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Baby names

Baby’s last name?!

102 replies

Nicole2399 · 01/06/2022 19:13

So me and my boyfriend are currently trying for a baby. We aren’t married and don’t plan on it any time soon, we would just rather spend our money on other things!
My problem is the future baby’s last name. I would be happy for the baby to have his last name although I really would like to have the same last name as my child so not sure how to get around it. As far as double barrelling, our last names are both two syllables but they just don’t sound right together! Would love to hear what other people have done!

OP posts:
Ponderingwindow · 03/06/2022 16:27

Getting married barely costs anything. If you believe in marriage, get married before you have the baby. If you don’t believe in marriage, then see a solicitor and a financial advisor and make sure you formalize your economic arrangements before you conceive. Quick hint, marriage is cheaper.


as for the name, if you aren’t married, it should be your name. I wouldn’t consider anything else. I would not put his name anywhere in there at all.

if you are married, it can still be your name. It could also be his. You could always flip a coin to pick.

TulipsGarden · 03/06/2022 16:29

Marriage gives SAHMs and women who earn a lot less than their husband a degree of protection from financial calamity in the case of a split. If you're working full time in a professional job and have joint ownership on the mortgage you're in a much better position.

Do get wills done though, if you haven't already. If one of you dies it will be a massive hassle to sort out without wills.

Ponderingwindow · 03/06/2022 16:34

Marriage mitigates risk for women who take on the health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It has nothing to do with income level.

Even if women are higher earners than their husbands or wives, and many of us are, we still take an economic hit from getting pregnant and/or being the primary caregiver.

Glitternails1 · 05/06/2022 08:18

@Nicole2399 my parents are not married (still together) and had me in their early 20s, shortly after getting a mortgage together. I have my dad’s surname. I don’t have dc yet (I have issues that are being investigated😔) and I wonder how I’ll name my dc as I’m not married.

Glitternails1 · 05/06/2022 08:27

@Nicole2399 also, you mention that you’ll rely on family members to provide childcare so you and DP can continue working full time. Don’t these family members work? And even if they’ve retired it’s a lot to ask of them to babysit 7-7 (give or take) 5 days a week until the dc is 3 or 4. Then there’s the issue of after school childcare. You need to factor in expensive childcare costs.

PissedOffNeighbour22 · 05/06/2022 08:49

Give the child your surname. The only reason I didn't is because my surname is actually my ex husand's, so would be weird to use.
I wish I'd gone back to my maiden name at the time, but it would cock up too much at work etc to do it now.

At the time I thought I would be getting married pretty soon after the baby anyway, would definitely marry my DP so we gave the baby his surname. Roll on a few years and we're still not married, I'm not sure now that I ever want to marry again and we have another child also with his surname.

MajorConfoundedFish · 05/06/2022 09:24

This isn't about marriage protecting you from breaking up this is about women looking out for women, knowing how you can get shafted it you are unmarried.

If you separate and you’re not married, you’re not entitled to anything you don’t jointly own. Furthermore, it can be difficult to prove joint ownership, and this will probably require legal advice. When you’re married, things are a lot simpler. When you divorce, all the assets of the marriage are treated as joint assets, so you have a better chance of a fair settlement, the main thing being the marital home.

I am tired of OP's lashing out, making out that this comes from our own personal experience. I have been with Dh for 26 years and married for 23. He too thinks you are mad to not get married before the baby arrives. Marriage is very different than a wedding. Marriage is the legal bit, signing the register, the wedding is how ever you want to celebrate that. I have also been on MN for over 15 years, you might want to at least look at the relationships board to see potentially where this can go wrong so you can head it off at the pass. Also in the last day or so someone has posted about their 4 week old, look at the sleep section to see how a child's lack of sleep can absolutely destroy your sanity. This is how relationships break down. Even yesterday there was a woman posting from a lay-by about her shitty partner and the deal with their kids.

Marriage just gives you legal protection, talk to a solicitor about it. And factor in childcare, just because relatives can offer childcare now doesn't mean they actually will or will be able to continue to. My Mum had my sister's children and then was suddenly ill and then dead within 3 months.

SecondBestBed · 05/06/2022 09:55

I too urge you to get married or have a civil partnership. You can get married for less than a couple of hundred pounds. It’s for the financial and legal protection you get. Do you know that if, God forbid, your partner dies and you are not married, you get no financial help from the government? If you are married, you do.

ScootsMcHoy · 05/06/2022 10:29

Nicole2399 · 03/06/2022 16:05

Thank you. I don’t quite understand why people are so set on having to get married before having children. We are perfectly prepared and feel as though a piece of paper from the government is not going to make any difference to that. Glad to see I’m not the only one!

If you don't get it, you should read the thread again and try to get it.

I've never understood the "it's only a piece of paper" line.

For a start, it isn't. It's a legal contract giving you certain rights. One of my friends had been living with her dp for decades and they had children and he became ill and she wasn't his next of kin. It was an incredibly difficult time even without that but because she had no legal rights she had no say at all in any of the decisions.

If it's "only a piece of paper" then why not get one? It only takes twenty minutes for a registry office wedding. You can do it after work.

Twizbe · 05/06/2022 10:44

My house deeds are a piece of paper, my children's birth certificates are pieces of paper, my passport is made up of lots of paper. Some legal bits of paper are quite important.

By all means have children without marriage, that's fine. But do so only after you've really understood the legal risks and situation. It's not just about it you break up. At some point, one of you will die. Make sure you understand how not being married impacts the legal side of inheritance and guardianship.

