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Babys Surname - how important is it?

(70 Posts)
Seasidegirly Fri 02-May-14 15:51:16

Hi - wasn't sure which section to put this but I wonder if someone could give me some insight into situation. I am 5 months pregnant with my first child at 41. Pregnancy was a total shock and the father (who's a bit younger than me) did not take the news very well at all. At the beginning of the pregnancy I said the baby could have the fathers surname with my surname as a double barrelled name. The dad seemed to come to terms with the pregnancy and we talked about first names and started to look forward to it. Fast forward and a couple of months and the dad said he did not want to be with me anymore but would always be there for the child.

Anyways, after speaking to a few friends, they suggested that I didn't give the child the double barrelled surname - just my surname as they were unconvinced that he would stick around (he's not been to the 13 or 20 week scan). So, this week I have told him that I would put his surname as a middle name. This has totally flipped him. Said I was a complete liar from the start of the pregnancy and he didn't believe he was the father anymore as I didn't want the child to have his surname. He has now posted a pic of the 13 week scan pic through my door and said he I would not hear from him again . I am gutted. My question is how important is the surname to the dad? Was this just an excuse that he needed to do one? Thanks

AwakeCantSleep Fri 02-May-14 16:18:03

Sorry, no advice (I am female, single and don't have kids) but in your shoes I would give the child your own surname.

I am very surprised how many unmarried mothers in this country give their children the father's surname. I would want to have the same name as my child. This would mean either we'd all have the same surname (via marriage) or, if marriage for some reason wasn't on the cards (there are signs the relationship won't last) then the child would have my surname. It doesn't make the father any less important but it does reflect the fact that even if the dad won't stick around, I always will be there and be the primary carer for the child.

If the dad is very keen to have the same surname as his child he could always change his surname to yours.

yellowcar Fri 02-May-14 16:21:56

Sounds like he s just having a tantrum because he's not getting his own way. The question is how important is the surname to you? If he wants a relationship with the baby he will be back.

My ex went mental when I told him our dc would be having both of our surnames, threatened all sorts of shit like he would have nothing to do with the baby etc. it's just a manchld reaction. His Mother even said dc would be a bastard because they had my surname too! Unbelievable!

Needless to say, dc got both our names and even though he is a total wanker, he does see dc once a week.

If you think he will do one, do you want your child to have his surname for ever more? Don't be blackmailed into doing it to keep him in the picture. Sounds like you'll be doing all the raising of the baby so it's totally your call.

Olddear Fri 02-May-14 16:22:31

I would give your child your surname. Wouldn't give it another thought.

PeaceLillyDoge Fri 02-May-14 16:23:53

Wow he sounds delightful.

There is no way in hell id give the baby his name. You're doing all the hard work, why should he get any of the credit?

Giving baby's their dads name is a very archaic and British tradition, many other cultures do it differently. I personally see no reason to continue it, especially in such circumstances.

Dukketeater Fri 02-May-14 16:28:20

If I had an unplanned baby out of wedlock it would have my name.

A planned baby in a committed relationship would have the mans name

ZenNudist Fri 02-May-14 16:28:21

He sounds like a utter cock. Best off no dad than a selfish resentful brat of a man.sorry OP.

Definitely give dc your surname. Set the CSA on your ex.

PoundingTheStreets Fri 02-May-14 16:29:22

Definitely give the baby your name. If he refuses to be involved with his child because you're going to give him/her your surname, then it's almost certain that he will at best use tantrums, threats and manipulation to get what he wants throughout the whole of your child's life, or at worst disappear completely.

His behaviour is screaming at you to give the baby your name, not his.

As a single parent with care, it's probably going to be you taking the child to the doctor/dentist, you enrolling and taking the child to nursery/school with all that involves (letters home, parents' evenings), you taking the child on holiday possibly abroad. You can do all those things without having the same surname as your child (I don't) but it is easier and smoother to share the same name. And if your baby's father disappears completely, as 1 in 5 do, it's a severance less obvious.

