just a preference for now.

Then tell your son he can make the proper legal decision at 16. We changed DD2's first name at 12, but both of us had to sign to say we agreed. Otherwise she would have had to wait. In truth, the legal thing has made almost no difference. She was new name for a long, long time before we legally changed it because she was always known as. Even doctors etc had her down as "known as". It's only really for passports and the like you need to do it officially. And he can change it himself before GCSEs if he chooses, assuming he's 16 before he takes them!

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 22:27:18

For local attractions and stuff just put down the family name.

I don't use my married name, but 4 out of the 5 of us have it as our surname, so it is our family name.

And I don't bother correcting people where there is no reason for them to be corrected.

Really, the theme park doesn't give a shit what your surnames are, they just want some way to identify you.

I'm sure you still consider yourself to be a part of the MaidenName family? If someone asked you if you were one of the MaidenNames, you could say yes without having to explain that you now use a differente surname.

You could even say yes to "are you one of the PoxyMotherMaidenNames?" without it being a lie.

Your son IS one of the poxys, even if he doesn't share the same surname. And informally he can use whatever name he likes and nobody can stop him.

TheSecondComing Wed 20-Mar-13 22:53:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Mar-13 23:17:56

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheSecondComing Wed 20-Mar-13 23:22:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OloeufiaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 23:24:53
EggyFucker Wed 20-Mar-13 23:26:45

Good lord, why do people get so excitable about stuff like this ? confused

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 23:35:28

I know!

It's mad the way people have conversations that interest them.

It's almost as if they don't care that at some point someone is going to pop in and hmm at them.

squeakytoy Wed 20-Mar-13 23:36:21

OP, who is to know whether your current relationship will last. If it didnt, how would your son feel a few years down the line, having a surname that may not even be your current name if you were to remarry.. and if you had another child in another relationship, what surname would that one have?

RaspberryRuffle Wed 20-Mar-13 23:37:58

YABU towards your son's father who is his parent and plays an active role in his life.
You could have avoided this when you decided to get married and have children and have said you wanted your children to have the same surname.
How would your DH feel about you changing the other DC's surname?
You and your DH should be reassuring your DD that you love him and that the different name doesn't make a 'difference' to you (unless of course it does to your DH?)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Mar-13 23:38:56

Sorry I should have worded that in a naice way.

Its very unpleasant to refer to another poster as being away with the Fairies then asking her if she has personal problems the implication being that she has mental health issues when implied in a nasty way.

It says far more about you than it does her.

EggyFucker Wed 20-Mar-13 23:39:34

what you are doing doesn't look like a conversation AThing

AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 23:41:06

Oh, right, were you just getting at me?

Sorry, you seemed to be making a general remark.

TheSecondComing Wed 20-Mar-13 23:43:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EggyFucker Wed 20-Mar-13 23:46:21

it was a general remark about how excitable people were getting about what other people choose to allow their children to call themselves

but you called it a conversation, AThing, and I wouldn't describe it as such....there is some rather jarring aggression in the air on this thread

HQ have popped up, so it looks like they think so too

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Mar-13 23:48:42

I'm sure you don't and i didnt say you did but why say another poster is away with the fairies after asking if she has personal problems because that's what I picked up up on.

You may not agree with what she's saying but that does not mean she has issues or is away with the fairies.

sashh Thu 21-Mar-13 00:47:24


You, your dh and younger children could all change their names to your DS1.

Hippee Thu 21-Mar-13 01:06:48

You and your husband could change your names and double-barrel with DS1's name - this may sound far-fetched, but this is what a friend and her second husband did. She wanted the same name as her DS and her second husband was prepared to do the same. Their children also have the double-barrelled name, but DS1 just has his dad's surname i.e. he's just poxy and they are all poxy-foxy, but it means that they look related.

Hippee Thu 21-Mar-13 01:07:45

Oops cross-post with sashh

halesball Thu 21-Mar-13 01:26:16

Like the last 2 posters said could you not change it so all your children have the same double barrelled name? You and your DP keep the same names you have now. That way all your children have the same name and your son won't feel left out.

notnagging Thu 21-Mar-13 02:51:29

I think you are making the situation worse op by putting too much emphasis in this. He is 7. I can understand his dads feelings. What if your current relationship breaks down & you have more kids? I know you think that is unlikely but you never know.

notimefors Thu 21-Mar-13 03:52:10

I was going to suggest what sashh has just suggested.

I think you lacked foresight when you changed your name on your second marriage to be honest.

aurynne Thu 21-Mar-13 03:59:17

poxyfoxy, how would you feel if one of your sons wanted to add your ex-DH's girlfriend's name to his name?

AThingInYourLife Thu 21-Mar-13 07:45:28

"how would you feel if one of your sons wanted to add your ex-DH's girlfriend's name to his name?"

That's not the same.

The same would be if he married again, changed his name to his new wife's name and had more children with that name.

The child doesn't want to share a name with another man (horrors!)

He wants to share it with his mother and siblings.

Even if the ultimate decision is not to change the name, it is unbecoming of any adult not to understand where the kid is coming from here.

He's old enough to have his wish taken seriously, even if it is not acceded to.

There are plenty of ways to explain this to a 7 year old in ways he can understand. And his Dad should be a part of that.

And the shit with shouting at a kid for the name he chooses to use in imaginary games needs to stop. That is really fucked up.

AThingInYourLife Thu 21-Mar-13 08:07:53

The thing that's so killing about the spy card (apart from how mean it was) is the wasted opportunity.

Instead of being a big spoilt baby and making the kid feel bad about his spy name, he should have had it laminated.

