If you didn't change your surname when you got married(68 Posts)
I haven't changed my surname, so DH and I have different surnames. So far, so normal. But everyone I talk to assumes that kids would all have the same surname and it would probably be his surname (we don't have any yet, TTC at the moment). I don't see why. I want one each (one kid with his name, one with mine) which seems fair. Otherwise I'm the only person in the family with a different name. What do you think?
Double barrel. Or one of your names as a middle name?
I have friends who decided that if they had a girl first she would take the father's name and a boy would take the mother's and any subsequent kids would have the same surname. In another family the kids have the mother's name and in another the daughter has the mother's name and the soon, his father's. Whatever works for you!
noisy Sadly our two names do NOT double barrel. It sounds totally ridiculous. I've thought about the middle name / last name thing, but I would still want it to be in different orders for both kids (since really, who ever uses middle names).
hermione For your friends who've done this, do they find there are any issues with it? People make gloomy predictions to me about the kids getting 'confused' (I can't see how it's more confusing than divorced parents who've remarried etc), and also about travel with authorities in other countries not recognising that a family may actually be a family without sharing a surname.
My mum's best friend did what hermione's friend did. The girl has the dad's surname as there weren't many other girls in the dad's family, and likewise the boy the mum's.
Never caused any problems; I gave ds DH's surname and probably would have given a girl mine (the mum of a friend of mine declared that this would be 'illegal', which I found hilarious). I haven't tested my theory as we only have the one ds.
ds is not in the slightest bit confused about why he has a different surname to me, he's never even asked. He isn't aware of it yet (aged 7) but in my huge blended family not only are different surnames the norm (I haven't had the same surname as my mum since I was 7) but some members even have different first names (my step-sister's mum decided to change her first name upon divorce when my step-sis was about 9, so everyone who has met her since then calls her one name and we call her something else!).
You may need to take suitable documentation when travelling through customs, but I wouldn't reverse a decision that is important to you just because of a bit of paperwork.
It is really only in the UK that you change your name when you get married.
I married in Canada and could not have changed my name if I had wanted. to. I have lived in France and Italy, again, you do not change your name. I currently am in Spain (where I gave birth) and again, you do not change your name!
In Europe the law is as follows (nothing you can do about how ridiculous it sounds!) Childs name, fathers surname, mothers surname. My DD was born in Madrid and nothing I could do to alter my childs odd sounding surname! Not called double barelled here - it is the absolutel norm and the law. However, DD is called her name then fathers surname mainly. All hospital apts, school, passports, the whole shebang, with my surname added.
I think to have children with different surnames is really odd. I would devise a formula and like the suggestion above of middle name as one of your surnames. Basically what is done on the continent.
We're in the same situation (no kids, different names) and at the moment the plan is for them to have my name, partly because it does seem to be one of those issues where blokes always pass on their name, but partly also because DH has an awkward foreign name that's a pain. I assume MIL and FIL will call them 'baby DHsname', but they find my name hard to pronounce anyway so it seems fair enough.
calypso - I can think of other places than the UK where you change your name, loads of them. It's normal in the US and Aus and Russia, all fairly big countries.
I knew children when I was little where the girl was Mumsname-Dadsname and the boy was Dadsname-Mumsname and both found it quite tedious because naturally teachers got confused.
My kids have dh's name and I am the only one in my family with my name.
I like my three having the same surname, for simplicity in the naming of kit for school. You just write the surname in their wellies etc and then you don't have to change anything when they get handed down. It does bug me that the teachers constantly call me Mrs DH'sName, or if they have sussed out I have a different name, they assume we're not married - I've been asked if I was married before hence the ring . I mean ffs, it's 2013, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with the perfectly simple explanation of me being married and not changing my name.
It would be simpler if they had the same name as me tbh but I don't think dh would have gone for it.
I think it's better to give all children the same surname, whether it's his or yours, less confusing for all. If you only end up having one child then one of you will not get a child with their name anyway. I have a different surname to my children and it has never been a problem, I certainly don't feel any less connected to them than if they had my name.
calypso We were actually married in Oz, where it's quite common for the woman to change her name when married (although slightly less common than it is here I think), and the only time legally other than by deed poll that a surname can be changed (although men can't when marrying which always strikes me as unfair). But that's very interesting about the rest of Europe. I know in the UK you can legally name your child whatever you like (surname included), so worst case we could just coin a totally new family name I suppose... I'm really interested to know why you think it's odd though to have two different surnames for the kids - this is exactly what I'm trying to understand as it's a very common reaction to it.
