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To think that our child should have both our surnames?

(133 Posts)
nomoreheels Fri 19-Nov-10 09:16:29

I am P with our first child. It's still slightly early days (my 12 week scan is next week) and we have agreed not to do too much "baby planning" until after this. Nevertheless you can't help talking about some things from time to time, and we were having a little jokey talk about baby names.

He then suddenly said: "I'm assuming the baby will have my surname?" to which I said I thought the baby should have both our surnames. He seemed to think this would be awkward and look ridiculous on the birth certificate, cause issues at school etc. He has a real thing about double barrelled names. Ours are fairly normal names and would make a total of four syllables, so not exactly a tongue twister.

He hasn't said no outright, but he wasn't that impressed either. I was surprised he automatically thought this should just happen. He's not hugely traditional in other ways. I found it a bit disrespectful tbh.

(For background, we're engaged, but not yet married as we were focusing on getting P for the last year+. But even when I do get married, I intend to keep my name. I am pretty sure I've told him this, but it's not something you talk about all the time!)

I don't want to have a huge argument about it - frankly there are going to be a million and one choice/parenting issues that come up - but I do believe that a woman's name should be included. Why should people automatically give children the father's surname?

What have other people done? It would really help to have some examples so I can discuss this with him.

FreudianSlimmery Fri 19-Nov-10 09:20:13

Well, we had a baby before marriage (also planned) and decided immediately that the baby would take both our names. We have since married and now we both have the double barrelled name as it just suits us - I didn't want to ditch my name as I'm the last one of my family.

TechnoKitten Fri 19-Nov-10 09:21:08

Can you use your last name as a middle name? So your DC(s) have your name in theirs but not as a double-barrel?

Our DCs have my husband's name, as do I - but it wasn't an area either of us had particularly strong feelings about.

TheNextMrsDepp Fri 19-Nov-10 09:21:53

We weren't married when DC1 and DC2 were born, but I knew that we would eventually.

And I really didn't like my surname, so it was an easy choice. They took his name, then I did too a year later when we tied the knot. So, not through any deep-seated traditionalist views, just wanted the opportunity to offload the maiden name!

That year when I had a different surname from the rest of the family was a bit of a pain though, and would have got worse when they reached school age. It was important to me that we all had the same name, just avoids any confusion and makes it clear that we are a family.

3beagles Fri 19-Nov-10 09:22:36

I can see your point of view, but I think on the whole double barrelled names are a bit of a PITA. Always having to spell them, and being a bit of a curiosity. Not the worse thing you can do for a kid, but I know other people have said it can be confusing.

CMOTdibbler Fri 19-Nov-10 09:22:53

DH and I are married, and ds has both our names - I am Ms CMOT, dh is MrHisname, and ds is Master Cmot-hisname. Doesn't cause any problems

SecretSlattern Fri 19-Nov-10 09:24:20

Well, I'm quite old fashioned when it comes to naming my DCs and did give all of them his surname. It just seemed like the right thing to do, I can't really explain it (so no help at all really!). He didn't mind if I wanted to name them after me but I just felt that they should be named after him.

I think part of the reason, and it was only a small part, is that DH is an only child and if the DCs hadn't been named after him, there was no one else to carry on his family name. I have a younger brother so the chances are my name will carry on iyswim?

I think whatever you decide, you both have to be happy with it, otherwise it could lead to all sorts of problems and resentment.

SecretSlattern Fri 19-Nov-10 09:25:43

I haven't encountered any problems however with having a different surname to them either.

curlymama Fri 19-Nov-10 09:27:30

My dc's have my ex's name. It's more interesting than my maiden name, and I was happy with it. It also meant that when I wanted to get married and take DH's name, I wasn't worrying about making my surname different to the dc's, it was already different. I still often get called Mrs Ex'sname at school though, which has never bothered me.

I think men like children to have their surname because otherwise there is nothing that externally links them to that child. Women carry the hild and give birth, but the name is the only thing a man has got until he starts doing proper parenting stuff.

If you feel strongly about it, using your name as a middle name is a good idea. I'm not a fan of double barrelled names.

piscesmoon Fri 19-Nov-10 09:28:42

I hate two surnames and what happens when the poor thing wants to marry another two surnames-does the DC have to suffer 4 names!
I think that a DC should have the father's name rather than grandfathers.

changeforthebetter Fri 19-Nov-10 09:28:48

They do this in Spain and no doubt lots of other places too. Don't see the problem with it myself You both made them. Why not acknowledge it if you want to?<<wishes had not been talked out of it their father, now my X>>

changeforthebetter Fri 19-Nov-10 09:30:18

Also shockshockshock at the Stepfordy replies so far on this thread. Hope it evens out a bit.

nomoreheels Fri 19-Nov-10 09:30:51

Thanks all. In my case I do want to keep my name, and I also really don't believe in following tradition "just because" (which is what it feels like he's saying - he doesn't have a reason as to why) - so maybe he just needs some time to think about what I've said.

My surname would only suit a boy for a middle name. I can keep that as a final compromise if need be, I guess. It still feels like it's taking a back seat though.

I wouldn't be precious about one of the surnames slipping in use at times (e.g. in school situations - I've seen some posts about this) but I would like to know that officially, our child has both our names. It is who I am. Like Freudian, I want to keep the name going as it's all girls in my family.