"The great thing about being part of two families with different names is that it means you have a ready made alias. You can have your real name for school and things in normal life, and a separate spy name that you use on business. Of course, you don't need to use your proper first name in an alias either..."

There are so many ways to take this seriously and make him happy without any official change of name.

Kendodd Thu 21-Mar-13 09:50:44

Right I have a suggestion.

Mum reverts back to her maiden name.
Eldest son double barrels- mum's name + dad's name
Younger children also double barrel- mum's name + their dad's name

Exdp has a lot weaker case objecting to this and all the children have a name that truly reflects their family background.

Complicated I know, but makes total sense to me.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 09:59:30

Because that's a whole lot easier hmm

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:00:34

and why would he have a much weaker case?! My surname is my surname!

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:02:14

Also my previously used surname isn't actually my birth surname, so it all just gets even more complicated!

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 10:08:09

Why should his biological Dad agree to this? Your DS has a different name to his brothers because he has a different father to his brothers, nothing will change that. If his father wasn't actually on the scene it would be very different.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:12:08

I'm surprised by the majority view on here actually.... ridiculously imagined future scenarios being used to reason that exDP has a point.

What I haven't mentioned is that exDP has only very recently been having stable regular contact with his son. I was reluctant to mention that as I wanted unbiased opinions on the name issue, but I am astounded at how much people have come jumping to his deference just because he is DSs biological father. My Dh has been his father, and he deserves a medal for how he deals with the situation. Funnily enough he isn't in the least bit bothered about having DS branded with his name, his bond is enough for him.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:13:49

'Why should he agree to this?'


Because it's what his son wants? Because he's not asking to loose his name? Because DS has been asking/talking about it for a year?

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 10:15:52

Has he really been obsessed with this for a whole year without any encouragement from you? That's quite strange.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:22:40

No, sorry.... did I say obsessed? hmm

How exactly would I encourage it, without being an utter prick and making this situation even more difficult? I've stood by him, I've told him that I don't agree with his Dad and that I fully understand his (DS's) reasons. I've also told him that it's just a name, and if he still feels strongly about it in a few years then he will be able to change it without permission.

(his response to 'it's just a name' was 'why is Dad bothered then?!)

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 10:31:23

I agree with floggingmolly, he has a different father to his half siblings. End of. No amount of deed polling and double barreling will ever change that, so to me, it would be much healthier to focus on getting your son to accept and celebrate who he actually is, rather than trying to fit in with other people.

Hollyberrybush You have posted before about being traditionalist. I would say that no society is ever going to change from being 1 thing (ie being patriarchal) into another thing (eg matriarchal) overnight. Changes evolve gradually.

So, the idea that many women are now beginning to retain their birth name, even though it's their father's name, has to start somewhere, and will begin in a small way and build up. Then they can all give their name to children instead of using the father's name.

If this does continue, then in just 2-3 generations, it won't be unusual for women to keep a name that is now their mother's.

I don't agree that the father's name is more important than the mother's name.

So what if he has a different father to his brothers? He wants a name that actually links him to his brothers and celebrate that relationship. Is that really so wrong?

Oh, and people do change their names all the time, to reflect how they see themselves, sometimes to something completely new.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:38:01

Flogging _ and yes, it is quite strange, he gave up asking for a DS after about... ooo.... 6 months?

But then his brother wasn't marching around school sporting a DS....

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:38:54

DS as in the game.... no it as in he wanted a son!!

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 10:40:45

And yet, FryObe, op freely chose to give his DS his fathers name, even though given they weren't married it might have been slightly more usual to give him hers...

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:40:50

'celebrate who he is' yes, precisely why he wants to add his brothers, mine and his step father's name to the one he's already got, to reflect who he is, where he comes from.

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Thu 21-Mar-13 10:42:02

Having your fathers name IS about ownership. In years gone by, men were protectors. I you married a man you took his name for yourself and your children to show you were under his protection.
Also, your mother is your mother. No one can say that the woman who gave birth to you is anything else BUT your mother. But, there was no way to prove your father was your father. So your mother gave you his name to prove who you belonged to.
Personally I like having my fathers name. Even though we didn't speak for years, I still wanted that link with the family I loved very much and was part of. My Dcs have their fathers name even though we aren't married, he is their dad it links them to him.
But YANBU your ex could think about it a little more and allow the double barrell. He would still HAVE his fathers name.

Thing is, women are only beginning to realise they have the right to retain their name, to give their name to a child.

Society is still conditioned to a man's name being more important. I am still astonished by the number of women who don't realise they don't have to change their name on marriage, that there's no legal requirement to change their name, etc.

It will just take time for the changes to happen. I said earlier that changes evolve, they don't happen overnight, so the more these things are discussed, the more that women will realise they do have options.

Kendodd Thu 21-Mar-13 12:03:49

Why don't the whole family add your son's name to theirs then.

Exdp would have no say in that.
You would all share a common name.
Problem solved.

Would your DH be happy to do that? Have you asked him?

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:14:36

Yes I'm sure my DH would love to have my ex's name added to his hmm

OBface Thu 21-Mar-13 12:19:56

Oh the irony grin

Bowlersarm Thu 21-Mar-13 12:23:09

OBface grin grin

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:25:19

The irony?

akaemmafrost Thu 21-Mar-13 12:27:08


TheCraicDealer Thu 21-Mar-13 12:28:33


AThingInYourLife Thu 21-Mar-13 12:29:57

I think they think it's ironic that your husband doesn't want to do something that your ex wouldn't do in a blind fit.

There seems to be a real failure to understand equivalence in this thread.

50BalesOfHay Thu 21-Mar-13 12:30:39

Why the puzzled face, poxyfoxy?

