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to be seriously thinking about registering the baby in my name

(169 Posts)
frenchboy Tue 06-Aug-13 22:46:40

DP and I are engaged, and expecting our first child imminently.

Recently we've had a lot of stress and money worries over CSA and contact issues for his daughter. It's got to the point where I'm wondering what the hell I've let myself in for, and often can't see myself staying around to put up with this sort of nonsense for much longer.

With this in mind, and the fact that even if all this were sorted out we could never afford even the most basic of wedding ceremonies, I'm getting increasingly sceptical about registering our baby with his surname.

Aside from all the practical issues - travel, school etc, I'd quite like my child and I to have the same family name. If DP and I worked through everything, and somehow got the money together one day to get married, we'd need to reregister the birth anyway so it would be no problem 'updating' baby's surname too.

AIBVU to be considering this? Haven't even broached the subject with DP yet, but he'd be very p'd off. Might leave it until we're actually registering to bring the topic up....

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 07-Aug-13 00:50:12

I agree its not a huge feminist issue.

But that does not change that its her name and became her name the day it was given to her just the same as the dads name became his the day it was given to him.

For all we know both parents could have been brought up by single mums who used there own names not the dads. ( unlikely I'm guessing but we do not know either way)

itchyandscratchy26 Wed 07-Aug-13 01:05:43

I'd do it. Without wanting to be a complete pessimist, babies can put strain on a relationship, especially if there are already problems. Me and DH have had some humdingers since DTs arrived 10 weeks ago, and we are a happy couple! Plan for the future, just in case.

FloweryOwl Wed 07-Aug-13 01:17:48

I'd talk to your partner about it. I wish my dd had my surname. I had her when I was 19 to a man I thought I loved and she's only seen him a handful of times. I just don't think he deserves to share a name with my daughter when he's a shit dad. And now I'm married with another child and my dd is the only one with a different surname and she has asked before why hers is different to ours. Now she tells everyone her name is the same as ours and nobody knows her as her fathers name.

Inertia Wed 07-Aug-13 06:45:01

At the very least you can give both surnames.

It's very easy for someone to "not get it " when they don't want to move from their standpoint to accommodate the wishes of others.

swallowedAfly Wed 07-Aug-13 06:50:01

haven't read all the replies but if you're not married then give the child your name.

to me it really is that simple.

why would you give your child a different surname to yourself? what does that say? that he is more important? that the child is his not yours? i just don't get it.

calmingtea Wed 07-Aug-13 06:50:02

If I had more children without a doubt I would insist they had my surname. Ridiculous outdated nonsense that the children have to have dad's name, en par with taking the grooms name on marriage. If you have any doubts my advice is do what feels right to you, not something to appease someone else.

swallowedAfly Wed 07-Aug-13 06:57:43

if all goes well, it works out and you get married you change the child's name to his at the same time as yours or if not changing your name the child's stays the same. if his ego has issues with that that is alarm bells in itself.

if things don't go well and you go it alone you do so with you and your child a clear family with the same name and the same name as your parents etc.

honestly there is no way on earth i'd give the child his name.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 07-Aug-13 07:08:08

I totally appreciate where you are coming from here op. In your situation I would give your Dc your name or double barrell it if your Dp is very upset by this. I don't think he can possibly object to that. Why would he assume the Dc will have his name? Sorry, I am a lesbian so perhaps don't see things from quite the same perspective!

Cherriesarelovely Wed 07-Aug-13 07:09:07

I agree with swallowedafly with regards to the ego thing.

Isetan Wed 07-Aug-13 07:20:36

If you can afford to have a baby, than you could afford to have a basic wedding, kids are damn expensive.

My DD has the surname of the man who tried to kill me, her father. Do I regret this, do I shudder when the name is written and spoken, no, its five letters and in the parental headache scheme of things it isn't on the radar. The day I decided on DD's surname was a moment in time and my reasons for that decision were appropriate then. Choosing your child's surname is not a hedge bet; if we stay together then I'll do this, if we get married I'll do that, if he leaves the toilet seat up...... ahhhh!

This is about the state of your relationship and not surnames. I'd suggest you really examine the reasons for your decision because from what I've read here, it seems like a "I'm fed-up and we can't even afford to get married anyway" reaction rather than a "I really want my child to have my surname" decision. If your child having your surname is important to you, then the time for this discussion is now, not in the presence of the registrar. You are having a child for FFS, grow up!

ExcuseTypos Wed 07-Aug-13 07:22:25

If I was in your situation OP, I wouldn't give my child the fathers surname. I would want to have the same name as my child so I would give the child my surname.

And to those suggesting you change your name by deed poll, why would you do that? confused.

Isetan Wed 07-Aug-13 07:27:36

There is no good reason why your child shouldn't have your surname or part of your surname, it's your implied conditions that would piss me off.

RappyNash Wed 07-Aug-13 07:27:46

I hate this assumption that children will get the father's surname automatically if you are unmarried.