Buskers Do you think they'd find it confusing? This is exactly what people tell me. But I don't see how it would be. It's just different names, and how is it less confusing than me having a different name to the rest of the family?
LRD Agree the reversing of the double-barrel is a pain! I don't think we'd want to take it to that extent.
I can see how the sticking point may be school, but honestly do kids ever really spend any time with their siblings at school? I certainly didn't when I was little and my brother is only 2 years younger than me. I'm struggling to think of a situation where it could be an issue / relevant.
Harriet Harman did this - boys Dromey, girl Harman I think. I do remember reading an interview with her (years and years ago) where she said that she actually regretted it as it had been confusing - but that might have been a PR thing to make her seem less 'feminist' for that particular paper (or at that particular time).
I know another family who have done it - boy his name, girl her name.
We did that. We shared out our surnames between our dc. We thought they wouldn't want 2 surnames and our names don't double-barrel that well.
But when the dc reached the age of discussion (5 or 6) they said they'd like both our names, and my teenage nieces also said they wished they had both their parents' names. So we changed it and since then all the dc have both our surnames, they are very happy about this.
I hadn't realised when we first had kids quite how many children would have 2 surnames. It's very normal around here for dc to have a different name to at least one parent, or two surnames, or 3.
I don't think that it matters which name they have, but all children should have the same one IMO.
Tunip I hear you! We have the same problem, people keep wanting me to be 'Mrs', which I'm not. One of my friends even had a long argument with a customer service rep about the same thing, culminating in her asking to have the title 'Dr' (customer service rep: 'Oh are you a doctor?'; my friend 'No, but if you're going to get it wrong at least use something interesting').
It does amuse me though when people ring up and ask for 'Mr Orbis' (to which his usual response is that his father in law doesn't live with us )...
I never really thought about it. DS has DHs surname. I use it sometimes and DS sometimes gets addressed as DSMoomin (which amuses me as that's my late fathers name). It really doesn't bother me. If I'd had more, they would have been given the same surname.
I couldn't change my surname as I live abroad and it appeared on the residency paperwork which would have become null and void....so kids have father's surname. Our names would be a mouthful double-barreled, as mine is 3 syllables and his is 2 plus they are almost anagrams of each other. Hasn't caused any probs, no one seems to care.
We changed our names by deed poll to a new surname made up of our two surnames merged - we couldn't have double barrelled either. Would this work for you? We did it shortly before DC1 was born and so just registered her birth as normal with the new surname.
It felt a bit contrived at first but we're completely used to it now 5 years down the line and I love that we've created something new.
I didn't change my surname (not a feminist, just don't see the point). Both our boys have DH's surname. I don't see a problem with it. They are still my sons.
I wouldn't have given them different surnames. What if you end up with 3 children?
I'm not married but I have 2 dds. Dd1 has my surname, dd2 has dp's surname. I can't see how it is going to be confusing for the girls, but then again they won't be at the same school at the same time anyway.
The only confusion so far has been the cm with dd2. When filling in paperwork for a particular toddler group they go to she couldn't remember dd2's surname so gave her mine instead. That's fine by me.
It may be confusing for the teachers when dd2 goes to school but that's because I will have more dealings with school (because I am a teacher and know a bit more about what questions to ask, not because dp isn't interested), but that would have been the case with any child with a different surname to either parent.
We're perfectly happy with our decision. Dp would have been happy for both dds to have my surname, but I wouldn't have been happy for them both to have his surname. His family would not have been happy if both dds had my surname though. If he ever disappears, which I don't think is likely, then I will change dd2's name to match dd1 and me.
MoonHare We have definitely considered it. Although our two surnames merged sound almost as silly as double-barrelled. But one of the things that stopped me from changing my name (couldn't face changing passport, drivers licence etc etc etc, also I'm known at work by my current name) makes me think that it's a lot of effort to go to in order to have the same surname.
Timetoask If I end up with 3 children it would only be from having twins, which is unlikely as it doesn't run in our family. If I had twins I would give both of them the same surname, since twins are a bit special in that sense.
Schooldidi You've perfectly summarised my position, I'm glad it's not just me. DH (and family) wouldn't be happy with two kids with my name, I'm not happy with two kids with his name. So. What to do other than give them one each?
I wouldn't do the different surnames thing myself but I don't think it's unreasonable. There isn't a perfect solution.
I think I would be a bit cross with my parents- if they had done it with my brother and I. One is a very unusual name and one is very common- it wouldn't be fair.
That's not really a problem for us exotic, we've both got fairly unusual names, so it's not unfair in that sense.
