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The Double Barrelled Last Name Debate

(62 Posts)
PhieEl06 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:16:54

So OH & I cannot agree on last name, we aren't married & probably won't be for a very long while, he wants baby (sex not yet known) to have his last name only, a very uncommon 3 syllable name. I want baby's last name to be double barrelled so my very common 1 syllable name then OH last name. My reasons for this being that at the moment we aren't married I haven't got his last name, there are no plans for us to be getting married & baby could well be in teens before this is a reality as silly as it seems I don't want to feel like my family has no connection to our child, if we do for double barrelled & we eventually get married I will either double barrel my name or change our child's to just his but obviously this could be a long way off. OH's reasons are this baby is his & it's just traditional that babies take their fathers names, he also makes the argument that in the future we will get married & it saves the hassle on name changing now.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation with DP & what was your outcome?

HazleNutt Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:06

Icelandic method takes the dad's name and puts -son or -daughter at the end. So Rose and Harry whose dad is called James would be Rose Jamesdottir and Harry Jamesson. Traditionally again only the father's name is used, although nowadays some people also use mother's.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 08-Feb-13 10:48:03

I like the Icelandic method, but I don't fully understand it at all

Something about putting 'dottir' on the end of names, meaning so and so's daughter.

OxyMoron Fri 08-Feb-13 10:15:16

No one is saddled with a surname. You can change it by deed poll whenever you like.

CoteDAzur Fri 08-Feb-13 10:10:01

... except if he is already married with no divorce date in sight, in which case I think you should just laugh when he mentions the word "traditional" smile

CoteDAzur Fri 08-Feb-13 10:07:36

If he wants baby to have only his last name, tell him to marry you quickly. Get a date and go sign the register. Why on earth would you have to wait until baby is a teenager?

CooEeeEldridge Fri 08-Feb-13 09:43:20

Surely saying its it's up to the kids with double barreled surnames to pick which they keep / double barrel when they marry other db-ers, just forces the decision that YOU Couldn't make onto them? And if they do drop your bit will you be offended then?! Will there be loads of threads on here in 2030 from children with that dilemma?!

Also to those saying about giving people a slap who prefer their partners surname. Do feel free! I cannot WAIT to have a decent surname! Having been saddled with a difficult to prunounce, odd to spell one I can't wait to ditch it!just think about what you're inflicting on your kids op, if db sounds silly then flip a coin and pick one!!!

MERLYPUSS Fri 08-Feb-13 09:23:54

I have twins who have their dads very long asian surname (5 sylables)as a third name. They have my surname as theirs as I was the last person in our family with my, 4 sylable, surname which I kept after we married. It was his choice for the kids to have mine so our children would not be judged by his surname and lame attempts at trying to pronounce it. My sister has two children who have double barreled her surname first with partners last - a 5 + 2 sylable. Sounds fine and the kids have even said theywill use either/both when they want.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 08-Feb-13 09:04:21

Do as the Spanish Do and double barrel

We have double barrelled our kids - and we are married. They don't often use it, but it's there if they want it!!

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 09:01:58

If you are Firstname MiddleName Herlastname Hislastname.

Then you could be FM Herlastname Hislastname, which people with shorten to F Herlastname.

Or you could be FMH Hislastname.

Which one gets "forgotten about" depends on how you do it.

slightlysoupstainedbabygrows Fri 08-Feb-13 05:23:49

Surely the starting position has to be that babe gets mother's surname?

Doesn't seem to make sense to assume father's surname if this isn't a shared family name, especially given that you can re-register the child's birth on marriage (thus saving any faff with deed polls and extra documentation).

Assuming father's surname is the default and any other choice must be justified basically assumes the mother is of no importance.

FrontLoader Thu 07-Feb-13 19:42:42

Both our DCs have my surname, with DPs surname as their middle name. We are the only couple I know who have done this. My mother-in- law is slowly getting over it (four years in).

My boss and his wife gave their son his surname and their daughter her's.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 07-Feb-13 18:33:25

Ahahah tortoise: "I'm also sick to death of the 'what about when they marry another double-barrelled' argument. If they're old enough to marry someone, they're old enough to work out a compromise on names. That's no reason to make a decision on anything, it's just an excuse. People have had double-barrelled names forever, it's hardly so unprecedented that they'll grow up, get to the church door and then panic."

I so agree.

But if it comes to a choice I really do think children should default to having the mother's name, because:
1) mother and child will be looked after together during labour/birth/afterwards
2) statistically mothers are more likely to be accompanying their children to school/docs/dentist
3) statistically in the event of a split the children are likely to spend the majority of time with their mother
4) the mother has carried and given birth to the child so is definitely the parent
5) the mother has carried and given birth to the child so has bloody well earned it!

All horribly cynical no doubt but true. Obviously if the father is likely to be and continue to be the main caregiver then fewer of these apply, but I'm sure he can take care of a kid with a different surname - women manage it all the time after all.

I really can't think of a single reason for babies to get their father's name by default. In fact I think I started a thread about it once and there were quite a lot of sad replies along the lines of "I thought it would remind him it was his child and make him more involved/less likely to leave us." sad

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 17:46:09

Just wondering. Why is it always the woman's name that is put in as an extra middle name so it can be forgotten about?

