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Has anyone else done this?

(80 Posts)
BeckyBook Sun 23-Aug-09 12:45:38

My husband and I plan on giving our future children a surname made from our two surnames combined ie the first three letters of his surname and the last four letters of mine. It actually makes a really nice normal-sounding-but-unique name and we're really happy about it.

However, I have had some interesting responses when I tell people what we plan to do. (Can I point out I only ever mention it when someone asks what surname our children will have. I have a reputation amongst my friends as a feminist, and we are considered quite a hippy couple by most of our mates and family, so people are curious about we will do.) Some of the responses have been positive, like 'Oh wow! How modern!', some surprised - 'ooh never thought of doing that' and some odd - 'are you sure that's legal?'

Have also had plenty of responses along the lines of 'oh that's cruel, they'll be the laughing stock of the playground, they'll be ostracised, people will laugh at them'. What I want to ask you good ladies is, has this happened to anyone else who has done this? My thinking is that there are plenty of kids in London today who have different surnames from one - or both - of their parents, and I don't understand how this can still be considered an issue. Has it been for you?

Oh and one friend told me that I would have to carry birth certificates around to prove to people that I am the mother! Anyone experienced this?
Very keen to hear other's stories smile

FlightHattendant Sun 23-Aug-09 12:47:43

I wonder only about the logistics of it iyswim...I've two with my surname as it's just simpler that way for a variety of situations.

BUT I have a friend who combined her child's father's name with her name and it seems to have worked.

tummytickler Sun 23-Aug-09 12:49:40

I have no experience of this, but my friend at uni was a stepmother to a little girl whose parents werer unmarried when she was born. they were hippy types and decided she should have her own name, so they made up a surname for her, completely unrelated to both their names.
I thought it was sweet, although always wondered if it would cause any hassle. This wasa years ago, and we have since lost touch, but it has been done,and it seemed to work out fine!

moondog Sun 23-Aug-09 12:50:16

God, how naff.
{In manner of sunurban bungalows called things like 'Damar'}

We do adouble barrelledtihng with both last names.

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 23-Aug-09 12:53:22

Interesting. My dad named a boat combining me and my sister's names and came up with: 'Sabbeth'

I thought it was clever smile

Bellsa Sun 23-Aug-09 12:58:15

I think it's a great idea. Would def consider doing this if i had another one (was single when had ds, so not an issue). Think it's much easier than double-barrelling.

LaDiDaDi Sun 23-Aug-09 13:01:33

I think it's fine if you can bear the frequent explanations.

boodleboot Sun 23-Aug-09 16:14:43

my daughter has a different surname to me and it proved difficult last year when i tried to get back in the country after a hoiday to france....they said i would need a letter proving her as my daughter next time....she has my maiden name as was unmarried when had her...

....of course the lady i was dealing with could of just been a beeyatch....wink

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 18:02:38

So you will have one surname, your husband another, and your children yet another?
Personally, I´d hate my children to have a different surname from me.

I´d also ask is it legal-why is that an odd question?

shootfromthehip Sun 23-Aug-09 18:05:33

Weird imo- not hippy but weird. Sorry- I don't get it. Why would you not want to have the surname as your LO if at all possible?

hester Sun 23-Aug-09 18:05:44

My mum had one name, my stepdad another, we kids had a different name entirely.

That was back in the 60s and 70s, and it didn't even cause problems then! I can't believe it will cause any problems for your kdis.

tribpot Sun 23-Aug-09 18:08:17

I don't have the same surname as ds (married didn't change name) and haven't (yet) had a problem as a result.

I do have a friend who changed her name upon marriage (as did her dh) to the first two letters of her surname, first two of his and then 'us' to signify unity. If dh and I did this we'd end up with Pinuus - not tempting grin

I'd say if you're going to do it, do it for all of you.

Btw before ds was born we were planning to give him my surname if he was a girl. Which did elicit the "is that legal" question from a few old-schoolers.

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 18:30:43

I only ask is it legal as it is a completely made up name.

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 18:34:48

I always thought that on a birth certicate, for surname, it is automatically the fathers name when married or unmarried and he gives permission, or the mothers surname is used.