Really for us the decision was made for us in a sense. Dd1 was 6 before I met dp, so she obviously already had my name (she's never met her father, so she definitely doesn't have his name), so it was only dd2's name that was up for debate. It didn't cause quite the same problems as if they were both 'ours' and we chose to give them different names.
If we have another child I think we'd probably give it dp's surname so it's the same as it's closest sibling.
I'm Ms A, married to Mr C. Our son is something, something, a as a middle name C as his surname.
I'm passionate about not being defined by my husband's name, but I don't mind my children having their Dad's surname. If his surname was horrid, I'd feel differently, but there's nothing wrong with it. And double barrelling our names would have been clunky.
timetoask you say you're not a feminist... you may not have chosen to keep your name for feminist reasons, but if you're in the uk, the fact that you have the right to keep your name on marriage is a reflection on what feminism has achieved.
I'm Ms A married to Mr B. Our children have my surname. This has never caused anyone any problems.
I've kept my name, DS has DH's name (with mine as a second middle name) and we have decided to give any DDs my surname and DH's as a second middle one.
All our relatives seem to call us whatever they like anyway
Weirdly, it never occurred to me not to give the kids DH's name, though I kept my name. I wish that it had occurred to me though.
In the maternity hospital, the bracelets on the baby are Baby YourSurname (so that they "belong" to you as the other patient) and I think I once read that the custom was to give the baby the mother's surname - it just so happened that for a long time that was the father's surname anyway. Don't know if that's right though.
ah, my area of expertise!
I'm don, he's payne, dd is paydon.
a completely made up name for her that is exactly half me and him.
Dd has my name and ds has dh's name. Fair's fair.
Dd adores and I mean adores my family and really identifies with the name.
Ds is too young to know what his surname is, let alone identify with it. He and dh will bond over kilt wearing though so I'm guessing he'll grow attached to his name too.
In that the tartan is his surname.
It's so true that it's feminism that has given us the ability to make these decisions without too much hassle.
I didn't take dh name when we got married. I guess I used to be political about it, annoyed when I couldn't use the prefix ms etc. i would always have kept my name. When dd1 was born, I wanted to give her my surname as a middle name and then dh as her final surname. However, dd1 was stillborn, and to be honest giving her my surname was not an issue. We gave her the first name we loved and had always wanted to give our long-awaited first born. And dhs surname, the perfect name. When I saw her name written on her coffin, I wanted to change my surname to be the same as her. I didn't, but I am less fussed about it now. My four surviving dds have my husbands name. The oldest is six and they are not at all phased that I have a different name. So many people warned us that it would be an issue. Never has, and we have travelled overseas a number of times (on a number of different nationality passports as five of us are dual citizens). Never had a problem.
Though, dhs surname is a much, much nicer name than mine!
Our DCs do have DH's name (for mostly aesthetic reasons). But I know some families where all the DCs have the mother's name, one where the girls have the mother's name and the boys have the father's name, and ine where the boys have the mother's name and the girls have the father's name.
We're in a similar situation. Our names would make a ridiculous double barrel, and neither really wants to give up their own name to take the other's.
As a compromise, I have suggested that we choose a name we both like (e.g. invented or a good one from our family trees), and we will all change our names.
Our child has my surname for now- we did that as a bit of a lottery so as to be fair..!
We both have seriously awful surnames. My mother and MIL must both have loved their husbands a lot to have taken their names (they are from the generation which would not have questioned it, both both went from pleasant, normal names to FILs/my DDad's) . Our two names would be even worse double-barrelled.
DS's both have DH's surname, as his is marginally less awful than mine.
DC have Dh's surname and my surname as a third middle name, so that they could use either or both if they chose. They would find it odd to have different surnames, I think - one of the things that has really struck me about their sibling relationship (I am an only child) is how much of a 'gang' they are. Interestingly they have recently started saying they'd like me to have the same name as them so I might in fact adopt DH's name after all . We've been married for 15 years.
I'm the same as a couple of others, I kept my surname, DD and DS have my husband's surname with my surname as a second middle name. I never had any intention of giving up my surname, my husband's family just ignore that, and sometimes mine do too which really annoys me! As does people asking why you bothered to get married as if all that's important about it is the wife giving up part of her identity.
I didn't change my name but my children have my husband's surname, with my surname as a middle name. I find it personally to be a bad compromise. I feel that they don't really have my name, as the middle name gets overlooked.
Plus why did my principles only extend as far as my name? I kept my name as I am not my husbands property. But my children are equally mine, so their name should reflect this and it doesn't. Our surnamea don't work double barreled.