PoundingTheStreets Fri 02-May-14 16:29:33

Congratulations on your baby BTW. flowers

Thurlow Fri 02-May-14 16:30:36

Overall, I don't think it is that important - it's just a name after all. Their first name is different from yours, so what is the big deal about a surname being different?

But in your situation this isn't a theoretical question. He doesn't sound as though you can be sure he will be around. You can double-barrel by all means, if it sounds nice and also if you want to acknowledge him as a father even if he ends up not being in your child's life much. There's nothing wrong with doing that at all.

However if I were in your situation I just give them my surname. And I say that as someone whose DC has their father's surname, not mine.

BuzzardBird Fri 02-May-14 16:37:17

Don't lumber your child with the name of a man he/she might never meet. The child will always have you in their life so give the child your surname.

Congratulations on your baby thanks

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-May-14 16:40:50

I was in roughly the same situation as you when I had my DS. His father and I registered him together, DS has my surname exclusively and there is no mention of his father's surname in his name at all. No-one is offended because we are all grown-ups.

Suggest that's what you tell this guy....

Horsemad Fri 02-May-14 16:42:15

There is no way on this planet my baby would have the father's surname if I wasn't married to him. No way, no how.

Yama Fri 02-May-14 16:43:18

It shouldn't matter to a nice man. A man who respects women and would ultimately put the child's welfare above all else.

Give the baby your name. You can only really be sure that you will always be there for your child.

HillyHolbrook Fri 02-May-14 16:43:32

Congrats on your baby OPthanks

I would give them my name in those circumstances too. You will always be there for the child, they are yours, they are your family and take your family name. Your name represents your family and if he isn't going to be present or properly involved then he shouldn't expect your DC to take his.

DP and I have been together 7 years and engaged for two, we only aren't married because we wanted a house and a baby more than a wedding and that's how the money went. Our DC will take his name when they're born, though I'm estranged from my dad and have his name so it would make no sense to give mine as even I don't want it.grin

handfulofcottonbuds Fri 02-May-14 16:43:58

I gave my DS his Dad's surname, I loved him and didn't see that we would ever split up but we did when he was 3. My DS has a little contact with his Dad but that's it.

I wish my DS had my name as buzzard is right, regardless of what happens in a relationship, your DC will always be with you.

Also, I would have liked my DS to carry on my family name when he has DC.

Mothergothel1111 Fri 02-May-14 16:50:02

I have two friends who gave dads surname, both of which are now seperated and deeply regret giving dads name.

HandfulOfSweets Fri 02-May-14 16:52:57

My DS has no contact whatever with his dad and I've still given him his surname, I believe every child should be in their fathers surname.

Andcake Fri 02-May-14 17:05:20

Give him your name sods what he thinks. How much to you does it matter that you have your dad's not mums surname? And would you ever have changed your name in marriage. Ds has both ours not hyphenated but he can choose when older. Why should a baby have fathers surname - are men better than us shock

croquet Fri 02-May-14 17:21:02

Give it your name. There's no telling whether he'll stick around - sounds like baby will be mostly with you. Deffo your name!

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!

V v quickly he'll realise there's a LOT more to being a dad then the surname!! lol

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-May-14 17:23:37

"Was this just an excuse that he needed to do one?"

Oh yes. It's what's known in the trade as a 'clean pair of heels'. Doesn't mean he gets off paying maintenance, however. The only time your baby will need his surname is on the support cheques. smile

NewNameForSpring Fri 02-May-14 19:30:33

Not only do I think you should give the baby your own name but I would be grateful that such an idiot is bowing out of your life. Imagine having to hand your baby or small child over to such an idiot for their contact time. FGS go it alone. Could you really trust him with your precious child.

weatherall Fri 02-May-14 19:36:48

My DCs have my name.

Wouldn't have it any other way.

I too don't understand in married mums giving the baby the fathers name.

But then I don't understand women changing their name upon marriage either (unless absent/abusive father).

