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Baby surname on passports/birth certificate etc.

(38 Posts)
NicNac100 Tue 19-May-20 08:09:35

Hi all
I've heard mixed messages about this and wondered if anyone knew what was best to do. We're not married and I'm happy for baby to have my partners' surname however I will probably (one day in the future when we're allowed again lol) go away more often with her on my own (with my mum etc.) as he can't always take so much time off work and my family have a holiday home, and wondered do you have difficulty taking a child on holiday if they have a different surname to you? Would I need my partner to write a letter each time we go stating it is ok?
Should she have both surnames on her birth certificate and/or passport for ease?
Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
missyoumuch Tue 19-May-20 08:14:18

We all have the same surname, but whenever I travel abroad without DH I take a copy of DC's birth certificates and a letter from DH saying he knows about the trip. It's no cost but can prevent delays at immigration. In some countries e.g. Canada, South Africa, it's a requirement and you will be held until they can prove the other parent has approved the travel.

I know you didn't ask but in my opinion if you're not married DC should have mum's surname. Change it if/when you marry.

bluemoon2468 Tue 19-May-20 08:42:20

It's usually absolutely fine if baby has dad's surname - airports etc. are used to seeing mums with different surnames than their kids and don't treat this with suspicion. The other way round can be a huge problem though! I grew up with my mum's surname and every time my dad tried to take me out of the country we had to go through the Spanish Inquisition to check he wasn't abducting us!

sel2223 Tue 19-May-20 08:59:14

I work in an airport and it's absolutely fine. You'll need to have a copy of the birth certificate and a letter from daddy with you in case of any questions but it's really no big deal.

sel2223 Tue 19-May-20 09:00:27

Would your surname work as a middle name?

1Micem0use Tue 19-May-20 09:02:17

Would his surname work as a middle name?
Do your surnames sound alright double barrelled?

ArriettyJones Tue 19-May-20 09:08:34

For airports, double barrel name would work fine, as would always carrying back up documents.

The really big annoyance comes for mums who give their child the father’s name, the marriage never happens and then the dad leaves. They get left as the primary carer and paperwork but with the hassle and complication of their name being different from the child’s.

Double barrelled names solve so many issues.

NameChange30 Tue 19-May-20 09:13:57

"Should she have both surnames on her birth certificate and/or passport for ease?"

A child should always have its mother's surname, not just for ease but also because it's your child. Most mothers are the primary carers.

Give your child both surnames on their birth certificate and passport. If one surname is going to be dropped for everyday use, think carefully about which that should be. Consider whether to use a hyphen or not (we didn't use a hyphen, makes it easier to drop one of the surnames if wanted).

Goldenmother Tue 19-May-20 09:14:16

It's normally fine although I have been asked before by passport control if I'm the children mother due to not having the same surname and bless the man who asked he seem very uncomfortable asking but other then that I've never had an issue

NameChange30 Tue 19-May-20 09:14:27

"Change it if/when you marry."

Or don't! It's optional

MichelleOR84 Tue 19-May-20 09:23:10

I never changed my last name when I got married . Our DS has a hyphenated last name .

KittenVsBox Tue 19-May-20 09:24:39

Having the same surname as your kids doesnt prevent you being asked questions about who the kids are, where you are all going, does the father know and give permission. Thankfully DH was still in the airport that time. Subsequently, I've carried birth certs, and a (un noterised) letter from DH, with a copy of his passport.
Give the baby the surname you want them to have. Dont worry about the travel side of it.

Fallstar Tue 19-May-20 09:53:55

We weren't married when our children were born. They have my surname with their dad's surname as a middle name.

When we did marry, none of us changed our names so they still have my surname and so do I.

missyoumuch Tue 19-May-20 10:00:09

NameChange30 of course it's optional but as OP is inclined to give the baby dad's surname already I assumed that was important to her for some reason.

I have far too many friends who have a child with the surname of a guy they never married and cannot stand, they all regret their decision. Never met anyone who regretting giving their child their own surname though!

Cherryrainbow Tue 19-May-20 10:00:48

My son has his dad's surname and I've written him letters in the past to confirm I understand he's taking my son to such and such and my contact details.

Pipandmum Tue 19-May-20 10:00:57

My friend kept her maiden name and has never been questioned when travelling with her three kids which she has frequently on her own. But carry a copy of the birth certificate if you want to be super secure.

Betsyboo87 Tue 19-May-20 10:13:56

I didn’t take DH surname when we got married but DS will have his. When my passport renews I plan to add Mrs (DH surname) as an aka in the observations page. This is possible in British passports. I’d also take his birth certificate and a letter.

missyoumuch Tue 19-May-20 10:20:16

My friend kept her maiden name and has never been questioned when travelling with her three kids which she has frequently on her own.

Doesn't this worry anyone? As it means a random person can take your kids abroad with no questions asked, regardless if there's a mismatch in surnames and no additional proof of relationship?

PlayinMay Tue 19-May-20 10:32:15

Ours have both as we have Spanish in the family, works brilliantly on domestic flights at any rate. Not sure about abroad.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 19-May-20 10:41:51

We gave my daughter both our surnames, even though we’re married I kept my name.
I have no issue with her dumping my surname once 18 but as a minor I think it’s easier to have both of us easily recognised as a guardian

NicNac100 Tue 19-May-20 11:25:00

Thank you all for your replies - I'm not sure a double barrelled hyphenated name works so well for everyday use as his surname is Cypriot and mine is very English so sounds a bit odd together grin but I guess we could certainly register her with both surnames and just drop one for everyday use - thanks all!

OP’s posts: |
BluebirdHill Tue 19-May-20 11:29:39

Doesn't this worry anyone? As it means a random person can take your kids abroad with no questions asked, regardless if there's a mismatch in surnames and no additional proof of relationship?

I've travelled with DS, different surnames, no other documents. Think I've been asked once. He looks so obviously like me, plus he's old enough to say for himself who I am to him if asked. Helps being a woman too - far less likely to be abducting a child.

SporadicNamechange Tue 19-May-20 11:42:28

I agree that relying on surnames is utterly stupid. I have to take DS’s birth certificate because the immigration people always insist on seeing it. Because otherwise they’d never be able to believe that he’s my son.

But I can waltz through immigration with the DSC with no questions asked because we share a surname.

It’s a stupid system. But it is easy enough to fold up a copy of a birth certificate and stick it inside their passport.

sel2223 Tue 19-May-20 12:05:11

relying on surnames is utterly stupid

@SporadicNamechange what system would you suggest instead then?

Doing extra checks on every single child regardless of name, taking a lot more time/resources etc and no doubt pissing a lot of people off?

Checking no child whatsoever therefore having no guard against abduction or trafficking etc?

The surnames thing is just an extra check. They've already got their passport with them.

My child will have a different surname to me and I have no issue with being asked a few questions and carrying a copy of the birth certificate.

SporadicNamechange Tue 19-May-20 13:06:05

What system would I suggest? One that is universal and acknowledges that:

1. Children can have different surnames to their parents
2. Children being with someone with the same surname doesn’t mean they’re with a parent

So we could just ask for evidence from everyone with children. Or we could build that into child passports - they could routinely include the names (and dates of birth) of both parents in the ‘observations’ section.

If they can manage the print ‘the holder is Dr Sporadic Namechange’ in mine, they can just as easily print ‘The parents of this child are Kate Jones (DOB 14 Jul 1976) and Mark Smith (DOB 05 Apr 1974)’ in there. And the immigration officers could just check them against the passport of the person with them.

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