I'm not sure what's so confusing - it's just both our names put together. ?

I of course respect that if a woman doesn't really mind one way or another, or doesn't like her surname (for some it can also be a fresh start etc!) then fair enough.

harecare Fri 19-Nov-10 09:31:07

I am not married and had wanted unplanned dd1 to have my name - in part because I wanted to spite dp for not marrying me. If we married, I would take his - it's much nicer than mine! A friend pointed out that my dd would always be mine (should we split up), but giving her his name would give him a bit more "ownership" - wrong word, but I hope you know what I mean. He was not feeling ready to be a Dad, so it seemed to make sense to give dd1 his name so he'd always feel part of her life.
We now have 2 dds and they both have his name. I would prefer us all to have one family name, as to me that is what a surname is.
I have a friend who uses her and dps surnames with children, but not as double barrel, as a middle name and last name. I can't remember which way round they have it, but it seems quite a good compromise.
Does your dp know YOU won't be taking his name when you marry? It might be worth finding some examples from your friends or people he knows as presenting him with examples from people you don't know on here may not sway his opinion -you are likely to get too many different responses.

FreudianSlimmery Fri 19-Nov-10 09:31:40

I'm pleased we all have the same name although DH will have to change his by deed poll to use it officially - ATM he's still using his old name for passport and bank etc.

I wouldn't have made him give up his name, he has 3 kids from first marriage who understand our double-barrelling is just a symbol of our families joining together.

Having said all that it does of course depend what your names sound like together, ours only totals 3 syllables.

ShanahansRevenge Fri 19-Nov-10 09:31:51

Marriage has nothing to do with it...Marriage does not mean anything when it comes to names. The choice is yours, you have te baby and your name should be in there if you want it to be. End of story. No discussion...your reques is not unreasonable his is.

TheNextMrsDepp Fri 19-Nov-10 09:32:40

SecretSlattern - I didn't exactly have "problems" when my name was different to the rest of the family, but there were occasions when incorrect names were used, and that just REALLY irritated me (just like when someone calls you Mrs when you're Ms or spells your name wrong)! Just annoying.

whatdoiknowanyway Fri 19-Nov-10 09:38:04

Depends on the names. Would have considered double barrelling our names if they weren't both so long. As it is the joint name would have been ridiculous so we, eventually, took the traditional route.

Also (possibly apocryphal) but I've heard that kids with double barreled names at school these days can be judged as coming from 'problem' families. (don't flame me, not my view, just what I've heard.)

I liked the suggestion on another thread of creating a joint new surname, possibly derived from both your own.

btw piscesmoon "I think that a DC should have the father's name rather than grandfathers" confused. BOTH names are grandfather's names. Now one belongs to the mother, it is her name, just as one belongs to the father, his name.

nomoreheels Fri 19-Nov-10 09:41:17

Lots of interesting views here.

I think I need to find out more from DP as to why exactly he doesn't like the idea of using both surnames. And make it clearer to him that it's important to me that I keep my name in there.

Many of our married friends took both surnames, a few took the husband's name. Some of the woman took a double barrelled surname and the man kept just his name. Some of them have kids who have both names. Some of them have kids, but I'm not sure which name the baby has (it's not like I see official documents around the house when I visit!) I will quiz some of them a bit more on this when I get a chance.

nomoreheels Fri 19-Nov-10 09:44:58

WDIKA - smile I don't think a hybrid of our names would sound very nice unfortunately, though it's an interesting idea. If we combined them it would be four syllables, and it sounds nice enough when I say it.

I have my father's surname, as it happens - my mum took his name. Nevertheless it's my name now and I guess I just really don't agree with the idea that I should give it up (either in marriage, or to baby) just because.

KTDace Fri 19-Nov-10 09:45:24

My DH's surname is 5 syllables and mine is 3 and together it would not only have been ridiculously long but also sound terrible. So, DD and I have my surname as middle name and DH's surname as our surname too.

For what it is worth I wasn't ever going to change my name (or get married!!!) but after the 12 weeks scan I decided that I wanted the baby's surname too. In my defense my husband's surname is amazing if it had been anything less then I expect we would have gone down the double barreled route.

Stick to your guns I say I am sure you partner will come round.

Chil1234 Fri 19-Nov-10 09:45:51

Wonder what happens if a double-barrelled 'him' and a double-barrelled 'her' get together and have children? Do they get given quadruple-barrelled names?

ShanahansRevenge Fri 19-Nov-10 09:47:21

I suppse they could each choose one of their Mr. Jones-Brown has kids with Ms Smith-Wallace

Kids become Tommy Jones-Wallace....or whatever.

lucy101 Fri 19-Nov-10 09:48:19

I kept my name on marrying (wouldn't have changed it and don't really understand people who do) and our child had my surname as a last middle name and then DH's (we will do the same with other DC's)... but I thought they would only use DH's name every day (didn't want to get into double barreling) but my surname would be on important docs, passports etc. (can make it easier to travel).

Chil1234 Fri 19-Nov-10 09:50:11

Wouldn't that create a whole other set of arguments about who drops which name if everyone's anxious to retain identity? The convention of women taking the man's name is rather old-fashioned and sexist but there's a practical side i.e. not ending up with great long Spanish-style surnames.

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