MoominmammasHandbag Thu 21-Mar-13 12:31:46

Am I missing something here? His bio Dad sees him every other weekend. He's hardly father of the year material. I imagine it is his stepdad who fulfills the father role for him. With kids you reap what you sow. Your ex needs to be a man and understand that.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:38:07

So it would be perfectly fine for our other 2 children to share the name of a family they have nothing to do with?

It's ironic because...? Oh, because it's just the same, right?

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:38:48

I've heard it all on this thread

OBface Thu 21-Mar-13 12:57:36

Is your son not part of their family? Is it not his name?

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Thu 21-Mar-13 13:08:03

Why is that unreasonable? They would be sharing your sons name, or he would be sharing theirs. Your DS is 'nothing to do with' his step father technically.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:13:52

He's nothing to do with his step father. Oh yes I see. Except he lives with him, he puts him to bed every night (most nights at the moment lying next to him until he's asleep), he attends evey school performance, parents evening, sports events unlike his 'real' Dad, he treats him absolutely the same as the other two.... but apart from that


AThingInYourLife Thu 21-Mar-13 13:15:26

The irony thing is laughable and a little embarrassing, but the idea has some merit.

Your family could, without any paperwork at all, start referring to yourselves as the Xxxx-Yyyyy family.

You could use that name for theme parks, clubs, etc.

Teach him about how names are fluid and that we can basically choose what we are called. And how little official names matter.

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 13:46:44

Do you not think that maybe his Father is worried this is only the beginning?

You start off double barrelling, then eventually he quietly drops his Dad's name completely. Then it is mentioned that actually your son now calls your new husband maybe your new husband should just adopt him?

It happens to thousands of Fathers every year. The woman moves on and doesn't want to be reminded of the past so quietly pushes the Father out. I've seen in happen with friends of mine 'oh he just decided to calle Steve Daddy one day'....and you just never corrected that?! And eventually they moved just that bit too far away for every other weekend and the adoption talk started.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:58:39

DS does call his Stepfather Dad. He has two Dad's.

There's no quietly pushes his bio Dad out, in fact if it weren't for me and my Dh he probably wouldn't see him at all

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:07:44

These friends of yours Astley - does the father not have 50/50 contact. He mustn't be around much if they are considering adoption

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 14:11:25

In one case they moved 200 miles away and the other moved around 600 miles, both times due to the new DH's job. They said they would bring the child back ever other weekend and did for a while before it became 'too much'.

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 14:14:22

He has two Dad's. No wonder he's confused, and the names are such an issue for him. Whose idea was it to call his step dad "Dad"? Peculiar, when his real Dad is very much on the scene, is it not?

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:19:47

It was DS's idea at a time when he was having minimal, if any contact with his bio Dad. You do the best in these situations, and at the time we decided it was better he had a Dad rather than not. Now he has two to spoil him...lucky him.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:20:51

Did the father not travel to them?

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 14:27:09

In one case the 600 miles involved going to another European country. Which he does do, but cannot afford to do more than once a month. -

The 200 miles case the Father is in the army so if the ex doesn't want to play ball and allow him to see the child when he isn't working it becomes extreemly difficult.

MoominmammasHandbag Thu 21-Mar-13 14:44:45

flogging in what universe is once a fortnight "very much on the scene"? Some people on this thread have bizarre ideas about what constitutes being a Dad.

Kendodd Thu 21-Mar-13 14:49:53

I know changing the rest of the families names would be a massive hassle, but you're acting like some innocent wronged woman in this who only has this problem because your ex is a twat (which he may or may not be).

This problem is almost entirely of you own creation because you made poor decisions naming your children. Now I know you can't go back in time and make different decisions but I see no reason why you should be spared any hassle now.

You can stamp you foot all you like about your ex's immovability on this but the fact is you can do nothing to change it. The only thing in your power to do is change your own names. If you do this IMO you will solve the problem by taking a very mature stance and your ex will be able to do nothing about it.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 15:29:36

A massively hassle, and completely confusing... I have other children to consider in this and am baffled at so many posters taking the stance exDP's feelings have the priority over everyone elses

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 15:32:41

In fact I don't know why I'm arguing with strangers on the internet about this. I've had some useful (and ludicrous) suggestions, so I will leave with those to think about

OBface Thu 21-Mar-13 15:56:16

You did post in AIBU confused

valiumredhead Thu 21-Mar-13 16:03:53

Possibly the father feels immense guilt over the break up and feels that his name is the only thing that he is able to give his son? Just another thought...

DIYapprentice Thu 21-Mar-13 16:04:17

Op, have a look at this website changing a name without parental permission.

I agree with you, if your DS wants to change his name, he should be allowed to, particularly if your ex had little to do with him.

In a few years (I would think your DS would need to be over 10), you could get a court order - especially if he wanted to double barrel the name and not actually remove his father's name entirely. Can't see a court objecting to that, no matter how much your ex did.

valiumredhead Thu 21-Mar-13 16:06:44

You can be known as any name you like as long as it's not on any legal documents btw.

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Thu 21-Mar-13 16:16:48

flogging in what universe is once a fortnight "very much on the scene"? Some people on this thread have bizarre ideas about what constitutes being a Dad
My brother sees his sons as often as he can. Sometimes every weekend, sometimes every other. He loves his children with a passion. when he saperated from his wife, he moved a few miles down the road, and saw them as often as he and they wanted, because he was useful for childcare when she went off to work her cash in hand job. hmm He did everything ExSIL asked, paid her debts off, gave her money, moved out of the property which had his name on it. Left himself with nothing so his children would rightly be well looked after.
She then moved suddenly, 70 miles away. He can now only see them when he doesnt work. He is trying to change his job, but finding it difficult. After paying her, he leaves himself nothing, and the petrol costs are crippling. She was the one who caused the problem and she is now throwing his lack of contact in his face. Her husband has actually suggested that DB bow out and let him raise them as his own. My poor brother is heart broken. He was not the cause of the marriage break up, and he has done nothing wrong. In my book my nephews couldnt have a better dad. He has done everything he can for them, without complaint from the day she left him.

