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Choosing a last name for your baby

(23 Posts)
mags98 Tue 17-Feb-09 21:29:47

I'm 27 weeks now, first baby.

We are thinking about names (we think it is going to be a boy but noone outside here knows that).

Mr mags and I have been together nearly 10 years but for various reasons we aren't married. However, even if we do get married I will not change my name.

So now we are stuck with the tricky subject of what to call our baby.

I seriously object to calling him by Dads last name - the child has two parents and for the same reason as I would never change my name, I want my child to have my name too. Plus its a very silly name! For the same reasons I don't think it would be right to just use my name.

On principle I don't think it is right to automatically give dads name, but (call it feminism if you like) I really would not feel comfortable with that.

I think to hyphenate is best (and it sounds best with myname-dadsname rather than the other way round) but a few people have said it sounds chavvy or pretentious - we aren't either, by the way! We are both professional people in our late 30s so not bothered about all of that!


By the way the first name is going to be something traditional and simple like James.

mags98 Tue 17-Feb-09 21:33:24

PS Mr Mags in his usual helpful laid back style says he really isn;t bothered about any of the options, so whatever we decide is probably not going to cause issues between us.

Now MIL is a different matter. But neither of us give a flying whatever about her opinion as she is a nasty bitter old witch anyway.

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Tue 17-Feb-09 21:34:36

I think if both names together sound nice hyphenated then do that. Mt frined had the same feelings as you and her dd's have a hyphenated name and their names actually go lovely together. Don't worry about what other people say as long as you're happy.

seeker Tue 17-Feb-09 21:35:45

My children have a hypenated name. Nobody has ever raised any objection - they go/went to a very socially mixed (AKA a bit rough!) state primary and never had a problem with it.

They get a real kick out of being the only two people in the world with the name (it's 2 unusual names, so they are likely to stay the only two!)

They are myname-dadsname too.

Didn't realize it was chavvy. Was prepared to field the pretentious accusation, but nobody has ever made it.

dustbuster Tue 17-Feb-09 21:40:16

Hi mags - we had a similar dilemma and decided to go for a completely separate name for our baby - so we all have our own surnames.

Like you I felt strongly that I didn't want her to have just my partner's name and that it wasn't fair for her to have just my name. Our names sounded ludicrous hyphenated. But if yours sound ok, then go for it.

Hobnobfanatic Tue 17-Feb-09 21:52:03

I don't know what to do about my next child's name (TTC!). My name is hyphenated, so adding on my DP's name would be very pretentious - a triple-barrelled name!

I like your suggestion, Dustbuster. That's what the feminists of the 70s did, I think - chose Greenwood for their communal children etc.

PottyCock Tue 17-Feb-09 21:54:28

we have this exact situation.

We have a 'dd middlename myname hisname'

It's fine.

dustbuster Tue 17-Feb-09 21:56:01

Greenwood is FANTASTIC! We were inspired by the whole 70s thing and chose a name that was used in this way at the time...but if I'd known about Greenwood I would have argued for that!

seeker Wed 18-Feb-09 06:01:40

I knew a family that chose the name Beechsquirrel for a few years before they changed it to something more conventional. I hope they're not mumsnetters!

Astrophe Wed 18-Feb-09 06:38:16

I wouldn't like having different names for each member of the family, personally. We like having a 'family' name. My kids have my name as a second middle name, and use DH's surname (and so do I). Could you choose a new surname for all three of you? Or possibly combine your two surnames to form a new one (eg, Miller + Thompson = Milson)?

choklit Wed 18-Feb-09 07:05:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

panicstricken Wed 18-Feb-09 11:07:14

This is something we really had to think about too, in the end I decided that I wanted my children have my partners surname. I think if a child has the name of the mother but not the father people (not well known to the family) automatically assume that the man is probably not the biological father and is the step-dad or mums boyfriend. I think the same assumption is not often made if the situation is reversed.

Also, whilst I don't have a problem with the trend of double barreling names to get round the 'which surname' problem, I wonder what will happen in 25 years time when all the double barreled young people start marrying/having babies - will their babies have quad-barreled names?!

Sorry I realise that isn't any help really, just thought you might want to hear from someone who had gone down the other route.

