Baby's Last Name... — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Baby's Last Name...

I am not married to my SO and it seems like lately and really for the entire length of this pregnancy that I have been upset/disappointed with him more than I am happy with him. And I have BEEN TRYING. I am not hard to get along with, am mostly pleasant and do not ask much from him. We don't live together... We have only been dating 6 months and I am 16 weeks pregnant. This baby is already so loved. With or without him. My parents are royally pissed off that when we stayed with them last weekend he never mentioned anything to either one of them about the baby or what his intentions are. My parents have made it clear that because he and I are not married and honestly it is highly unlikely that we ever will get married that the baby should absolutely have MY last name. I agree with this however I know it's not going to go over well... Do you guys think that just because someone is the father that the baby should have their last name? I am so sick over this and my baby isn't due until January!!

Re: Baby's Last Name...

  • Regardless of your relationship with him at the moment - you made a decision at some point (whether planned or not) to have a baby with him. I understand where your parents are coming from, as well as your frustration - but does the father plan to be part of the baby's life ? If so I feel like it is his right as the dad to have the option of the baby having his last name. If not, and you are going to raise the baby by yourself then by all means give him/her your name.
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  • My DD dad was a deadbeat (he beat me up while i was pregnant cheated on me she has a brother 3 months older than her) she has my last name and doeant even know he exsist. As far as she knows her father is my ex husband. So i say there is nothing wrong with the baby having your last name.

    That's awful I'm glad you got out.
  • I agree with snoop dog ^. I don't really see being disappointed with your relationship as a reason to not give the child your SO's name. In what sounds like a more extreme case, last year my best friend had a baby with a guy she was previously engaged to, at the time he was incredibly unstable and verbally abusive. She respected him enough (miraculously) to give the baby his last name, but refused to put him on the birth certificate so he has no legal rights. Again, that sounds much more extreme than your situation. It's a personal choice but if daddy is going to be involved I think IMHO he deserves to at least have the kid have his last name
  • Abuse and dead beat dads should absolutely have NO say but this does not sound like a case of that.
  • I think it is a personal decision. If I was planning on being the primary caregiver, I would give the baby my last time - for me that is what would feel right and also I think administratively it would make things easier.
  • l4rkl4rk member
    I agree with PP that it's a personal choice. My SS has his mom's last name and it actually hasn't really been an issue, even though she isn't in his life. Me, my SO and SS all have different names. Apparently he was really confused for a bit when he was younger about who was related to him, but that sorted itself out. Not that I think you should give him you BFs name; just FYI that it hasn't ever actually been a problem, so you wouldn't need to worry about that aspect. In your situation, the kid would have my last name and probably SO's as a middle name.
  • zg49zg49 member
    I agree that it is a personal decision but I'll tell you an example of an issue I see in my line of business. I'm a travel agent and when we have mothers book trips with their children under age 18 that have a different last name, some airlines require a birth certificate and/or a note from the other parent in order to allow the child to travel. This may never be an issue for you but little things like that can come up if you're the primary caregiver with a different last name.

    If you don't plan to get married and you're already questioning his involvement, I would personally give baby my last name. You have a couple months to see if SO changes his involvement and then you can always think about hyphenating. (Can be a pain too but can also be nice if you wont be getting married but want baby to have both names.)

  • enkbenkb member
    I'd vote for your name rather than the dad's, but it is obviously a personal decision. I never took my husbands name when we got married, so I am also wondering what last name the lo should get, and my husband is very involved and supportive. Its not a punishment tothe dad to not give this baby its dads last name, its about what feels right for your family.
  • nackienackie member
    Just because he's the father, doesn't mean he has a right to have his last name used, whether he's involved or not. My Dh is super involved and excited and we still decided to use my last name for this baby for reasons that make sense to us. You have to do what feels right for you and your LO.
  • I was nervous to post this this morning, but I am SO grateful that I did!
  • TVL25TVL25 member
    My husband and I were not married when our oldest was born. We knew we wanted to eventually get married but no time soon. I gave our son my last name for that very reason. My husband was okay with it because it is something that can be changed. My sister had my niece at 18 and her father was a complete loser. She had our last name as well so that he would have a battle if he ever came after her for custody. Honestly, my mama bear instincts kicked in and though we were happy and everything was good, I wasn't chancing a battle for my child. It definitely is a personal decision between you and your SO.
  • Thank you so much for your input :).
  • KaraEpp16KaraEpp16 member
    edited July 2015
    It's a very personal decision. I'm sorry you're feeling pressure from other people.

    I personally feel weird about giving my baby my last name because my father isn't the father. My SOs parents didn't pressure me and they said right off the bat that the baby's last name didn't necessarily need to be theirs. Personally, I feel weird about it not being his last name. I've been with him longer than six months though. So like I said it's your call - there are a lot of factors that seem to go into this. I.E. - will he be signing the birth certificate? Will you feel weird about registering your child for school with a different last name than yours? Do you want the LO to have a piece of the father anyway? Your parents have the best intentions but it's up to you. Maybe ask him what he thinks? Maybe he won't put up a fight, either way.