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 16:32:05

If a mother wants to force the father out of her childrens lives it is actually not that hard to do. It doesn't happen over night, but it can and it does happen eventually.

OP has agreed to her son having '2 Dads' but its clear which one she really wants him to have. Eventually she'll get rid of her Ex all together and she'll have the nice, tidy family she wants.

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Thu 21-Mar-13 16:46:19


poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 16:56:29

Astly, and I've said before... if I didn't want exDP to see his DS, he wouldn't. It's as simple as that. So I don't know what your edge is, but you've got this wrong.

poxyfoxy Thu 21-Mar-13 16:57:57

Thanks for the link DIY

Bowlersarm Thu 21-Mar-13 19:17:00

'If I didn't want exDP to see his DS, he wouldn't'. What does that mean? If it means you are encouraging a relationship between them then great. If it means you could stand in the way of exDP seeing his DS then that is an entirely different matter

Astley Thu 21-Mar-13 19:20:56

It means she thinks of the relationship and something she can give and take away.

The whole attitude of allowing her son to call another man Dad and telling him she agrees with him about changing his name and doesn't understand his 'Dad's problem' hardly screams that she is supportive of the relationship....

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 21-Mar-13 19:50:31

No it does not,the op has made it perfectly clear that she is the one who chases dad for contact during times he hasn't been bothered that if she didnt do that he wouldn't bother.

simplesusan Thu 21-Mar-13 20:57:40

It's all well and good saying the biological father is of little use, the op took the decision to give her dc her ex's name.

Surely she should have also thought about consequences when she gave her second child her new partner's name. She knew then that dc1 would have a different name.

However. I really do think you can go around calling yourself what you like on an unofficial basis.

lunar1 Thu 21-Mar-13 21:14:46

my brother changed his name to our step dads, he was 7 i was 10 and at the time he desperately wanted to. i refused to change and had to cope with the subtle but continuous pressure over it from my mum.

as an adult he cannot understand why this happened, when my mum tells him its what he wanted, he questioned why she thought a 7 year old could make an informed decision about his name.

He resents my mum for changing his name and we dont even have contact with our dad.

Myliferocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:21:34

I changed my surname from my dad's to my step dad's when I was 16 as I had been going through a rocky patch with my dad.
By the time I was 18 my dad and I had sorted out our problems and ever since I have regretted changing my name.

aurynne Thu 21-Mar-13 22:13:37

I believe you are so blinded by your new family structure, poxyfoxy, that you are expecting understanding from your Ex-Dh when you are unable to give exactly the same understanding to him. Some of the examples we have given you are exactly the same situation, albeit reverted. Your "shocked and surprised reaction" proves you are really not being impartial. It is obviously NOT just a "name" problem, but one of inclusiveness and belonging, and it goes both ways. Until you realise this, you are not in the right position to make a fair, unbiased decision.

Staggered Thu 21-Mar-13 22:14:35

This would almost be funny if it wasn't so horrific. I am fairly sure I'm the biological father in question, though many details have been changed by the OP. If I'm not, my experience may still be relevant.

Despite not being with my son's mother, I've been fully (and of course willingly) involved in his life since birth. She got together with her now-husband when my son was about one, though she didn't marry him until many years later. When he was around 3 or 4, I picked him up from nursery to discover that his name on his coat peg had been changed to her then-boyfriend's surname. Needless to say I got that reversed immediately, but since then she has carried out a systematic campaign of calling him by his now step-father's name while he's with her, especially since they had further children. She has put massive pressure on him by making it obvious that she wants his name to be changed - of course when she asks him he tells her what she wants to hear, which she then uses to try to justify changing it as she says it's what he wants and I'm being nasty and horrible for not letting him change it. What he tells me is of course completely different. A couple of years ago (he's older than the child in the OP) we jointly organised a birthday outing for him, and they got him a football top with his step-father's name on it (and no sign of my/his name at all). For his sake I didn't say a word about it despite being furious. This is just one example of many.

For the last year they've moved further away from me (entirely against my wishes), and I recently discovered that he had been enrolled in the new school with a double-barreled surname, with his step-father's name last. This was done entirely without my knowledge let alone permission. I don't feel I can contact the school and have it changed now as it would be too embarrassing for him, and the last thing I want to do is upset him, but what his mother has done is so wrong that it makes me incredibly angry and upset.

And for the record, I did offer to let the name be double-barreled, as long as my name was retained last. That was unacceptable to his mother, as it wouldn't allow her to quietly drop using my name at all, which is quite clearly what she really wants. The whole situation makes me sick and I don't really know what I can do about it, as regardless of the legal situation I have no control over what she calls him while he's with her, meanwhile my son is caught in the middle.

As to why I said it would almost be funny, if the OP is my son's mother, she clearly started making things up to paint me in as bad a light as possible once it became clear that the tide of opinion was against her. I am gratified that even this didn't entirely work.

So yes, YABU.