Never looked into it, though.

diffrentid Sun 23-Aug-09 18:41:18

you can call your baby what ever you want, theres no law saying you have to give a particular last name

Heated Sun 23-Aug-09 18:44:20

You can give dcs whatever name you want, I think. Not sure if you'd necessarily see it as a negative, but people who do not know the thinking behind the name might assume that dh is step-father rather than bio-father.

I can out-complicate your idea though. My cousin married a woman who had been married and had a child, she then had a 2nd with a bf and then met my cousin. With permission of bf, whom she soon split with, she gave 2nd child same surname as 1st child. When my cousin married her, he then changed his name at her urging to her 1st hb's surname too (since it was too complicated to change the dcs). Unfortunately the marriage didn't last and my cousin has returned to his 'maiden' name.

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 18:56:40

I know that a child can have the mother or fathers surname, or a combination of both.
I didn´t know you could use parts of both surname.

mathanxiety Sun 23-Aug-09 19:00:12

You can do it, legally, but do you want to try to explain what is and is not legal to people manning the desks of airlines, immigration offices, etc., until your child is 18? You could carry around the birth cert, of course, and don't forget a cheerful attitude. The fact that the child would have a different surname from the parents really wouldn't be an issue, imo. But if the name itself is going to invite the attention of potential teasers, then think of something else. It's worth examining it from all the phonic angles.

jkklpu Sun 23-Aug-09 21:26:15

I don't have a problem with it. However, you might want to bear in mind that some countries will require birth certificates and/or a letter signed by each parent confirming that they're happy for a child to travel on its own with the other one (should this ever happen). So just one extra bit of red tape you might be setting yourselves up for. I know people who decided that the girls would have the mother's surname and the boys the father's, so at least they'd have the same name as one parent.

mathanxiety Sun 23-Aug-09 22:35:07

jkklpu my part of family had this experience traveling to Canada. At least they speak English there.

mathanxiety Sun 23-Aug-09 22:35:42

That's 'part of my family'...sorry

TotallyUnheardOf Sun 23-Aug-09 22:38:55

I think you should go for it, Becky. It's a great solution, as long as it works with your surnames. (Wouldn't with mine and dh's... just totally unpronounceable.)

I don't know of anyone who has done this for their dcs, but I do know a couple who simply combined their names (into a single word) when they got married... Obviously I don't want to give their actual names, but let's say for the sake of argument that she was Sally Box and he was Fred Wood, then they ended up as Mr and Mrs Boxwood. Now obviously their dcs are Master and Miss Boxwood.

I don't have the same surname as my dcs. I am married to their dad, but don't use his name. They have his surname. It has never been a problem, except insofar as it is very minorly annoying if I talk to the school/nursery/whatever to constantly have to introduce myself as 'Totally Unheardof, Brenda Somethingelse's mum'. But it doesn't take people long to work it out. You won't have trouble with immigration, because you need to show the birth certificate to get a passport. That will prove that your dcs are your children. When you go through immigration control, they swipe the passport and all that info is available to them, so no problem.

watsthestory Sun 23-Aug-09 22:38:56

Message withdrawn

BeckyBook Mon 24-Aug-09 14:07:16

Thanks everyone for your experiences. Yes, the immigration desk thing is something I will have to look into as we travel a lot.
For those who expressed concern, can I reassure you the new surname is absolutely lovely and very normal-sounding. It also sounds very like both of our surnames, somehow, so I really can't see that any teasing could come from it. (It is nothing like Pinuus!!!)
Like I mentioned in my initial post, we are both really happy with it and look forward to creating a new family with a new identity. I'm just wanting to hear if any of the theoretical concerns I have heard voiced are problems in peoples' experiences.

BikeRunSki Mon 24-Aug-09 16:13:57

My brother, his wife and her son all have different surnames. It causes them no end of grief. They live abroad and travel a lot. My bro has been turned away from flying with his step son as he had no proof that he was his carer. He told the officials to ring his wife - throwing yet another surname into the mix didn't help matters. They never made that flight.

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