Children taking Dad's surname- every man's right?

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ElectronBlue's picture
Joined: 27/07/2011 - 10:11
Posts: 13374
Children taking Dad's surname- every man's right?

Who has the ultimate say, in your opinion, when it comes to choosing a child's surname? Is it the father? Why? How did you choose if you were in this situation?

I was reading at the weekend that the Duke of Edinburgh was very angry at not being able to give his children his surname. and I have to admit I do feel for the guy, especially given this was a lont time ago! But the situation is far more common now (very modern, ma'am!)

I know my ex saw me giving Alex my surname as a direct attack on his masculinity, race and fatherhood and he tried all sorts of methods, legal, bullying, harrassment, threats etc, to make me change it (quite the wrong tactic to use with me, I would have been  more than willing to consider his side but I don't do threats or bullying and I dug my heels right in!) Later on though I felt a little sympathetic to him, although not enough to do anything about it, he'd disappeared by then anyhow.

So what do you think- and men especially, would you consider it disappointing or emasculating if your children didn't bear your surname? How important would it be to you?

Corris's picture
Joined: 25/07/2011 - 14:18
Posts: 8443

I deliberately gave my children their fathers name because I didn't think he would be around for long, consequently I wanted themt o have a link to him, and his family - to feel a sense of identity and belonging to that family.

ElectronBlue's picture
Joined: 27/07/2011 - 10:11
Posts: 13374

Now that's very interesting. I didn't feel A's would be around for long either, and that was one of my reasons against giving his surname- I didn't want A to be out on a limb and 'different' to the rest of the family who were committed to him long term. 

But then we never lived together as a family so that's different isn't it?

Daedalus's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 09:39
Posts: 3719

It’s a tough one. I’m traditional, so I’m glad my children have my surname, but (because I’m traditional) we got married first and my wife took my surname. So it’s less my surname and more our family name.

I wouldn’t have wanted children outside of marriage. And I probably wouldn’t have married someone who wouldn’t change their surname. So, I think, it’s not that my children having the same surname as me is important, but it’s important I had my children with a partner who has similar beliefs and wishes to continue similar traditions as I do.

(As it happens, the tradition we decided to follow means the kids got both my first name and surname – bonus!)

I’m not sure how things would have worked out if I’d married the Queen or someone famous (equally unlikely scenarios).

JacquiL's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 11:56
Posts: 25845

The royal family aside, if I hadn't been married (not that I would ever have had children outside of marraige) then it would depend on the committment I had with the father, but chances are I wouldn't have.

However I am old fashioned and changed my name when I married (even if my maiden name was much better). As Daedy said, I see it as the family name, i.e. we all have the same surname, we are all part of the same family

Leeds's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 09:37
Posts: 8585

DD has OH's surname, because I saw him as a long term fixture!  If I had had the slightest doubt that he would at some point in the future have done a bunk, she would've had my surname.

If OH and I ever got married, I think I would keep my own name, although would answer to Mrs OH (which I am frequently called anyway, and I don't correct people) if called by that.  I don't particularly like his surname (although it is livable with, lol), but I think I am my own person rather than an adjunct of him.

I wouldn't go down the double barrelled option, although I think that is quite popular these days with both bride and groom getting a new surname.  That said, there is a lady at school who has taken her husband's surname, but the child is double barrelled ..............

Joined: 29/11/2009 - 20:56
Posts: 1129

A small part of me wishes I'd stood my ground when I had DD - because at the time DH and I weren't married.

We didn't do things traditionally at all, despite DH claiming to be traditional. as a result we had DD before and DS after we got married and despite all of his protestations about wanting to do the traditional thing by him proposing, that never happened either. 

I did have a row with DH when DD was born and we were discussing names - I'd wanted to marry him for a long long time and had indeed asked him (and got given the 'I want to be the one to do the asking' reply). ANd then when DD was born I stamped my feet and said weill it's bloody unfair if SHE gets your name and I don't.  As it happens, I caved in and she was christened with his surname. It took another 3 years before I received it. - and even then it still wasn't done traditionally and he still never proposed... 

By the time the boy was born we were married and thus the boy received our family name. The teen is still to be legitimised though lol 

I think if DD hadn't received his name he'd have caused a huge fuss and stropped a bit. 

summertime's picture
Joined: 01/10/2010 - 09:14
Posts: 851

when my girls were born we werent married and I insested they have my surname and he didnt put up much of an objection. we later married and we all changed our surname to his, now we are divorced and we all still have his surname. this was more to do with teaching at the school the girls attended and I felt that me changing my surname would have lead to too many awkward questions for them

13 years after our divorce I still havent changed my name so probably never will, there is also the added complication of me not liking my maiden name so not sure what I would change it to.

Joined: 26/11/2009 - 16:10
Posts: 9402

My children were both born during the marriage and they both took the family name. I have since changed my name and reverted to my maiden name.

I had long discussions with the children about it - it really doesn't bother them at all. If they want to change their names when they are older, they can.

It's not about a name - it's about who is there for them and raises them and loves them and who is their family. IMO giving a name as a link to someone doesn't quite work. If they know the name of their father, or know who he is, then that's the link that they need - as in John Smith is my dad, I'm Joe Brown, but it doesn't change who their father is IYSWIM.

Were I to have any further children (not blooming likely!!) then it would be out of wedlock - cos I aint doing that again! Then I wouldn't particularly bother over whos name they took - probably down to which sounds best!!!! It wouldn't make them any less my kids if they took his name, or any less his kids if they took my name.

sparkledust's picture
Joined: 29/11/2009 - 17:57
Posts: 2949

komodia wrote:
My children were both born during the marriage and they both took the family name. I have since changed my name and reverted to my maiden name.

I had long discussions with the children about it - it really doesn't bother them at all. If they want to change their names when they are older, they can.


I was much the same Kom.
My YD asked if she could change her name when I got married again, but she hasn't mentioned it since the wedding.
Only when I got divorced did I think aboout reverting back to my maiden name, as it happens, my HT at the time annoucned in the 1st assembly after the summer that I was now Miss... and I had to change all my paperwork and ID. I would've stayed with the same name so the kids didn't get the awkward questions, as it happens they didn't get any. I kept getting asked if I'd gotten married
S. Foster
Joined: 22/07/2011 - 23:45
Posts: 2

I had no doubt that our daughter was having dad's surname even though we weren't married then, ( we are now) as we had been together so long, and i knew one day i was hoping that i would have the same surname soon, the only thing i wanted her to have was my middle name which has been passed down the family. it depends on each relationship too. also didn't want the hassle of changing her name if she had mine to start with. we're all happy as one unit and i feel we all belong,