EggyFucker Thu 21-Mar-13 22:23:31

Oh dear

What a dramarama this is turning out to be....

aurynne Thu 21-Mar-13 22:39:57

Staggered, sorry to hear about your story.

poxyfoxy, regardless of the background of the story, I believe you are contributing to confuse your 7-year-old DS, who is far too young to be taking any decisions such as this. You could very easily have diffused the situation by just telling him "honey, you can call yourself whatever you want, but we better wait until you are a bit older to decide what your official name is", but instead have decided to embroil a young child in a nasty feud between parents. Once again, it is NOT just a name. if it was, then it wouldn't matter to you either, would it?

TheSecondComing Fri 22-Mar-13 00:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Fri 22-Mar-13 00:43:22

Countdown to thread getting out of hand and being deleted...



IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 00:54:12

Staggered,the likelyhood of you being the nrp relevant to the op in slim.

Do you know how many daft unmarried mothers there are around who were stupid enough to give a child the dads name without sowing enough in site into themselves to realise that they wouldn't be massively keen on this a few years down the line?

Thousands I would guess.

Its quite self absorbed to assume its all about you.

agree it's utterly daft to give your child someone else's name if you are unmarried -said as much on first page.

staggered i think your son's mother (regardless of whether this is she) was incredibly foolish to not put her own surname on the birth certificate but given she did and your son is used to it it should stay as your name.

again though i repeat my warning from first page - unmarried mothers to be take heed - give your child your name and all is kept simple. if you go onto get married KEEP your name and have any children you have from that marriage as either your name or double barreled.

personally i'd go further and say don't put a father on the birth certificate at all if you're unmarried but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

you know what if you go onto get married only marry someone willing to change their name to yours - it will be a good sign that they respect that you and your child are a family and your integrity as a family needs to be maintained. if they are unwilling it puts in context their view of you as a family and of your child's rights and needs to have continuity and what's best for them and any future children. if their ego is bigger than their love for you and your child then woohoo you found out before making the mistake of marrying them and subjecting your child to them.

as for calling children by your boyfriend's name hmm - i despair of anyone who actually does that.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 08:09:18


I compleatly agree.far to many shit dads who take no actual responsability have PR and it can cause huge problems.

Obviously I'm only talking about the shit ones the ones who forget the responsability bit but like to bang in about there own rights.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 08:14:14

I could be being old fashioned but to me a boy friend implies a none serious casual type of relationship and I'm rather shocked anyone would do that.

to me a 'boyfriend' very clears comes well below a child on your list of priorities and sense of permanence. though i'm aware for some a boyfriend is all and everything.

Samu2 Fri 22-Mar-13 08:54:59

yabu imo.

If my children wanted to change their name so their step father and my name was included I would simply tell them they can wait until they are older but until then, they keep the name they were given at birth.

They were given my married name at the time of their birth and they get to keep it.

Staggered Fri 22-Mar-13 09:20:40

Sockreturningpixie - there are many details which match my (extremely unusual) situation to an uncanny extent, even given the facts which have been changed, which is why a friend pointed this thread out to me. I'm perfectly prepared to be wrong, but it's not out of self-absorption.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:28:27

Staggered I'm fairly sure you're not my exDP.

For a start DS hasn't used any other name.

I haven't fuelled this in him.... if I felt that strongly about it I would just change it, tell the school to change it and tell DS that it's changed, there not much his 'once a fortnight' father could do about it really, staggered is example of that. However staggered's story is appalling and I dread to think what damage has been caused to his DS. You have my sympathy.

I don't know why you all think so badly of me?

DS's father wasn't around much when he was younger, and DS started to call my now DH Dad. Better than no Dad, right? Or should we have waited the 4 years it took for his 'real' Dad to get his act together? We didn't correct this as it seemed the right thing to do, at the time.

The name thing came about about a year ago, he just suddenly became aware of it, I think. It then heightened when his DB started at his school. He wanted to drop 'his name' completely, but we agreed a compromise of double barrelled, he was gappy with that and we approached his Dad, and got a no. AIBU to stand by and stick up for my DS in this situation?

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:38:29

In fact, staggered, I'm concerned that this may cause problems between you and your ex, I'm probably about 100% certain that we are not connected.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 09:45:49

Staggered there is not much in your post that sounds that unusual for parents in your situation, unpleasant yes but unusual sadly not.

With parents who live apart and are not friends both often tend to think they are great whilst the other is shit,there are always two viewpoint of the situation.

I personally have spent years and years listening to story's just like yours.

Op people are responding to you the way they are because YOU have allowed your child to call a person who is not his dad,dad. From what you have said your current partner ( because that is what he is current) has not adopted dc and whilst his actual dad may be not ideal he is alive and well and someone who you considered suitable enough to name your dc after at the time. Your current partner may not remain so and he is not the dc's dad no matter how much you want to rewrite history to suit you.

You cocked up massively by not giving your child your name that's where you started going wrong. Unfortunately that places your dc in a situation where you can't do much about it now.

So yabu and you just have to wait and explain to dc about having to wait until he is older and can be delt with.

But again there is nothing stopping him referring to himself how ever he wants informally that would nbu.

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 09:46:27

I'm really glad you started this thread, it is a perfect example of why a woman should never change her name and should always give her children her own name. I have two dds, so thanks for your story, although there are so many rl examples they don't really need internet versions.

As for the person up thread who said that it is MUCH easier for a family to all share one name, have you even read this thread? Is that still your opinion?

CinnabarRed Fri 22-Mar-13 10:03:08

What about adding your DH's name as a middle name?

That way DS still has his biofather's name as his surname - and his only surname - but your DS would feel linked to his new(er) family. And his school could use his full name (including new middle name) if your DS prefers.

Might your XP accept that as an alternative?