YANBU, and YWNBU even if you were confident the relationship was going to last.

ZillionChocolate Wed 07-Aug-13 07:28:01

I agree with Isetan.

My surname is my father's, but it's also been my mother's for all the time I've known her which is most of her life.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 07-Aug-13 08:02:50

I told my ex in no uncertain terms that unless our names were the same she was getting mine.

We compromised on double barrelled (with a contentious hyphen)

They don't go together well and it doesn't sound great but it leaves everyone's options open

I know too many kids who's dads don't bother any more wondering why they have the name of a man they don't even know while the rest of their family shares a different name.

swallowedAfly Wed 07-Aug-13 08:08:02

isetan i'm glad it doesn't bother you but wonder if it will bother your dd. you don't mention that part.

frenchboy Wed 07-Aug-13 08:09:04

The fact that we're not getting married is not really pertinent ATM, I only really mentioned it as an aside to put in context.

It is more about the state of our relationship, and I guess it comes down to I don't feel secure enough in us being together long term to give our child his surname. If it all goes tits up, I'm likely to be the one 'left holding the baby' and at very least I don't want to correcting every teacher, healthcare worker my son comes into contact with or more importantly, trying to explain to customs officials that I've not trafficked my son.

I am fed-up. And I guess it does come down to that.

SoupDragon Wed 07-Aug-13 08:09:50

why would you give your child a different surname to yourself? what does that say? that he is more important? that the child is his not yours? i just don't get it.

Equally, why should the child have different surname to the father? What does that say? That he is less important? That the child is not his? I just don't get it.

The naming of a child is something that needs to be discussed and agreed on by both parents. Each surname is just as important as the other and each is just as big a part of who that child is. Simth, Bloggs, Smith-Boggs Bloggs-Smith, Smiggs... take your pick.

MikeLitoris Wed 07-Aug-13 08:22:01

Can someone explain these problems with dc having a different surname?

I have 3 dc and none have my surname. They dont even have the same name as each other.

Never once have I had any issues with schools, doctors hospitals or travelling abroad.

In fact I grew up with a different surname to both of my parents. Did not affect me in any way.

I honestly dont get the angst over a name.

I think the fact that you cant even discuss this with him is more of an issue than your childs name.

And btw you can get married for hardly anything if being married is important to you. Although I wouldnt advise it based on what you have said here.

samandi Wed 07-Aug-13 08:23:46

Why wouldn't you give the kid your name? confused Were you planning on double-barrelling before?


*I am all for feminism. I consider myself a feminist.

I do not see how keeping your father's (or grandfather's or great grandfather's) surname and then giving it to you children is more feminist than giving your child the surname of their father. It's a patriarchal name system. Whatever one does, that's what it is.*

No matter how many times this issue is explained some people just don't get it. The point is that it is her surname that she has had since birth. The point is that you don't change your name.

Changes have to begin somewhere. My surname is my name, which will be given to my children. It then becomes their mother's name - that's not a patriarchal name system.

But, as I said, you either get it or you don't. The logic is really very simple.

AKAK81 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:25:59

IMHO nothing screams pretentious twats like parents who give their kids a double barreled surname

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 07-Aug-13 08:34:26

if you don't make it as a couple you will be the one left in pretty much sole care of a DS with a different name

That's a hell of an assumption and rather ironic given that feminism has been raised several times on this thread.

The problems in the OPs relationship are regarding support for an older DC of the OPs DP, so it doesn't sound as if he's the kind of man to walk away from a DC without a backward glance - whose to say he won't want to be primary/equal carer? Isn't it just as difficult for a father to have care of a DC with a different surname to themselves, or is it only mothers who have that problem?

swallowedAfly Wed 07-Aug-13 08:36:18

no it says that 99% of the time when a relationship breaks down it is the mother who ends up being the resident parent and in a significant number of cases the non resident father doesn't even bother seeing that child.

it is pragmatic and realistic whether we like the facts or not to base our decisions upon them.

swallowedAfly Wed 07-Aug-13 08:38:24

i'm a single parent, my ds' father does not see his son, that's enough of a burden for my son without also having to have a different name to me, his grandparents, cousins etc. to have to carry the name of a man who you don't even see would be salt in the wounds imo especially having to explain no, my mum's surname is x, i have my 'dad's' name. no, no please don't go on to ask questions about him because then i'll have to explain to you the private matter of the fact that my dad has chosen never to see me and deal with your response and my emotions about the whole thing.

no way.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:46:00

at very least I don't want to correcting every teacher, healthcare worker my son comes into contact with or more importantly, trying to explain to customs officials that I've not trafficked my son

Eh? What are you on about? Seriously, where do people get these imagined problems from?

I have a different surname to my dc. There has never been one issue, not the suggestion of one because of this. Ridiculous excuse. If you are determined to cut the father out of any decision making then that's your call but don't try to justify it with crap reasons hmm

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