Baby name: My last name or his?

Baby name: My last name or his?

With the the concept of equality, individualism and independence on the rise, it's bringing quite a change to a lot of things, especially social norms. Find out why more women are wondering whether their child should take on their last name or their partner's.


Find out why more and more women are opting to use their surname instead of their partner’s

Most people often start anticipating the ‘naming’ process for their baby as soon as they find out they are expecting. This can all be thrilling and fun, but naming a child is getting more and more complicated by the day. There has been an increase in women who are independent nowadays, and a lot of them prefer to have their babies carry their last name instead of the baby’s biological father’s name — begging the question…who’s last name should it be anyway?

RELATED: 2013 Trends for baby names

Father’s last name

The default surname of babies is usually the father’s last name. Most mothers prefer their children to take on the last name of their father as a social norm, while other women do it to prevent teasing or taunts about their baby being an illegitimate child. There are also other women who choose their husband’s last name just to avoid any legal issues, especially if they belong to a rich or famous family.

RELATED: Did Jessica Simpson give her baby a cool name?


Asides the modern mentality, there are other more traditional reasons why women want to keep their surname

Mother’s last name

Single mums often choose to give their family name to the child, especially if she is not on speaking terms with the father of the child. But there are also other reasons why a mother might want a child to carry her last name. This includes:

  1. Difficult husband surname – A husband with a rather difficult (to spell or pronounce) surname often agrees to having their child use his wife’s simpler last name. This often eliminates any trouble that their child could encounter in the future.
  2. Dwindling family tree – Women opt to use their surname whenever they feel that their surname is almost non-existent in their own family tree. They want to make sure that their last name carries on.
  3. As tribute – Some mothers choose to use their family name as a tribute to their own father.

Hyphenated Last Name

Hyphenated last names are a combination of the mother and father’s name. Most people use this type of last name to ensure that most people know that the baby is in fact their child. Other people have a different reason for using a hyphenated last name. They claim that this type of last name indicates equality and eliminates superiority in the marriage or parenting. Hyphenated last names are not that popular because it can be quite a mouthful, especially when the child gets married to someone who has an equally complicated last name.

When it comes to choosing a surname for the baby, parents need to realize that their choice will not only affect them but their child as well. How did you choose your child’s last name? Was choosing the family name quite a big deal for you? Tell us your experience. For more on choosing names, watch this video:

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Written by

Karen Mira

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