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Fri 22-Mar-13 11:06:21

Here's a thought - and I fully expect to be flamed for saying it....but the evident lack of thought given to the very serious business of having children from some of these comments is, to me anyway, disgusting.

Why not, as common decency dictates, don't be impregnated by every Tom, Dick and Harry like some sort of thoughtless breeding hen, but wait until you have met the RIGHT person. Then, if you want children - GET MARRIED. That is how it is supposed to be done.

And don't give me the utter bollocks that 'I thought he was the right guy at the time'. If you did, you would have married him. Unless there was abuse involved - we ALL know when we are with the wrong guy. We don't tell anybody else as that makes it real, but we KNOW it in our heart of hearts. And if a guy doesn't see the need to marry if you accidentally (what utter sh!te) become pregnant, then you best be giving the child your name as he isn't serious about staying.

It's not rocket science - it's just the civilised way of creating a family. And if you cannot comprehend that you need to grow the hell up.

My sister - the idiot that she is - had 2 children with her 'partner'. They have his surname. They split up - oh shock horror - so now she has the children who have his name. Her oldest (8) has just this month started bringing it up in conversation.

Stupid and thoughtless. Not to mention bloody selfish.

Rant over!!!! Gosh, I really got on one there. Feel MUCH better.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 11:10:30

Sounds like you need to speak to someone professional, Angel

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 11:28:17

Can I just add, even if you get married, imo it is utter stupidity to change your name, so unnecessary, and make sure all your children also have your name, it baffles me why a mother wouldn't give their child her name. If you double barrel children's names (mum's name + dad's name) you future proof their names.

It just isn't right chopping an changing children's names depending on whatever man you happen to be with at the time.

Oh and OP, what are you going to do if you and DH split and you remarry? Will you all change names again? I don't know if this is one of the 'ridiculous scenarios' you mentioned earlier but I'd point out that almost 50% of marriages end in divorce so it might not be the impossibility you imagine. As I said earlier, my cousins children had four different last names during their childhood.

Please OP I'm sorry if I sound like I'm having a go, but YABU, leave your son's name alone, and encourage him to love and have pride in it.

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 11:30:30

Oh and if he really wants to share your name, as you created this problem for him, you change your name to him.

Astley Fri 22-Mar-13 11:40:35

'if I felt that strongly about it I would just change it, tell the school to change it and tell DS that it's changed, there not much his 'once a fortnight' father could do about it really, staggered is example of that'

Wow. Just wow.

BumpingFuglies Fri 22-Mar-13 11:55:02


What a helpful contribution hmm

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 12:08:09

Just looking at you OP again, your DS is 7, you met your DH when he was about 18 months old, had two more children, one of them is now school age. You must have go pregnant very soon into the relationship, were you married to DH when you gave your second child the fathers last name? Just interested.

Also can I ask (again not trying to go) Why did you choose to give your boys their dads last name and not yours? I understand that people don't enter relationships or marriages thinking they'll break up. I just wanted to know what motivated you in your choices.

I didn't change my name (although I admit I did think about it, DH has a much nicer name than me) because I just felt I couldn't do it, I liked the idea of keeping my own name, and what the fact of doing it said about DH and I. It was never with the idea of 'well what if we split up'. Naming me children, it just seemed that they needed and, had a right to, both of our names. Again it was not done with thoughts of the future and 'what ifs'. So, maybe it's a bit harsh of me criticising you for not naming your children with future possibilities in mind.

I hope you come back and answer my

CatPussInACrownOfThorns Fri 22-Mar-13 12:10:12

What Astley said!

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:44:42

No we weren't married, but planned to be.

My name now is the name I will always carry, regardless of what the future holds. I wanted DH's name, and it is now my name as well.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:46:02

I wanted my other DC to carry the same name because I knew I would have it too.

I'm blessed really to have the experience I had with my ex... I learnt a lot.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:49:13

You say it didn't feel right taking your DH's name, well to me, it did. I had no feelings associated with my previous name, but I do with my 'new' name, it's who I am, and a reflection of the family I joined when I married my DH. I guess that's why I'm sympathetic to my DS, rather than my exDP.

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 12:50:01

But what would happen if you split from his step father? He hasn't been adopted and he has a regular and good relationship with his dad. If it ain't broke don't fix it. He has a dad, and he should have his dad's name. Or your name. not the name of a man who is not his dad. He has a dad, and I'm not surprised he is pissed off. Plenty of women keep their own names and it doesn't case all sorts of confusion for their children who may have their father's name, or a double barreled name.

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 12:50:30

cause, not case

akaemmafrost Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:50

Angel if you're feeling at all bored today google The F Scale. It's a nice little interactive "quiz". I suspect you may find much that interests you there smile.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:51

No, he has two Dad's. This isn't unusual hmm My Dh has been around a lot longer than his bio Dad.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:53:16

and that's what he wants.., my name (and his brothers) to be added to his. Our name happens to have come from my DH, but it's still MY name.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:55:40

If we did split he would still have contact with my DH, along with his brothers, he has been his father for 7 years, he has a father/son bond with him, to my DH DS is not just 'his wife's son', so that wouldn't change if we split.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 12:58:00

God, what is this? Fathers for Justice?

We talking about a man that kicked his girlfriend and newborn out onto the street! He is not the doting father that you lot have assumed he is

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:00:07

and although contact now is more regular- it's not great. He's just cancelled another weekend (this weekend, one days notice) with DS as he 'has to go away' hmm

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 13:00:47

'I'm blessed really to have the experience I had with my ex... I learnt a lot.'

What is it you think you've learnt?

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:02:23

Too long to list.... I don't particularly want to go there, actually

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 13:03:41

Poxy its unlikely he would.