Charley50 Fri 02-May-14 19:41:24

On hindsight I wish my son had the same surname as me rather than his dads. I knew the relationship wouldn't last and I think that at the time I wanted him to have a link to his dad through a shared name.
Fastforward 10 years; they have a strong relationship which I imagine would be exactly the same if DS had my surname, but I would prefer my son to have my name. My son is happy to has his dads name though.
Your ex sounds like a prick; you'll be a great mum by yourself, and pricks always try that 'might not be my baby' shit. Mine did.
It is nice bringing up baby on your own in many arguments about housework, laziness or differing parenting styles.
So good luck and give baby your name (unless it's Janus or something equally wrong!!))

Charley50 Fri 02-May-14 19:42:19

Btw Why can't I be succinct like Any Fucker??

spacetravel Fri 02-May-14 19:45:00

I didn't think it would matter and have dc my partner's name with mine in the middle. After dc was born it did actually feel a bit sad and strange, although I've got over that now. I'm afraid to say that it is administratively easier to share a name - especially when it comes to passports, travel etc. I think your option of exp's name in the middle is a really good compromise.

Chunderella Fri 02-May-14 19:48:39

Does it matter whether he's truly upset or whether it was an excuse? Either way he's a dick. Of course you should give the child your name!

ThingsThatShine Fri 02-May-14 19:55:07

Your surname and sounds like you are well rid. At least you've seen his true colours now.

AdoraBell Fri 02-May-14 20:07:40

I also think you should give the baby your ñame.

The original plan of both was good up to the point that he started showing his true colours.

My DCs have both ñames because I kept mine and tagged DH's onto it when we got married and there was no wáy I was giving my DCs a different ñame To mine. Despite the PIL's attitude.

KatherinaMinola Fri 02-May-14 20:11:32

Sounds like you're well shot of him. Congratulations on your pregnancy thanks

KatherinaMinola Fri 02-May-14 20:11:54

And obviously - don't give the child his name!

Charley50 Fri 02-May-14 20:16:07

Yes well rid!

Xenadog Fri 02-May-14 20:25:43

OP, in some way I'm in the same position. Found out I was pregnant at nearly 40 very unexpectedly. DP and I were living together at the time (but had only just moved in) and as we are happy together my DD was given his surname.

However I now wish she had my surname and not his even though we are still happy together. In your position I would not hesitate to give your child just your surname. Your ex sounds a real charmer and he may not stick around to build any relationship with the child so in which case why bother giving them his name?

MargotThreadbetter Fri 02-May-14 20:38:48

I gave my DS my name and have never regretted it.
Ex didn't care at the time (he was busy moving in with OW) though he regrets it now.
My reasoning was that I didn't want my child to have a different name to me. If I were to meet someone else in the future and marry I wouldn't change my name either.

A friend of mine gave her DD her now ex's name and bitterly regrets it as he's rarely around.

gertiegusset Fri 02-May-14 20:47:53

Congratulations! flowers

Sadly it sounds like he's looking to be a twat about it, it's all just tradition and patriarchy and willy culture isn't it.

Doesn't absolve him of his responsibilities though.

scottishmummy Fri 02-May-14 20:54:46

If dad isnt in picture and you unmarried id not use his surname for baby

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Fri 02-May-14 21:01:36

Your name.

I would also not include him on birth cert.

Sorry x

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Fri 02-May-14 21:02:09

How would you say leave the country if different names....?

Thurlow Fri 02-May-14 21:42:06

With a copy of the birth certificate, sunny.

Blu Fri 02-May-14 22:27:42

Before he behaved like that I would say double barrel, and try and support a relationship between your baby and the father. But his behaviour over not having his surname would make me run a mile.

When you say you are gutted, what are you gutted about, exactly? That he has threatened to disappear? For your sake/ For your baby's sake?

In any case - his 'always being there for the child' didn't last long, did it? And gives him even less right to start calling YOU a liar!!

Look: he reacted badly to the pregnancy. He decided he didn't want to be with you. And now he has said he wants nothing to with you, or the baby.