LondonQueen · 05/06/2022 10:53

Just something worth considering, you have pretty much given away your full name here. Please name change once you have finished with this thread.
@Nicole2399

LondonQueen · 05/06/2022 10:55

Now back to the thread, personally I would choose a double barrelled name if me and DH weren't married. I like to share a surname with my children.

SecondBestBed · 05/06/2022 10:56

Nicole2399 · 03/06/2022 16:01

Exactly! I think that person seems to think married people can’t possibly break up or have any problems!

That is not what people think. Your comprehension seems a bit limited if you don’t understand the well-known and very important issue here.

MissMaple82 · 05/06/2022 11:01

You get around it by getting married!

Fuuuuuckit · 05/06/2022 11:05

Nicole2399 · 01/06/2022 20:55

Why wouldn’t we be able to work?

When I worked in Life Assurance scaffold er was the single occupation that we couldn't insure. Not even by appeal to the underwriters.

It's a very dangerous job, and also limited by poor weather. If we go into any sort of recession building work will dry up very quickly.

Your name only, and a simple cheap official marriage.

OneCup · 05/06/2022 15:35

I think it helps the surnames are short. You can hyphenate them more easily without them being too much of a mouthful. I would start with Byatt as it ends in a consonant so doesn't get eaten up by Downing if you know what I mean.

Spohn · 05/06/2022 15:53

Both surnames, no hyphen. Or just yours. Read the link way up thread about the differences, legally, between being married and legally single, that’s what’s important. And nope, having a kid is in no way ‘more commitment’ than marriage.

LightningStar · 05/06/2022 15:59

Nicole2399 · 01/06/2022 21:27

Thank you, I just didn’t want it to seem as though we’re only getting married for the sake of a baby I guess!

Why do you care ?

LightningStar · 05/06/2022 16:01

Nicole2399 · 03/06/2022 16:01

Exactly! I think that person seems to think married people can’t possibly break up or have any problems!

That's neither true nor fair.

Marriage gives you legal protections, your relationship is more likely to last than if not married and you sound very defensive.

Marty13 · 05/06/2022 16:24

I'm not sure why people are talking about marriage when your question was about names 🙄

Re: the name, personally there's no way in hell I'd not give my child my name. I'd agree to my partner having his name in there too if it was important to him, but I'd probably call my child Firstname Mylastname in everyday life even if both surnames appear on the birth certificate.

But you need to do what feels right for you. My SIL gave her kids my brother's last name, although they're not married yet. She didn't give them her last name. In her place I'd have made a different decision, especially because they're a multicultural family and I think it'd be nice for the kids to also have a last name from her country. But if this works for her this is what matters.

Just bear in mind when you make your decision how you'd feel about it if you ever split up with your partner. Also consider whether you'd change your name if you got married (personally I wouldn't).

Re: the marriage, since it's come up, I think you should consider what would happen if you split up with your partner, and consider different scenarios (what if he is a hands on dad, what if he isn't and goes NC, etc). Make sure you and your child will be okay either way. Whether or not marriage works for you in that context is for you to decide.

Personally, one look at how painful and drawn-out divorces can be would put me off getting married massively. On the other hand I do understand that people who are vulnerable may find protection in marriage. But the short and long of it is that only you know your circumstances and what works for you. Just consider all the worst-case scenarios before making your decision one way or another.

Personally I'm secure financially with a very stable job. I don't plan on ever getting married.

User56785 · 05/06/2022 18:15

I'm not sure why people are talking about marriage when your question was about names 🙄

You know how you could get sure?

By reading the thread.

IamtheDevilsAvocado · 29/11/2022 12:39

Nicole2399 · 01/06/2022 21:45

Haha thank you, that makes me feel a bit better about it!

I am double barrelled - not blended name but the double barrelling has been there for over a century.

If it were me.... I'd give the baby MY last name... With your partners as a middle name...

Just put it in different sections on the form...

So not Baby Downing - Byatt

Would be Baby Downing Byatt

Or vice versa if your name is Downing


So if the worse happened and you decided no longer to be together... Your child would have YOUR full surname!

I've lost count of the number of friends who tried to get theur kids names changed on divorce /parting (and largely couldn't without the father formally agreeing - even in the case of DV... 🙄)

DuchessOfSausage · 29/11/2022 12:47

I'd do what @IamtheDevilsAvocado says.

I know a Ms Byatt and Mr Downing who had DC1 Downing-Byatt, got married and had DC2 Byatt-Downing and changed DC1's surname.

IamtheDevilsAvocado · 29/11/2022 13:24

DuchessOfSausage · 29/11/2022 12:47

I'd do what @IamtheDevilsAvocado says.

I know a Ms Byatt and Mr Downing who had DC1 Downing-Byatt, got married and had DC2 Byatt-Downing and changed DC1's surname.

What I was suggesting was not double barrelling... So no hyphen... Although in practise people will often assume it is a double barrel... It just makes it easier legally if there is a split... As the father's name is not officially part of the surname.

So many friends both married and not... Really really resent not insisting on the child having their surname. Pal is having a nightmare where her 14 Yr old is desperate to officially change her name away from her violent rapist father.... And of course, he refuses. Daughter will legally change as soon as she can. For all intents and purposes she is known as Sara nicemum rather than her legal name Sara grimdad..

DuchessOfSausage · 29/11/2022 13:36

I understood what you meant @IamtheDevilsAvocado . You didn't use a hyphen. The second paragraph is about what a now married couple I know did.

Maybe I should have added that it is easier to change a surname than a forename.

I agree with you in that if the couple split up, it is easier if the mother has the same surname as the child, and it also avoids the getting called Mrs Dadsurname instead of Ms Mumsurname. Also if you have another DC with a different father, at least they will have the same surname.

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