Not sure what compromise i should have gone for. Combined our surnames? Whole new family name? not sure what the answer is but I still feel a sense of detachment when I hear their names called in full, as I don't have a strong connection to their surname. Which is sad.
I didnt change my name but my children have my ex husbands name.
My ex left us for an OW. A couple of years back after ex remarried and his new wife took his surname, DS2 asked to change his surname to mine, but ex wouldnt agree so he had to stay as he was
I didn't take H's name. Both boys have their fathers's surnames (DS1 is from a previous relationship). If either had been a girl, she'd've had mine. Seemed the most sensible way to do it. I'm not having any more though.
I didn't change my name and our DC have both names as surnames but unhyphenated IYSWIM. My name is boring and easy to spell, DH's is long and foreign and complicated so maybe they will choose one or the other later in life or decide to keep both.
I definitely don't think that what name your DC have matters, but they should certainly have the same name as each other.
(feel very strongly about this having an unexpected DC3!)
I kept my surname. When pg with ds, I wanted to give him my surname but assumed he'd have dh's as well. Dh mumbled agreement but actually when we came to register ds he decided to go with my name alone. I was shocked and queried if he was really sure, but he was and has never had second thoughts. He says his surname is v. common and boring (true) and it was too much of a mouthful. He gave ds his Dad's name as a middle instead.
Has never caused any real problems except the odd raised eyebrow - we moved somewhere suburban where many people are very conventional but hey, let them chunter, no skin off our noses.
My dcs have their father's surname (English).
The dcs attend Sunday Mandarin school and in that school, their surname is mine (Chinese).
(too much of a mouthful to have both names, I mean, it'd be five syllables).
Calypso, Europe isn't one country with one law (although clearly the Eurocrats are trying...). The law in Spain is different to the law in the Netherlands to the law in Belgium etc. etc. etc.
I didn't change my name when I got married, the kids have their father's surname. We briefly spoke about going double barrelled and/or using the Spanish system (father's surname mother's surname, carrying the father's surname to the next generation) because DH's Mum is from South America and he was born there so it would be valid but decided to go with the most conventional option. I wouldn't have given them different surnames from each other, I think that would make most people assume they were half rather than full siblings.
It does make me laugh that most people assume that the namechange on marriage tradition in England is the same everywhere, when people ask if DH minds that I haven't changed my name I always tell them his mother didn't because she is from South America and they don't do it there (incidentally historically women didn't change their name in Scotland either which is why Scottish gravestones still have women's maiden name rather than their married name).
The same is true for Canada - it's only Quebec that doesn't allow name changing.
Haven't read whole thread, so sorry if this has already been aired. I have ended up with both dcs having my surname and dh's surname (but not hyphenated) which means that effectively they have his surname, which I am not thrilled by. A good friend and her dh decided on a new family surname when they had a child. They all have the same name but it is neither of the adults' surnames iyswim.
We decided before DC were born that they would have their father's surname. Double-barrelling for us doesn't work due to the name combination and although we thought about the middle name option, it just didn't sound as good as the other names
I had decided on we liked. Also my DS is named after my dad and my DD is named after my grandmother. It seemed fair that if I 'got' the first names then DH could have the surnames
I've had the 'won't they be confused about who their mother is' question. Frankly, if they're confused about that, they've got bigger problems than their surname.
My only 'official' slight problem was at passport control coming back into the UK. DH had my son and their passports, I had DD and our passports. Passport control guy insisted on seeing us all together. I'm sure it would have been fine if I'd been there on my own with her/him but I probably will take their birth certificates with me next time.
GoblinGold you made me laugh with "Frankly, if they're confused about that, they've got bigger problems than their surname." - that's exactly how I see it. How hard can it be to explain?
Which is pretty much how I feel about them having different surnames from each other. My official plan (currently, will see how it goes when I have actual vs theoretical DCs) is to tell them that the world hasn't come up with a good way of dealing with names for families so this is how we're doing it.
Good tip on the birth certificate though, it is something I've thought about.
I didn't change my name on marriage but have ended up with 2 DCs with DH's surname. I toyed with girls-mothers surname, boys fathers surname but we had a girl first and she has First name, middle name, my surname as another middle name, DH surname.
So regret it now as we had a boy next and DH really wanted his son to have his surname (fair enough) so thats what he got but it was impossible to fit my surname in as well plus the length of name was getting ridiculous(with rude initials too!).
If only I'd had a crystal ball and could see we'd have one of each-DD's last 2 names would have been reversed so we would have had a nice balance.It was my decision entirely to give DD her dads name as he only had strong feelings about having a son with his surname-I think I thought it would blow too many minds to give her mine, but I wouldnt have felt that if we'd had her brother first!