    Edit: typos
  • When I was born my mom was 19, my dad 21. My parents were still dating, but she was advised that for her protection and mine, and for legality reasons she was better off not outing my dad or his last name in any documents. I was named with her last name. A year and a half after I was born, my parents got married. My dad had to fill out documents to have by birth certificate legally changed, so I could have his last name.

    If if was in a situation where I did not trust my partner and did not see a future, if be trying to get out. I think you have a bigger issue at hand the. Wether or not your baby should have his last name. I have followed several of your posts since the early weeks. I feel as though you know this guy is not the right guy. I would start trusting your gut a bit more and move on before life gets more complicated. If you do that then the last name will be a no brainer. But if you do choose to stay in the realationship, then I would be more inclined to agree that you should at least let him be part of the last name conversation.

    Good luck!
    STM - EDD June 24 '18
    DD - January 2016
  • I agree with @snoopylovesbelle that, besides personal choice, it is CONVENIENT for a child to have the last name of their primary caregiver. If you happen to be married to the father and have taken his last name, this definitely makes the choice easier, but I've seen even mothers who didn't take their husband's last names but then gave their kids his last name and it is an added hassle to have to explain every time they talk to the school, set up passes at the rec pool, etc. that they are the mother with a different last name. It sounds silly, and it's only a few seconds added each time, but that adds up over a lifetime, and sure feels like it would get old for me. If you are unsure of his participation, and even if he's an active father if you are the main caregiver, I would want my children, who I take care of more and who I carried and birthed, to have my last name, personally. 

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  • I agree that this is a personal choice but I'll tell you about my choice in a somewhat similar situation. My SO has been very supportive but we are not married. One day, we probably will get married but he hasn't proposed and no date is set so the baby is getting my last name. It is for practical reasons. He's in medical school so I will be the primary caretaker and it will be easier if my child and I have the same name. There is a fee to change the baby's name later, he and I have agreed to pay it. It's important to me that the child always have my last name. This is not done against his will and is not done out of spite but, for me, this is the most practical decision. My only advice is to make your decision from logic rather than emotion because emotions are so up and down during pregnancy.
  • Very good point :). Note taken and thank you very much :).
  • You are already thinking like a mama, looking to do what's best for your baby. I'm like you, I am a planner and I like to work out big details asap. But you do have 6 ish months for this decision to become more clear. In the end go with your gut and everyone else can deal with what you decide.
  • ah1013ah1013 member
    Another option just to think about is changing your last name. Of course I would bring all the options to your SO, but my mother kept my fathers name after they divorced so we would have the same as both of our parents. In that case, everyone wins? Just a thought!.
  • That is a thoughtful suggestion, but I am not changing my last name until I am married... And at this point unlikely that is going to happen...
  • ashhsaashhsa member
    My parents were not married but had a good relationship, they hyphenated our last names. I personally think you should just give the baby your name if the dad is not present. Tradition is overrated, you shouldn't put up with poor treatment because he is the father!
  • Just for another perspective...I'm happily married but our baby will have my last name for a number of personal/family reasons. There is no reason why a child has to have the father's last name, although this is the norm in our culture. I hope you can come together to make a decision on what's best for the two of you and your baby. Hyphenation is always an option as well! Best of luck.
  • shelbell0116shelbell0116 member
    edited August 2015
    To me, my part of the baby is getting to carry it and giving birth to it. It's a connection the father will not have. His connection is the baby taking his name. You didn't make that baby by yourself. It IS half him. If he plans on being a part of the baby's life then he deserves SOMETHING. That being said, if between now and the time the baby is born that changes, then the plans should change. But I think just being "disappointed" isn't a good reason to take that connection away.
  • I think this is a tough decision. If you decide to give the baby your last name, it isn't like you're saying he can't be the father or involved with your child. It's just giving the baby your last name. I don't think that's some crazy idea. I think it makes sense. Why do children always have to have their fathers last name? If later on down the road you go further with your relationship with this man then you and baby can both change your names. I think it just comes down to where your heart is and what you think is right. And also how involved you think he will be. If you think he's going to completely run off then I wouldn't want to use his last name. That traveling example is something I would've never thought of. I'm sorry you have to go through that!
  • There's a lot of really valuable advice here. The one thing I would add is that remember that names can always be changed later. Yes it might be a mild pain in the a**, but it can be done.

  • SummerOH said:

    My daughter doesn't have her dad's name. I think it's very antiquated to say it's a dad's RIGHT to have priority when it comes to the last name. It's up to you, but personally I wouldn't.

    This. DS was born before DH and I were married and I wanted to hyphenate his name but decided in the end it would be too long, so my last name is his middle name. Even once we got married I never changed my own name because I think it's outdated to just assume everyone takes the man's last name. If I hadn't seen a future with DH I never would have given DS his last name.
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