HensMum Wed 18-Feb-09 11:24:36

If your names sound good hyphenated then do it and screw what everyone else thinks. It's a neat solution.

DS has my partner's last name. We have no plans to get married and if we do I'd keep my name (I like it, and it's my name, would feel odd to change it) but my DP only has a sister who has a married name and his dad is an only child, so he felt responsible for carrying on the family name. Carrying on my family name was not as important to me and our names sound odd combined.

Tommy Wed 18-Feb-09 11:28:26

Our DSs are called "Myname DH'sname" - double barrelled but no hyphen. It is a bit of a faff when you are telling other people the name (no problem when writing it down) especially as my name is unusual and DH's name is common but spelt a bit different hmm

They also like being the only ones in the world who have that name which is pretty cool I think smile

Call them whatever you like - no-one else's business!

GooseyLoosey Wed 18-Feb-09 11:39:29

Dh and I are married, but I do not use his name for anything. However, the dcs do have his last name.

Our names are such that a combination/ hyphenation of the 2 would have sounded daft.

We came to the conculsion that we did because no one ever assumes that the dcs are not mine because they do not share my name. I think that they might have wondered about dh if they did not have his name.

Whatever you pick, you are condemned to a life of being referred to as Mrs "children's last name".

ten10 Wed 18-Feb-09 12:11:57

I had the exact same dilemma,
been together nearly 15 years, but not married etc etc
all through the pregnancy I was unsure about what to do and was more inclined to use my surname,

as I had always said that nowadays people society should change and all children should be named after the mum married or not. This idea came about because as a teacher I came across numerous families where children had different surnames to both their 'parents' due to the real father no-longer being on the scene. e.g. I have a friend who has three children all by different fathers and only the last one has the name of her current husband,
its got to be a bit confusing.

but once DS was born suddenly I made my mind up to give him my partners surname, hormones probably made the decision for me, as some primeval wash of emotion took hold and my rational thinking went out the window.

messylittlemonkey Wed 18-Feb-09 12:16:32

Our little girl has dad's name-my name - no problems so far but she's only three!

We opted for no middle name though as we didn't want to overload her with names.

Cies Wed 18-Feb-09 12:40:31

I like the idea of a double barrelled name, with or without hyphen.

I live in Spain and this is what they have always done. Everyone has two surnames, one from their mother and one from their father. The child takes the father's first surname and the mother's first surname, to make a new combination.

BlueChampagne Wed 18-Feb-09 13:23:00

Have friends in same situation - their 3 DCs are 1st name 2nd name Dad's surname Mum's surname (not hyphenated).

Hope it all goes well for you smile

Maveta Wed 18-Feb-09 13:31:16

lol at panicstricken. This is kind of what has happened to us. My parents gave me mumsname-dadsname which was never really a problem. Does make us sound really posh which we most definitely aren't so that was sometimes hard at school. But whatever, it was my name. And for most of school I was just known as myname dadsname. Many people only found out at exam times that I had a longer surname.

The real trouble is that I then married a spanish man and here it is not usual to take your husbands name on marrying him (which I wouldn't have anyway) but kids do all have two surnames. Name Surname 1 (dad's) Surname 2 (mum's). This often gets shortened to just name surname 1 but on all official things both names must be used.

So my son is Hisname Dadsname Mumsname-Mumsname. I feel so bad for him.

lunamoon2 Wed 18-Feb-09 14:42:22

As long as it sounds good I would hyphenate.
Think this is pretty common nowadays with unmarried parents.

FSB Wed 18-Feb-09 14:47:36

as long as both surnames are easy to spell/pronounce and not too long, i think it's fine for the kids to be double-barrelled. i went double-barrelled when i married DH because my surname is very unusual and i wanted to keep it, but it is a pain in the bum to spell and pronounce, and i find myself spelling it 10 times a day. so we have decided the kids will have DH's surname and have mine as their last middle name. that way, if they want to go double-barrelled when they're older, they can.

Miyazaki Wed 18-Feb-09 14:50:17

We are married, I am myname, dh, hisname, dc myname-hisname.

I also like the yourname as a middle name solution too.

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