I can't see all that being caused by - or reversed by - a choice of surname.

YellowTulips Fri 02-May-14 23:15:14

His name isn't a right - it's earned.

If he wants to be the baby's father he can start acting like it.

From you post I suggest you give him your name and quite frankly I wouldn't even put his in the middle.

Focus on the child you are about to have not the one you have separated from. thanks

MsVestibule Fri 02-May-14 23:20:52

When I unexpectedly became pregnant with DC1, I wasn't living with her father. We moved in together when I was 34 weeks pregnant but no way was the baby not going to have my name!!! Whether we stayed together or not, I knew I'd be the one dealing with schools, doctors etc and thought it would be easier if we shared the same name. My now DH wasn't bothered in the slightest. When DC2 was born, I didn't want the siblings to have different surnames, so he was named after me too.

I succumbed to tradition when we got married and changed all of our names to his!

In case you didn't glean it from my self indulgent ramblings, I'm in favour of the child receiving the mother's surname. Good look with the rest of your pregnancy and motherhood.

DocDaneeka Fri 02-May-14 23:25:50

Congratulations on the pregnancy

Congratulations on getting the nobber to show his true colours so early on. Bullet dodged I'd say.

LineRunner Fri 02-May-14 23:29:55

Your name. Easy.

Seasidegirly Fri 02-May-14 23:51:09

Thanks for your replies. I have a feeling it won't be the last I hear from him. I'm going to stick with my surname. His reaction has shown me what a tool he is and is has still lot of growing upto do. I'm glad I'm not with him anymore.

Hughfearnley Sat 03-May-14 06:53:26

My DS has my partners surname. We are in a committed relationship, the pregnancy was very much planned and the wedding is booked for Aug 1st after which time I will change my name!
We didn't get married beforehand purely because I didn't want to be pregnant at my wedding!
In your circs, there's no way I would give the child his surname. He's unlikely to have much input in the long term. Good luck!

ThePinkOcelot Sat 03-May-14 08:05:28

Congratulations on your pregnancy OP.

I am with the consensus. Baby to have your name. My dds had their dad name, but only because I knew we were getting married in the future and I would then have the same name.

I don't understand this about travelling abroad and needing to take birth certificate if your child has a different name. I never had a problem, no one ever mentioned it to me.

HeyBungalowBill Sat 03-May-14 08:40:40

He sounds like a child! He's doubting he's the father just over a name?!

Give the baby your surname, he sounds unreliable and immature IMO

fifi669 Sat 03-May-14 08:41:10

When I was pregnant with DS, I was in a committed relationship, turns out he wasn't! , and chose to double barrel. He left at 20 weeks pregnant so I decided he'd just have my name. Ex had a bit of a fit about it, people raised eyebrows. DS is 3 1/2 now and hasn't seen ex since March 2012 despite him knowing where we live and all living in a town you can walk from end to end easily.

With current pregnancy DP has agreed baby will have my surname. I wouldn't want siblings to have different names if possible and theoretically me, DS and unborn could of have all has different names should DP end up being a weirdo.... (Pretty sure he's just lovely). If when we get married, I'll change all our surnames to his. Ex can protest about the name change is he's bothered. But as he didn't have his last name anyway the courts will allow it.

DP has a daughter who does have his name. He wasn't particularly fussed either way. Now his ex is super controlling over his DD and he is going to court to sort out real contact, he sees his name as some link to the child he misses desperately. His ex is having a stink as unborn is keeping my name and wants to change her DDs to hers! Funnily enough we have the same surname too....

fifi669 Sat 03-May-14 08:45:56

Oh should mention DPs family can't understand why unborn won't have DPs name. They don't think it's right but I don't give a toss! They say if you plan on getting married and changing names why not just do it from birth? Until the ring is on my finger nothing is certain for me.

