Last Name Debate – Children of Unmarried Parents

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
5106 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

I will say that I know several unmarried women with children and the children all have the father’s last name. Ok, I have one exception and that is a married couple that was separated and she got pregnant by another guy who she was dating for a while, but was back together with the husband before the baby was born, the baby has the husband’s (and her) last name, not the father’s last name.

I don’t necessarily think that either parent has any more “right” to have the kids have their last name. I think this needs to be worked out by the parents or a compromise needs to be reached in some way. If that is absolutely impossible, then I suppose that the mother should be the ultimate decider. Now, in Janet’s case, is she just giving the kid her last name to spite the boyfriend or pressure him into proposing? I only say that because you mentioned that her post made it clear that she was unhappy that she wasn’t married. I don’t think that is a healthy way to go about giving your kid a last name, if that is the case. 

Post # 3
Member
865 posts
Busy bee

If their relationship is a good one and they foresee co-parenting and perhaps marriage in the future, I would lean toward having the child take the father’s name.  That’s not necessarily because I’m traditional, but because it makes sense and will make life easier.  I’m not intending to take my husband’s last name when I marry, because I have a professional career that I’m already established in, but any children would take his name.  Hyphenating the last name is very confusing, because it often tends to cause computerized programs to glitch out.  

In a case where this was an accidental pregnancy early in the relationship, the mother should do as she pleases as to the child’s name.  Let’s face it… you never know if the father might go absentee.  It happens far too often. 

Post # 4
Member
7748 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Lol, what I take from this situation is that it’s way easier to judge the shit out of people when you’re on an online forum than IRL. I am guilty of this myself on the bee all the time. 

I bet if the women accusing the OP of being selfish knew her IRL and talked to her IRL about this, they’d be a lot more tempered in expressing their views.

As to the actual dilemma …..tough one. I think if I were in that situation – pregnant, unmarried, and worried that my bf wasn’t ever actually gonna propose, I’d want the kid to have my name. I might agree to hyphenating but I would definitely want my name in there. I say this as someone who took my husband’s name in marriage, albeit somewhat ambivalently.

Post # 5
Member
935 posts
Busy bee

Oddly, Darling Husband and I had a conversation about this the other night.

We have a friend… let’s call her Misty. Misty got pregnant at 16 and gave her child the father’s last name. Her and the dad split ways. About 8 years later, she got pregnant again and gave that child the father’s last name. That father and her also split ways. She is now engaged with no intention on changinger her last name. So that means there will be 4 people living together in the same house with 4 different last names! Maybe this worked for her, but I would find it all to be such a headache. I tend to be on the side that if I were to get pregnant out of wedlock, that I would have the child have MY last name, not the father’s. But… to each their own!

(For the record though, I did not take my husband’s last name and that’s confusing for some people/us as well and that’s only two of us!)

Post # 6
Member
1528 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

What the hell?  No.  She should give her child her own last name if that’s what she wants to do.  PM me the Facebook thread, I’m happy to go leave a post or message her to lend my support.  

It’s traditional for the kids to take the father’s name?  Well it’s also traditional for the parents to get married and then have the child.  There’s nothing wrong with going “against the tradition” if the couple doesn’t want to get married, and by the same token there’s also nothing wrong with going “against the tradition” for the kids to not take the father’s name.  

This kind of hypocrisy drives me absolutely insane.  “It’s tradition!!” if the tradition happens to work in your favor and “But but muh freedom!!” if you don’t like the tradition.  

Post # 7
Member
645 posts
Busy bee

I don’t have any judgement about what is right or wrong, that is for the couple to decide, but I know three unmarried couples with children and all have the father’s last name.

Post # 8
Member
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

If I wasn’t married I would give my kid my name. The only reason my daughter has my husband’s name is because I took it too!

Post # 9
Member
262 posts
Helper bee

I am happily married but think about this all the time. I love my last name and the idea of being pregnant, going though the pain of labor, and missing months of work just to put someone else’s name on the kid give me this awful feeling of being robbed or at least ripped off. Kids are far off for us but it will be interesting to see how it all goes down when it’s time to think seriously about this.

Post # 13
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I am the product of such a situation, and I have my mother’s last name. My father’s last name is my middle name. My parents were actually not together by the time I was born, so it was definitely the right call by my mom.

Two of my very close friends have had kids without being married and they both gave their kids the dad’s name. They are both now split from said dads and both really wish the kids had their last names. I’m married and didn’t take my husband’s last name, but our son has his last name because that’s what we decided together. Every situation is different and I think there should be discussion, but I think in these situations it’s ultimately the mom’s call. 

Post # 14
Member
7457 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t think the woman has any more right than the man to determine the child’s last name, especially if parenting duties will be split down the middle.

That being said, I think the father is being bull headed by insisting that they can’t hyphenate because “tradition!!”.

I don’t know what I would do in this case but I would definitely be reconsidering the relationship if there Boyfriend or Best Friend can’t compromise with a hyphen.

Post # 15
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

If I was not married/engaged I would give the child my last name. I’ve heard of horror stories where the father exits the child’s life but refuses to sign the papers changing the kid’s last name back to the mother’s.

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