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Compromising on names with baby's dad?

(14 Posts)
MummySunshine Wed 20-Jul-11 16:06:11

Me and my baby's father aren't together, and never have been, but plan to both have a relationship as parents to our baby for now. Amongst other things, this seems to have caused a bit of confusion when it comes to how we go about naming our baby. Dad has already called for his surname to be used (which I don't really have a problem with, I don't like mine, but does it affect my rights in any way?)

Has anyone has to compromise on their littles ones names with someone they weren't with? And how did you handle it? Did you feel at all, as I do, that you should have more say? (May sound awful but I do)

PamBeesly Wed 20-Jul-11 16:13:28

Maybe I'll get flamed for saying this but I think you should have final say on first name, he can pick the middle name (and he is getting surname too), unless he is 100% averse to your choice. Any names in mind? Congratulations.
As for the surname affecting your rights, I'm not sure, I can't imagine, hopefully there will be someone along soon better able to help you with that.

MsChanandlerBong Wed 20-Jul-11 18:02:22

I don't know about the legalities of this situation, but do your two surnames work as double barrelled?

MummySunshine Wed 20-Jul-11 20:31:18

I did consider double barrelling but not sure I would want to inflict that on my child (!!)

My current fav names are:

Boys - Raphael, Reuben, Isaac, Travis, Zion

Girls - Millie, Georgia, Iris (But quite set on Millie)

Maybe not everyones cup of tea but I wouldn't say any of them are too offensive?! He hasn't really protested to any (apart from Raphael - teenage mutant ninja turtle) and perhaps I'm just being stubborn but I feel quite attached to my names lol

Machin11 Wed 20-Jul-11 22:24:00


Think very carefully about the surname, if you;re not together and have no plan on ever getting with him you will never have the same name as your child, if you don't like double barrelling why don't you put your surname in anyway as a second middle name, it is always linked then, plus they can choose to use one or the other when they're older!!

From a legal point of view, if you name Dad on the birth certifcate then he will have Parental responsibility automatically, this means consult over things like schools, medical stuff and religion, also no chance of changing surnames without signed consent from him, however even if you don't name him, he could easily go to court and get it granted by a judge, it is virtually impossible to stop someone getting PR these days. So whatever you name your child won't change legal responsibilities at all.

Hope that helps a bit.


PamBeesly Thu 21-Jul-11 00:13:25

From your boys list I like Reuben best and from the grls, I like all three actually, good luck smile

dollydoodledo Thu 21-Jul-11 04:09:50

Just to add, I am together with my children's dad, but we are not married and they have his surname. I didn't want to inflict my surname on them (foreign and long) and was happy to use his with our first child (now 5) but I wish I had added my name in as a second middle name as I would like to 'belong' with my children. Sounds silly, but thats just how I have started to feel over time (with 3 kids I feel like the odd one out, they don't look like me so I feel like people think I'm their nanny at airports!). Also, if you have children in the future with a different partner, they again could have a different surname. In that situation I would give my surname with dads surname as a second middle name, but it comes down to how you feel, if you're happy then no problem ... but you get to choose first name ;)

Bandwithering Thu 21-Jul-11 09:18:15

use YOUR sur name. the father's can be added later, but it can not be taken off.

i have a different sur name from my children. They have the sur name of a man who treated me like dirt, contributes nothing to his children, and never makes a whole lot of effort to see them. I'd love if they had my sur name.. sad

Bandwithering Thu 21-Jul-11 09:25:45

ps, i have to say that I also worry that if my x's family ever pulled any stunts wrt taking the children, it worries me that they are all *smiths. At an airport they could all sail off merrily, unchecked, a gang of *smiths.

Also, in your post you say the plan is to have a co-parenting relationship. Yeah. I don't mean to sound cynical but at this stage that is what that is. A mere plan. Don't hand over everything to him on day one. My experiences HAVE affected my advice to you here of course, but that doesn't change the fact that legally, if you hand over this right to him on day ONE, you can not take it back. Even if he gets married and cheerfully announces that since he had triplets with his wife he can't afford his first child, sorry.
Your name will be on the cheques paying for dentists, voluntary contributions, extra curricular activities, clothes, YOU NAME IT,.

I sound a lot more bitter than I feel. I'm actually at peace with it all now, but I know that the fact that they have his sur name does not sit right with you and I want to warn other women who aren't married to baby's father and are 'planning' a co-parenting relationship....... give the baby your name and let the father EARN the right to have his sur name added when he has proven his excellent CO-parentinng and CO-financing.

mrswoodentop Thu 21-Jul-11 10:03:25

I would use your surname as otherwise logistically it will be more difficult as the baby grows traveling abroad etc .Nothing wrong with having different surnames in theory but in practice it willbe easier for you especially if LO spends most of their time with you

greenzebra Thu 21-Jul-11 18:09:36

Theres nothing wrong with a double barrelled name, I grew up with one. It was beacuse I was from my mum's first marriage and then they added my step-dads name to the end, so in the end it became semi-legal (step dad didnt adopt me) and gave me lots of options for names, sometimes I was one last name then others I was another, or both. I miss my name it was unique, now I just have one last name. (now married)

I think it gives your kids options, if later down the road the father is no longer involved and the kid doesnt want him to be then he can drop the name and use yours instead.

I also had a page in my passport stating that I was known as these names as well, so had no propblem travelling with family, under one of my last names.

MotherPanda Thu 21-Jul-11 18:20:45

I think double barrelling is the way to go - i think it is confusing if the mother has a different surname to the child.

If your child wants to, they can always pick one surname in the future.

Millie is a lovely name, and Isaac is nice - though I prefer Zac smile

greenzebra Thu 21-Jul-11 18:22:24

out of your list I love Reuben and Iris.

ShoutyHamster Fri 22-Jul-11 13:26:30

Use your surname. I'm sorry, but you are going to be the one bringing up your baby, and whilst I hope that your plan to co-parent goes well, it may not. If that became the case, I think the surname issue could be one you regret.

- It makes things potentially difficult for you to travel with your child, where you will have to prove your relationship.
- If he does not stay in touch, your child will have a name which does not link him/her to the family they know and are part of. That can be hard for a child.
- If you have any more children, they will forever have different surnames, whereas if your surname is given, then long down the line if other partners and children come along, you could all change together, if that was a preferred option.

There are lots of posts on here by women who gave their children their partner's name in good faith. Years later, with the partner long gone, or the relationship soured, they regret it deeply.

Why would you want your child to carry the name of the parent who will not being him/her up, in place of yours?

Given that you are ALREADY not in a couple relationship, I would advise you most strongly to NOT give the child his surname.

I would compromise by perhaps giving his surname as a middle name (though NOT double-barrelling) and making sure that he were happy with the first name too, making it a true joint decision.

But there is no way I would give up control of the legal identity of my child under these circumstances. There are definitely undoable consequences to taking this route. But most of all, this is I think an honour he most certainly should not have, in these circumstances.

Think very carefully!

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