Sorry to rant smile

HermioneWeasley Sat 03-May-14 08:47:24

Agree with others saying give your child your name, and do NOT put him on the birth certificate

CookieDoughKid Sat 03-May-14 08:59:28

I'm sorry to go against the grain here but I think the father has a say and a right to name his child too. I don't sit well that this can't be worked out. I know he's a fucker but some men takes a while to come to terms. It really is a shock and he may be carrying a lot of fear. When the baby arrives and grows he may be able to establish a positive bond to the baby. He may not be your ideal but I would emphasise the need to keep the door open whilst keeping your mental health intact!

Hissy Sat 03-May-14 09:08:17

Register the baby alone, then the father can't go on the bC.

Register YOUR surname. It gives your baby a connection to you. The one that IS there for him/her.

I was with my ex when DS was born/registered. We're not together anymore, and Ex is now abroad and has been so for 3 years. He was abusive to me, so contact is purely due to DS.

I did register ds with Ex name. I kind of wish I didn't, but apparently inheritance in Ex country is impossible if a western name/name different to the father is used.

At school though he's now only known as <firstname> <MY surname>.

When I registered him for infant school I used his official name as I had to, but stated a 'known as' name. When he went from one school to the next, I didn't bother with the official name, so he only has MY name.

This gives him the right in the future to choose. He could get passports etc in my name if he can prove a link to it, which he can,

In your situation love, (and actually in ALL unmarried cases) i'd strongly recommend that the mother's name is used. No unmarried partner has the right to complain imho, as if they marry you, the bC etc and name can be automatically changed.

Give your child the link to you, not to someone who looks set to only ever disappoint you/them.

It's bad enough realising that the living being that you most love in all the world has a woefully idiotic father, but don't further rub it into your own wounds by bestowing the honour of furthering his lineage when he's done nothing to support either of you.

CookieDoughKid Sat 03-May-14 09:16:56

Just to add I mean if father wants nothing to do with baby whatsoever then of course your name only. But is he reacting because of the shock ?

weatherall Sat 03-May-14 09:57:21

Cookie- he's not a father yet- he's someone who had sex with OP. Her body, her choice. Do you think 'fathers' should have a right to a say in abortion?

Not having the same surname is no barrier to him being a good father if he wants.

No man ever hung around because of the surname 'bond'.

fifi669 Sat 03-May-14 10:41:14

I really don't think her body, her choice comes into naming a child that has been born!

Seasidegirly Sat 03-May-14 10:56:24

I will always let him see the child and I am still going to put his name on the birth certificate. He said some awful things to me and pushed for an abortion. I know it's because he's petrified but then again I was completely floored being 41 and my first baby smile

Horsemad Sat 03-May-14 11:20:38

I don't think you can put his name on the birth cert unless he is present when you register your DC.

MargotThreadbetter Sat 03-May-14 12:08:33

Mine was the same OP - and I was 44 first baby!
Ex now regrets DS not having his name, but tough. He was off busy setting up home with OW and her child and I knew that I wanted the baby that I was raising alone to have my name.
Ex lives abroad anyway, and DS will be able to change/double barrel his name when he's older if he wants.
Your baby's father's family may be hmm as mine were, but sod 'em!

getthefeckouttahere Sat 03-May-14 13:12:26

Give your kid whatever name you choose, he has forfeited the right to have a say.

I feel sorry for him that he feels so negatively about what could be the best thing that has ever happened to him, fatherhood. Just don't let his behaviour lessen your enjoyment of your child!

Blu Sat 03-May-14 17:31:27

fifi66 - tell your relatives that you will all have the same names on marriage - yours.

Since 3 of you already have the same name, why doesn't he change his name to yours?

LadySybilLikesCake Sat 03-May-14 17:37:30

Ds has my surname. His father wasn't supportive (understatement) during my pregnancy and I suspected that he'd be just as 'supportive' afterwards. I also knew it could cause issues with school/passport etc. I gave ds his father's first name as a middle name though (wish I hadn't but it could be worse).

I was right about how 'supportive' he'd be after ds was born. He left the UK when ds was 3.