One poster above said children with different surnames would be assumed to be half siblings. I have thought of this, but really who cares? Everyone who matters will know who their mum and dad are. I don't really mind if people I don't know make incorrect assumptions about my family.
When I married I kept my surname and my husband took my name. Our four children all have the same surname too, nice and easy.
My surname was important to me and our children are the last of this branch of our small family with this name Iyswim. Whereas my husband's original surname is far more common and he has a large extended family who carry on the name.
I like everyone in our family sharing the same name and I also label coats, wellies and school uniform with surname only.
I am surprised that more men don't take their partners names when they get married. That said our bank really struggled with this concept and it took a few phone calls and a copy of the marriage certificate to get our bank account altered.
I didn't change my name. My sons both have DHs surname.
They have both at some point asked if all girls are called Nova and all boys are called DHsurname. (I have two sisters who have also kept their name so it is a good guess!). So I don't think it would be confusing, quite the opposite, it seems natural.
I didn't change my name. Our kids have both names but the older one ( 16 yr) has dropped his and just uses mine day to day although passports etc will have both. I imagine if the younger one wants to do the same at some point he will. I know its considered "odd" but I don't care. All the comments go over my head most of the time.
We have given our DC both our surnames. Not double barrelled, just the two words as the surname (like you we thought double barrelling would sound awful, as well as like fake landed gentry). it's not ideal as it's still quite a long name, but it feels right. I definitely wouldn't like my DC to have different surnames from each other - it might feel as though one was more "mine" and one was more "his", if that makes sense.
My husband offered to take my name but I declined despite not really wanting to change my name, as it seemed weird and unfair
These days we agree that if we got married now we'd either all have my name or me and the kids would have my name. Its nicer, it means more to me and I just don't like my married name as much.
I am Ms H, DP is Mr J, DS is Master H-J. Both names sound perfectly normal and follow the conventional British form ie; -ton, -grave, -son endings but are actually quite uncommon and we are both the end of the line for our surnames. Despite my having dozens of cousins there is not one person to carry my name on due to a mix of blended families and a glut of female cousins who took their husbands name or male cousins who only had daughters so the name would likely have ended with me. DP's family is similar and so neither of us were prepared to lose our names, but could at least see the other's point in wanting to keep their own name so we compromised by double barrelling.
The idea was that we would both change our names by deed poll to the double barrelled version, but DS is 18 months old now and we still haven't gotten around to it yet We are planning to marry at some point though so the new plan is for DP to change his name by deed poll to H-J which I will then take on marriage. That is purely for cheapskate purposes, since I would have to pay to change it by deed poll but don't if I take his name on marriage.
My eldest DSs have their fathers surname, so right now we have 4 different surnames in one household of 5 people. So far none of us have exploded so I figure any other name changes can wait a while.
We couldn't decide but knew we'd want them to share a surname. When I was pregnant with DS I suggested we did it on the gender of the first child - DH's surname if a boy, mine if a girl. DH liked the randomness of tossing a coin. We did this and I won, so they have my surname. The level of surprise from some peope about them having my name is interesting. In fact we celebrated DS's 2nd birthday last week and 2 relatives sent him cards and cheques in my husband's name (cheques to me with DH's surname so totally useless) despite a gentle reminder from me last time.
I think my MIL has decided I'm a bossy madam for being 'awkward' about the name thing as well, which peeves me. DH couldn't care less.
Personally I don't like double barrelling. If we all did it I just think about what a mouthful our great great grandkids names will be.
I kept my name and am now pregnant. We are not sure yet if it'll have mine or my dh name. I don't see a problem with future siblings having the other surname. We will all know we are family, just as much as I know I'm married but I happen to have my own name.
One option we've discussed is that if we pick a first or second name from one side, then the baby could have the surname of the other.
Frankly if my children are old enough and responsible enough to make a decision about getting married and spending the rest of their lives with someone, I'd trust them to make a decision about what to do with two double-barrelled surnames.
I don't have kids yet but wouldn't consider NOT giving them my name. We would likely just give them both of our names which would be a lengthy 6 syllables but necessary. Other than that, I suppose I would have considered coming up with a new family name.
I like the Icelandic naming convention
Although I have just checked on Wiki and it says that the naming convention is not as I thought it was.
They don't have family names.
You are named XXXson or XXXdottir. XXX is Usually the father's name. I thought that the XXXdottir was usually the mother's name, but apparently that is a choice you can make, rather than the norm.
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