They say they will but more often they don't bother with the sc after you have parted company.

The thing about breaking up with someone is you rarely do it if that person is a decent person who behaves well and keeps there word.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:10:58

They say they will hmm

Have you met my DH.... had a chat with my DS about their relationship? I don't know why you feel you can comment, really.

Timetoask Fri 22-Mar-13 13:14:08

poxy, I get the feeling that it is YOU who is desperate to change your child's name.
He has a biological father, like it or not, they have contact. You are doing him no favours if you are making him feel upset about the name he carries.
When he becomes an adult, if he feels he really wants to change his name, then he can do it without pressure from anyone.
For now, it really is best if you deal with his sense of self, allow him to accept who he is and where he came from.

Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 13:35:47

"Poxy its unlikely he would.

They say they will but more often they don't bother with the sc after you have parted company."

I have to agree there is a very high chance that if you split SF would have no contact with your son.

I very high number of bio fathers stop seeing their own children after a split (although I think a small amount of this is because mothers block access), they are even less likely to see step children. Do they even have any right of access to them?

Does Peter Andre still see his step son? he's never photographed with him any more, and I'm sure he felt genuine love for him when he was with his mum.

But, lets be optimistic, we have a very high split rate, but most marriages still do last, so chances are yours will.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:38:13

Timetoask- have you read the whole thread?

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:39:20

Does Peter Andre still see his SDS hmm. Really?

I give up

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Fri 22-Mar-13 13:40:47

Sounds like you need to speak to someone professional, Angel

It wasn't actually aimed at you - it was in response to a few other posts where people had never married, but kept having children from other men regardless. And then I started thinking of Jeremy Kyle-type people and got all hot and bothered. It felt good though!

I do actually have experience with this aside from my sister's situation. My husband's parents divorced when he was 5. She remarried, moved country and the new husband adopted him and his surname was changed to that of his step father. His biological father was in the background (veeeery far background sadly) and was not an active father type. He is closer to him now that he is older and wiser. Thankfully his Mum and step Dad are still together and my husband has half siblings.
I asked him his opinion or if he thought about it. He said he didn't give it a second thought as his step Dad raised him plus it would have been weird to have a different name to that of his family. And people would have asked all the time why...... And a bit 'council house'. His words, not mine.

Personally I would go with what your son wants to do. Children are not stupid. And it's his feelings that count, not your Xs. He didn't ask for this situation. And I have to agree with my husband. It's a bit povy to have a different name to one of your children when you are happily married with other children from the new marriage.

Best of luck and apologies if I offended you - it really wasn't aimed at you specifically. Sub consciously it was probably aimed at my idiot sister. flowers

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:42:18

I'll indulge you though

See if Peter Andre can do it, maybe my mere mortal DH can too hmm

Can actually believe I've entered into an argument about a hypothetical situation

<gets life>

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:43:58

Thanks Angel smile

(promise I've not been on Jeremy Kyle grin )

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Fri 22-Mar-13 13:57:05

Haha, I know you haven't! You sound like a great Mum! All the best.

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Fri 22-Mar-13 14:07:31

akaemmafrost Haha, you must have done Psychology too! We actually did that test and I'm happy to say that I was very low on the scale. It is believed to be a very flawed scale though, so maybe you're right. Re-reading my comment....yes, I am JUST like Hitler! For thinking women shouldn't have various children by various men. How terrible of me to think of the effect on the children....

Have a great weekend!

olivertheoctopus Fri 22-Mar-13 14:15:37

I think there's a world of difference between changing from dadsnameonly to mumsname+dadsname double barrelled. He wants to publicly display that he's part of two families and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Could you try a dispassionate letter to his dad explaining why it's so important to your son to carry both names?

olivertheoctopus Fri 22-Mar-13 14:16:51

Argh, worded that badly! Meant to say a world of difference between changing from just dadsname to just mumsname and double barrelling with both

WreckfestAtTiffanys Fri 22-Mar-13 14:17:28

Hi OP,
We have done exactly this at about the age your DS is, in fact our situations are almost identical with both family situation and contact.

DS1's Dad was initially set against it, but I spoke to him about how it made DS feel, and how he would feel if he was in a family and was the only one with a different name, about how important it was for him to feel part of both families and therefore have both names.

I kept chipping away at it as DS kept chipping away at me about it!

We got there in the end, he basically had to write a letter to say he was ok with it (he has parental responsibility, this isn't automatic as far as I'm aware, he did apply for it as we were never married)

DS1 now has both names as a double barrelled name. He is now 17 and is still very happy with his choice.

I can't understand why people feel this is wrong- DS is closer to DH than to ex, and not for want of trying on both his and my part. DH is more of a father to him than ex has ever been.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 14:22:53

Poxy I have a adult child and spent 11 years from when she was a tiny baby with her step dad who had no issues at all until the last year.

He went from wanting to adopt her to highlighting how she was nothing to do with him.

It happens a lot. Its quite a frequent occurrence. Because no matter what you think you have no idea what someone is capable of doing until after you fall out and part company.

I can count one 1 hand the step parents I have come across who have continued to treat the stepchild as a child of the family after a split but the list of ones who don't after a split is to long to count.

It is more usual for the child to be cast aside than it is for them not to be.

And your kidding yourself if you don't at least concider it as a risk.

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 14:27:20

Come off it, op. Your ex kicked his girlfriend and newborn out into the street, and yet you gave said newborn his NAME?

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 14:31:10

Sorry that's been the case for you sockets....doesn't mean it will be for everyone though.

Maybe I'm an optimist, or maybe I'm just a little more knowledgeable about my family dynamics than you are

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 14:40:16

Come off it?

