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DD(10) wants to change name to be part of the family

(54 Posts)
IlikeCluedo Sat 18-Jun-16 21:38:55

Not sure if this is the right place sorry.
But DD(10) was very upset today and I need advice as I'm not sure what to do.

The background is that when DD was born her mum and I gave her my surname. I split up with her mum years ago and married my DP and we hyphenated mine and his name. We now have two boys who also have our hyphenated surname. So DD is the only one with my original surname

She had a small show today in her art class it was an hour where parents see the kids work. I was going to go but DS 1 was ill so I couldn't go and my DP was working till lunch so he couldn't go either. Another parent took her and dropped her home.

When she got home she ran straight to her room and we could hear her sobbing. I went up to her and she said that at the art class they did an activity where the family wrote their surname and decorated it. But she didn't feel like she could do it because no-one in her family has her surname.
She begged me to change it as she wants the same name as us. I explained that it wasn't that simple we would have to ask her mum who would probably say no. We also haven't been in contact with her mum for a while so it would be difficult to find her. She started crying again saying it was all she wanted more than anything else and could she have it for a birthday present.

It's not the first time she has asked to change her name she has mentioned it on and off for the past 3 years or so, but it's the first time she has gotten so upset about it.

I have no idea how to make this better for her. So I am hoping you can adviser on what to do next to help her.

LuluJakey1 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:42:58

She can use whatever surname she likes I think. So she can be known at school by your surname and write it. If it needed to be on legal documents that is different and would require a legal name change.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Jun-16 21:47:01

Is this the same little girl who asked if she was planned ?

Patchworkrainbow123 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:48:05

I think provided she has been known by the new name for at least 2 years it can be changed by deed poll and therefore be on legal documents.

My son has changed his surname to that of my husbands (not his biological dad) , his biological father did agree to it but even if he hadn't there are ways around it especially if mum can't be located and DSD loves with you full time.

CalleighDoodle Sat 18-Jun-16 21:48:16

I think lulu is right. Het exams would still be her legal name but otherwise she could be tinkerbell mcfairydust.

Patchworkrainbow123 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:49:01

Sorry meant Dd not DSD!

apple1992 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:51:01

Definitely explain to school and they will change, not legally but it can appear like that in school

Haffdonga Sat 18-Jun-16 21:51:14

Can I ask what exactly is stopping you? Is it fear of upsetting her mum?
There is nothing at all stopping her/you letting the school know that from now on dd Y will be known as dd X-Y.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Jun-16 21:51:45

I think she should double barrel her name she sounds like she is struggiling to feel part of the family

IlikeCluedo Sat 18-Jun-16 21:55:51

Yes Mrsjayy that was mine DD as well.
Upsetting her mum is definitely one reason why we haven't done it. Also we are worried that using one surname for school etc and having one for legal documents etc may be confusing or could upset her as she still won't be able to use the name full time.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 18-Jun-16 21:59:22

Agree with PPs. Tell the school that she wants to be known as "DD Hyphenated-Surname" from now on. Assuming her step dad (your partner) is OK with that.

If her mum isn't around, I don't think you need to seek her permission. Appreciate that it might be different if you wanted to change it legally (passports / exams etc). I don't know the legal position. But she can call herself anything she wants for most things. And presumably, once she's 18, she can change it legally if she still wants to.

StartledByHisFurryShorts Sat 18-Jun-16 22:01:25

Although, if she hasn't mentioned it before, I guess you should make sure that it IS about the surname and not just her feeling upset and left out because neither you nor your partner could be with there today.

Meeep Sat 18-Jun-16 22:02:31

The other option is for the rest of the family to change to just your surname of course, you could all do that legally.

lifeisunjust Sat 18-Jun-16 22:03:42

Can you explain to her that the UK is unusual in the world in that people change their surnames at marriage. Does this mean because the UK is one of a minority of countries and cultures in the world that the vast majority of the world where others in the same family have different surnames (often when they even share the same parents) are "not family"? Really a surname is just a word. Not sharing the same surname does not mean you are not loved or are not part of a family. No woman in France has the same surname as their children (almost none and if they do, it means they don't actually know who the father is). Does that mean all children in France are not part of their families? Replace France with 90% of the world's countries.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Jun-16 22:04:32

She is at that age hormones are kicking in they start feeling awkward about things and want to fit in sounds really difficult for her atm. If her mum isnt for a change then im not sure what you can do but she can call herself whatever she wants at school personally i would double barrel it she can use it as an AKA thats what my mum did when i changed my surname for school after she re married i wanted the name ,

Haffdonga Sat 18-Jun-16 22:05:29

It costs £36 to change a child's name on legal docs with her mum's agreement.

But wouldn't your dd feel better if she just became 'known as' dd X-Y for general daily usage and at school? (No need for permission and she can write whatever name she likes with pride on her future art projects and exercise books.)

drspouse Sat 18-Jun-16 22:06:39

School should be a bit more sensitive to different circumstances, I think.

IlikeCluedo Sat 18-Jun-16 22:17:24

Thank you Mrsjayy you're right she does seem to be having a hard time at the moment with her place in the family and we are worried about her.

I am discussing it with DP at the moment and he would be happy for her to use our surname if that's really what she wants. If she is calmer tomorrow I will try and talk to her about it properly and she what she says.

IlikeCluedo Sat 18-Jun-16 22:19:04

haffdonga I wish we could just do it like that and her mum would agree to it but she is very unlikely to agree with it.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Jun-16 22:23:03

Is her brothers quite young ?

IlikeCluedo Sat 18-Jun-16 22:27:25

She has two brothers (twins) who will be 2 in September.

Mrswelshcacen Sat 18-Jun-16 22:53:11

That sounds very tough for her. If you are struggling with changing her surname.
I would try explaining to her how you are all a family regardless of names and may be you could all go on lots of family outings or have family days in order to reinforce this to her.
Is she close to your DP and her brothers it could be that her upset is coming from there rather than just the name thing.

MrsBertBibby Sat 18-Jun-16 23:50:35

You cannot change a child under 16s surname without the consent of everyone who has parental responsibility, which includes her mum. Unless you get a court order.

To get a court order you will need to contact her mum, or prove it is impossible to find her.

AnecdotalEvidence Sat 18-Jun-16 23:55:01

Sorry but I am sure that the school cannot refer to her as any other name other than her legal name.
You would need permission from her mum to change her surname.
It would be easier to change the surname for everyone else in the family if you can't get permission from her mum.

CodyKing Sat 18-Jun-16 23:56:13

Is the hyphen before or after so to speak?

If it's before - she could add it as a middle name rather than a last name? So not necessary a legal change?

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