Bue Thu 07-Feb-13 17:41:53

We're married and we will do the same as ripishere for all our children. Not perfect, but it's my choice not to double barrel as I don't like it with our two names. If I wanted to DB, DH would be very happy to do so - and rightly so! The one solution he put his foot down on was alternating surnames for our children. I can accept that that idea is a little out there for many people.

ripsishere Thu 07-Feb-13 01:09:12

I don't have my DHs surname. My DD does. She also has my surname as a middle name.

Anjou Thu 07-Feb-13 00:49:09

Everything Talkative Jim said. Most folk here have said much the same thing in a very reasonable way that I think your partner would be hard pushed to argue with, so I hope it all helps!

And please don't take any notice of the the comment way above that double barrelled names are 'pretentious'. How bloody ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as saying everyone with a double barrelled name are bullies.

Good luck! smile

scoutfinch1 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:14:47

I'm in a somewhat similar position to you but we are planning on getting married sooner rather than later. We are just giving baby DP's last name which I am happy with and if we don't end up getting married as soon as we would like I am thinking about just changing my last name to DP's by deed poll. If your DP is really unhappy about a double barreled name you could think about this although I get that this option is not for everyone.

SVN Wed 06-Feb-13 21:19:58

We're married but each of us have kept our own names and our children have double-barrelled names. I think it's such an anachronistic practise to insist on having the man's surname. Admittedly, it was a bone of contention between me and DH but I knew that if I gave in I would resent him forever more.

Our oldest child is now 8 and we've never encountered any difficulties/questions because of our children's double-barrelled surname.

Kelerina Wed 06-Feb-13 18:38:50

My DP and I aren't married, no plans to be, may or may not happen further down the line but I wouldn't be surprised if it never happened. It is not a lack of commitment in any way, he comes from divorced parents and I come from parents who should have divorced and didn't so neither of us believe that marriage can give us anything we don't already have, either we'll stay together or we won't. Sorry slight tangent......I am currently pregnant with PFB and we have decided that our son will have DP's surname and my surname as a middle name. This was mostly my decision as I am not overly attached to my surname but is is MY surname and if I were to ever marry I wouldn't change it anyway. This way my son has a connection to me in his name but his dad's surname (I just don't like double barrelled names). It was by no means a given that child would get DP's surname......he would never have fought for that and was of the opinion that really it was my decision as his mother. Very long winded sorry but thought i'd throw my opinion in!

MumOfMissy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:36:15

We're not married and gave our DD a double barreled surname, mine first, then his. It's very long though and causes problems on some computer systems, eg at our doctors they only use the first half of her surname on the system as it can't cope.

MIL has been very sniffy about the whole thing. She posted our DD a card and on the envelope just put DDs first name. I was furious and got DP to pull her up on it but she didn't apologise. Waiting to see what she'll do next time. Grrrrrrrrr....

Anyway OP, your DC should definitely have your name as well as DP's.

LentilAsAnything Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:55

<rubs sore cheek from seeker's slap> But my husband's surname IS much nicer than my maiden name! I was delighted to ditch my maiden name, which, incidentally, was double-barrelled (and no, I wasn't a bully! smile). One half was a very common surname too, I was especially glad to get rid of that.
If it was the other way round, I'd hope we'd keep the nicer name! Or choose a completely new one!
Not really answering OP's question, sorry! But I have no attachment to my old surname, it's just a name to me, and I am glad my DH, DC and I all have the same non-double-barrelled surname.
What about making up a new name, some sort of combination of the current surnames, or something totally new?
Mr Doobidoo and Ms Jones, now Mr and Ms Doones. Or Mr and Ms Devereux! Love that surname! smile

Locketjuice Wed 06-Feb-13 15:59:37

My sons surname is double barrelled.. 3 syllables-1 syllable.

My other half was dead against but I said that it was one thing I would not budge on so he had to accept! Baby number 2. Will have the same smile

MadameJosephine Wed 06-Feb-13 15:51:54

We are in a slightly different situation, I would have liked DD to have my surname but it's my married name (didn't go back to maiden name when I got divorced 12 years ago as I wanted to have same name as DS) and I could understand that DP didn't want to give his daughter my exH's name. We have no plans to marry but I am considering double barrelling my name so I have one surname in common with each of my children.

In your situation I would insist on the baby having your surname so I think you are being very reasonable to suggest double barrelled!

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 15:35:36

"No possible way either of our names could be a middle name,"

You can have a surname as a middle name, no reason why not. DS has (as well as a conventional middle name).

A good friend of mine has her mum's name as a middle name (along with two conventional names, so 5 names in total!)

FWIW I gave DS DP's surname (for my own personal reasons - different situation to yours so probably not worth explaining!). DP and I plan to get married but I'm going to keep my own name then anyway.

Having a different surname to DS does mean I need to take extra ID with him if flying to prove I'm his mum and not abducting him! (Learnt that ere, haven't tested it in practice).

TalkativeJim Wed 06-Feb-13 12:31:27

Oh and by giving the baby your name now, you basically plan for every scenario:

- if you marry, you change yours and the childrens' names to his at the same time;

- if you split, you retain control over what surname your child is able to use I future. So, were you to split and start a second family, your child could change their surname to your new family one. Or choose to take its father's name. Or keep yours. Conversely, if your child had your DP's name from the start, it's very unlikely he would allow his child to drop/double barrel his name if there were a split, even if it meant the child feeling the odd one out in its home family.

If your DP doesn't like hearing any of this, then as you have (once again, very generously) agreed to change your name to his on marriage - there's an easy answer!!

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