Oh, you caught me out.

I just wanted some strangers on the internet be my fwiends and stand up to my mean old exDP so I made up a lie to make you feel sorry for me hmm

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 14:53:25


Kendodd Fri 22-Mar-13 15:00:00

And then go on to give a second child the name of a man you must have only recently met?

akaemmafrost Fri 22-Mar-13 15:24:17

Clearly you didn't study it in too much depth if your summary of that test is that its to indicate whether or not someone is "like Hitler".

Have a great weekend yourself smile.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 15:33:05

Oh yeah, because I knew then that a week later he'd have some sort of mid life crisis hmm

CinnabarRed Fri 22-Mar-13 15:46:46

It's interesting, though, the concept of double-barrelling names. It's only really a solution to this current generation. Because although a 2-barrel surname is manageable, even 3 at a push, any more than that is hopelessly unwieldy. Can you imagine if 2 double-barrelled parents wanted to combine their names still further? Maybe we'll get to a situation where it's the norm for children to choose their own surname on gaining their majority, or similar.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 16:15:33

No it dosnt but it does mean its the most likely outcome.

Think about it this way,you gave your dc a name you now regret giving him and you want to now change it to another name that you have taken from someone else.

You coud end up regretting that one as well.

ComposHat Fri 22-Mar-13 16:23:01

I really can't see what the urgency is at seven. If he still feels this way at 16, then he can take his step-father's name then.

As it is, why not devote your energies to trying to explain how the difference in surname makes no difference in how you or his step-dad feel about him (not that I'm implying that you don't do that already) rather than fighting a losing battle with his dad.

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 18:33:31

Spot on Compo.

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 18:37:13

You say he has just started to write his stepfather's name at school, but at only 7 years old that must be coming from YOU not him. No seven year old even needs to know that the name he has is apparently different to the name he wants unless grow-ups tell him it is so.

This is your idea and you have brainwashed him into it, even if you don't realise that is what you have done.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 19:00:07

<rolls eyes>

his brother is at the same school, that's why it is happening at school

<bangs head against wall>

TheRealFellatio Fri 22-Mar-13 19:09:04

But he is not in his brothers class and his brother is younger than him. I don't buy it. Teachers must be used to half-siblings and step siblings having different names all the time, and as they are so young I highly doubt any of the other children have picked up on it. I think you are willing him to want to do this, and he will be feeling that.

JenaiMorris Fri 22-Mar-13 19:26:17

Indeed, Fellatio. I tried (and failed) to question this upthread, resulting in " How stupid are the 7 year olds you know?" - although not from the OP, to be fair.

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 19:45:23

There are 75 pupils in their entire school, it's not that hard to believe?!

WreckfestAtTiffanys Fri 22-Mar-13 20:02:13

I don't understand the flack you are getting OP, people seem to be zoning in on some rather odd points.

I have done it, and in my circumstance ( very similar to yours) it was undoubtedly the right thing to do.

To those questioning the OP on why she chose to use her partners name, can you really not understand? I mean, you might not think it was the right thing to do, but that's a different thing entirely.

And even at a bigger school than the OPs of course the other children will talk about it, they do mix together at lunch and playtime. (I work in a junior school)

I think this thread may be better off in relationships, you may actually get some support and advice and people generally are less determined to pick you apart and feed you to the lions whilst totally ignoring your answers to their never ending accusations

discrete Fri 22-Mar-13 20:20:51

I too am extremely puzzled about the flack the OP is facing.

My parents divorced when I was 1yo too. I kept my father's name, and had siblings with different names. I was, and still am, very close to my step dad, even though he and my mother have not been together for over 25 years now.

I am not the OP's son.

The OP is simple. OP's ds wants to do something which means something to him. His father doesn't want him to. Should the OP support her son on a decision which ultimately affects no-one other than him, or should she support her ex, who has not even pretended to try and see it from the child's POV?

Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 20:45:22

Because she can let him use what ever name he wants to use informally and wait until he's older to change it formally when the child will be considered to understand the action correctly.

The op is turning it into a drama when it does not need to be.

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:02:04

Discrete. Am I reading your post wrong? You were in a similar situation, kept your father's name, and your mum and step father later split up?
Why are you telling the op allowing her ds to change to his stepfather's name would be a good idea? What percentage of men do you imagine keep in lifelong contact with the children of their former partners?

WreckfestAtTiffanys Fri 22-Mar-13 21:07:19

But Sock she has been told by the school that she can't "let him use what ever name he wants to use informally" without the father's permission

discrete Fri 22-Mar-13 21:10:00

Floggingmolly - because it is what he wants! This is about him finding exploring his identity and working out who he is.

If I had changed my name to a double-barrelled version including my step dad's, I would not have an issue with it (name changes were impossible in the country I lived in at the time, so the issue did not come up).

And a name change is not a permanent thing that can never be changed back! Who cares what the OP's ds is called, that matters only to him, everyone else should just go with his wishes.

For a while as a teenager I did change my name (first, not last). Everyone just accepted it and called me what I wanted, after a while I reverted to my original name. No big deal, but made me feel in control of who I was and what identity I presented to the outside world. That mattered.

Floggingmolly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:17:16

exploring his identity and working out who he is
And if his mum and step dad split up in 6 months time? What will his name mean then in terms of who he is?

poxyfoxy Fri 22-Mar-13 21:23:10

D's will always have a part of his step dad in him. He has more in common with him than his brothers.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 22:52:05

That's the point of it being informal you don't change anything other than how you refer to yourself.

The school cannot tell you you can't do something if you do not ask them to amend any paperwork

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