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Big Surname Problem

(12 Posts)
feb16mama Tue 01-Dec-15 12:10:44

Hi there!

My partner and I are not married so we have different surnames.

My partner has a TERRIBLE surname, he was bullied at school for it and it really is just truly awful. It's embarrassing anytime he has to tell anyone. He is his fathers only son, so is the only one to pass the family name down. His father is always a little proud of him for carrying it around with him. With our chosen baby name, it's going to sound even worse with that surname though, almost a joke name like Ben Dover or something (not that though) - the baby CAN'T have that surname!!!

My partners late mothers maiden name is lovely, and we'd both be happy with that. My partner would love to change his name to that, especially for his mother. However, he is afraid to tell his father that as we think it will upset him. My surname is alright, it's German and very unusual. However, I have two brothers who will no doubt pass down the name, so I am not bothered about our child having that name.
Please note, my partners mother died just 2 years ago, and his parents were divorced. His cousins and his grandparents and aunties and uncles all have the same name she did.
As we are not married, we are not allowed to name our child a surname that neither of us currently have. This is the dilemma.

I do not feel 100% comfortable naming our child with my surname as I feel it's disrespectful to my partners father (and no, this is not a gender/feminism issue, it's just down to my family morals). I am not ruling this out completely - anything to not have my partners name!

What I am wondering, is whether you think it would be possible to have a double-barrel name (even if just temporary, until we are one day married), with MY SURNAME-HIS MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME or vice versa?

It's starting to really confuse me and with the due date nearing, I'd like to be able to have a plan.

Thanks in advance x

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 01-Dec-15 12:20:14

I feel it's disrespectful to my partners father (and no, this is not a gender/feminism issue, it's just down to my family morals).

But WHY? Why do you think it is a moral issue? Why does one grandparent's name get automatic preference over the other three? I think it is more of a feminist issue than you choose to believe.

What I am wondering, is whether you think it would be possible to have a double-barrel name (even if just temporary, until we are one day married), with MY SURNAME-HIS MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME or vice versa

That makes MOST sense (and is most easily explainable to the DGF and anyone else) if your DP changes his name by deed to his mother's surname before the birth. Then you are simply giving the baby a DBing of both its parents surnames (and your DP can use his 'new' name on the birth cert too).

It's almost the conventional choice.

But you can call your baby anything you like. (Although I think you are right to want to swerve the comedy name.)

Good luck making your mind up smile

Hormonal1 Tue 01-Dec-15 12:20:55

Hi OP, I thought you were allowed to give any surname you wanted to a child? Didn't think it had to be one of the parents' surnames. I may be wrong though. I'd go with your DPs mother's name and get DP to change his name - I don't think it takes very long to do and just explain nicely to your FIL that your chosen first name wouldn't go with his surname. I really don't think it matters, if your FIL had had a daughter he'd expect his Grandchild to have a different surname anyway. Good luck!

AlisonWunderland Tue 01-Dec-15 12:21:02

Why don't both of you change your name by deed poll to whatever you want, his DM maiden name, and call baby that?

Arfarfanarf Tue 01-Dec-15 12:23:38

tbh, and probably no help to you, I'd just say to my partner, change your name, your dad will just have to deal with it. And I'd be ok with his dad having a huff about it. But it sounds like that's not something you'd be ok with?

He could double barrel his name or add the extra surname without hyphenating and not tell his dad, that would allow you two to give the baby her surname.

you could give the baby his dad's surname as a middle name and announce the arrival of baby jane/john crapname nicename grin and just let his dad think they're both surnames.

I suppose you could give the baby your surname as their surname and his mother's maiden name as a middle name If you say you can't give the baby a surname that neither of you have, that rules out making his mother's maiden name any part of the surname unless he's willing to change it.

Really though, are you going to prioritise his dad over everything else? Maybe it's ok if his dad isn't ok with it. Maybe that's just tough.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 01-Dec-15 12:23:41

i would just use my last name if DP was agreeable, but if you want to use those two names then do. Your dc will be very grateful not to be saddled with a truly terrible name.

feb16mama Tue 01-Dec-15 12:34:08

Thanks for your replies,

StrawberryTeaLeaf - perhaps you are right, maybe it is a gender issue that I hadn't really addressed.

I have read online that you can only name your baby anything you like if you are married. If you are unmarried, the baby has to take one of your names.

I think My Surname-His Mothers Maiden Name (as a double barrel) would be best for the time being. He can DP his name when it's a convenient time and then I will take that name when one day we marry (if ever!!).

Yes, not a bad idea Alison, although money is quite tight at the moment and I think we'll have to do new passports etc etc. I'd rather wait until a more convenient time.

feb16mama Tue 01-Dec-15 12:37:21

DP meaning deed pole, sorry - not dear partner!
All these abbreviations confuse me :P

Sinkingfeeling Tue 01-Dec-15 12:49:35

I'm a registrar of births and deaths and assuming your child was born in England or Wales you can give him any surname you wish at the time of registration, regardless of whether you are married or not.

pookamoo Tue 01-Dec-15 12:53:07

We gave both of our DDs my maiden name as a middle name. You could give him his father's name as a middle name and the other name as a surname, then "respects" are paid to both.

Then just never use that other middle name.

So for example:

Ben Fred Dover JONES

Where Jones is the actual surname.

feb16mama Tue 01-Dec-15 17:31:22

Is that so, Sinkingfeeling? I have read online differently, but if that's what you do then I'll take your word for it!

Good idea Pookamoo! smile

SoWhite Tue 01-Dec-15 17:34:18

I like pookamoo's solution.

My kids have my mum's maiden name as a second middle name.

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