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Sat 03-May-14 22:42:10

D.P and and are ttc and I have always maintained that if I do get pregnant the baby will go in my name, it's not negotiable but he will be able to choose his/her first name. D.D is also in my name. It's each to their own though. I had a friend who put her child in its father's name because she liked his surname. (confused face). Almost 4got congratulations on your precious impending arrival.xx

fifi669 Sun 04-May-14 00:39:26

blu I have an incredibly common popular surname, whereas DPs is a shortened version of a foreign name so as far as we know is unique. If you were to google his surname, only his family appear.

I am quite attached to my name, though I am quite traditional too. We'll see how it pans out, a wedding isn't on the cards yet.

WutheringTights Sun 04-May-14 08:18:41

I've been married 10 years, committed relationship, planned baby etc but didn't change my name when I got married. By mutual agreement with DH, DS has my surname. Your ex is being a controlling cock. Ignore him.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 04-May-14 10:45:24

I hate my surname but I disliked him his more. It didn't sit right with me after all that he'd done to give him this honour. My father was pleased though, it carried on his surname.

I have some advice for you, if that's OK. I think that it will really help you in the future. Having been through this first hand, it's how I've managed and hopefully it will help you too.

You're going to have to stay strong with this one, Seaside. Once they show they are a controlling cock, they never change. Make sure you get the CSA involved at the first opportunity as the main way a controlling cock can and will control you is by stopping maintenance payments when you don't do as they demand. Expect demands for access to your child without notice too, and expect to be yelled at/gaslighted/manipulated when you say that you've already made plans. If you do go ahead with contact (I did as I thought it was in ds's best interests) then go for something formal, so see a solicitor. A controlling cock will want everything on their terms or they will sulk (as you've seen here). It's perfectly OK for them (in their eyes) not to see their child for months, nor contact them (or in our case, years) and then turn up and make contact demands for the next day (our already made plans - a day in London, tickets booked etc- just spoiled his 2 hours so he went bat shit). Inconsistent contact for a child has effects on their self esteem and it knocks their feelings of being secure and wanted, so please make it something formal and don't allow your child to be picked up and put down like a toy.

I hope this helps.

zebrastripe Sun 04-May-14 10:55:18

My mother was unmarried (and still is) when she had me, I took her surname and had my fathers name as a middle name. My dad buggered off when I was 3 months old and didn't make a reappearance until I was 17.

Having my mums name made life so much easier, as we had the same surname we were never questioned when we went abroad etc (I know some people have had problems with an absent parent with parental responsibility).

Now, I don't even use my dad's name as a middle name, it's not on my driving license or passport but I know it's there if I ever wanted to use it.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 04-May-14 10:58:58

His behaviour says all you need to know. He just cares about getting his own way and not why's the best for the baby. Giving up to him re surname will not make anything better, he will find some other stick to beat you over the head with.

nikki1391 Sun 04-May-14 13:32:34

I think he completely overreacted and was maybe looking for an excuse to run off especially as it seems that even your friends didn't think he would stick around. Then again though some guys feel that its very important that the baby has their surname and feel very strongly about it. My dad was never really mum gave me her surname and although I'm close to my dads family (dad died a few years back) I am happy I have my mums surname. She's the one who done everything for me so it makes more sense to me. My daughter has a double surname...I suggested her having just my name as we weren't in a stable relationship and he flipped so we just ended up double barrelling the name...I didn't feel comfortable giving her his surname alone as like I said we weren't stable. Fast forward nearly 4 years and even though he's still around and doing a good job I'm happy I double barrelled it. In your situation I would just give baby my name alone

MeganBacon Sun 04-May-14 17:20:00

It sounds like you are thinking maybe you should give ground on the name in the hope that it will help this reluctant father bond with the baby. It really won't though, if he's this useless now it really won't get better just because of a name, and even if he is partially involved, you'll probably always feel like you are made to feel grateful for very half hearted contribution to parenting.
I was in same situation at your age almost exactly, and wish I'd just given him my name, which is how we ended up a few years later anyway. It makes life so much easier with schools/doctors etc. to have the same name as your child.

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