64 answers

Boyfriend Want Baby to Have His Last Name

What would you do if you and your boyfriend is having a baby and he wants you to give the baby his last name. I always say that I would not do it but we are talking about getting married. So Moms what should I do.

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Featured Answers

I would not.
No.

You are not married.
Talk is cheap.

Are you both talking about getting married, because you are now pregnant?
If you were NOT pregnant, would he still be, marrying you?
To me, that is a big difference.

If the last names are hyphenated, a person cannot 'choose' which name to use, because a hyphenated name is taken as ONE whole name, not 2 names. Legally. Only if a name is NOT hyphenated, (per a last name), can you then use either last name.

7 moms found this helpful

Call me old fashioned, but in my day some would consider that suggestion to BE a proposal. It doesn't take much to go down to city hall and have a civil ceremony.

4 moms found this helpful

When the ring goes on the finger and the marriage is legal, then the baby can have his last name. Until he can commit to being in that child's life forever...

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would not.
No.

You are not married.
Talk is cheap.

Are you both talking about getting married, because you are now pregnant?
If you were NOT pregnant, would he still be, marrying you?
To me, that is a big difference.

If the last names are hyphenated, a person cannot 'choose' which name to use, because a hyphenated name is taken as ONE whole name, not 2 names. Legally. Only if a name is NOT hyphenated, (per a last name), can you then use either last name.

7 moms found this helpful

Talking about getting married and getting married are two different things. I'd wait til you're married. You can always change the baby's name.

I don't know your situation. You haven't written enough to give us much to go on. But if he's being really pushy about this without acting excited about getting married, but only lukewarm, I wouldn't do it for him.

Good luck,
D.

6 moms found this helpful

Hi honey,

My personal feeling is that if you are seriously getting married and going to personally take his name, then that would be the choice to keep things smooth for the family. That's my "Politically Correct" answer.

Now for not-so-PC-answer.

You are the momma. You will always be the momma. If the father leaves one way or another, you are still there. You carry the baby in your body, you create and nourish life. That child is a part of your body and soul...forever....And personally, I have come to understand why ancient cultures, (and even some modern ones) still address a child by the clan, tribe or surname of it's mother.

One way or the other, it's only ignorance to think that the value of a child rests upon it's verified paternity.

A child is divine, and it's mother is holy.

Best wishes and blessings

4 moms found this helpful

Call me old fashioned, but in my day some would consider that suggestion to BE a proposal. It doesn't take much to go down to city hall and have a civil ceremony.

4 moms found this helpful

You need to decide if you are going to marry him first! Then go from there...

4 moms found this helpful

I always find it kind of odd, (not in ALL circumstances) that men get all interested in a child having their last name, but they aren't interested in marrying the mother. Well, someday....they MIGHT.

All you have to know and realize is that what name you put on the birth certificate will be the child's name.
If you give the father's name, not that it's a bad thing, that will be the child's legal name whether you get married or not. That will be the child's name if you marry someone else.
If you give your last name, that will be the child's legal last name whether you marry the father or not or if you marry someone else.

I process birth certificates in California and if parents are not married, both parents have to sign a declaration of paternity in order for the father to be on the birth certificate.
I've only come across it once where the father wouldn't sign, but it happens. In that case, as the mother, I wouldn't give the child the father's last name. I mean, if it was me and the father didn't want to be on the birth certificate, I wouldn't give the baby his last name.
Another thing I want to mention is that different cultures do things differently and when I enter information into the state computer, it often comes up with a prompt..."WARNING: The child's last name does not match either parent's last name. Are you sure this information is correct?"
It's a means of making sure we aren't getting something mixed up, but people name their kids things that have nothing to do with their own legal last names.
You can name your child whatever you want.
But they'll have that name forever.

You can ammend a birth certificate to change the name under certain circumstances, but that original birth certificate is always still there.
It's a tough decision.
I have two sets of married parents who haven't finalized birth certificates because they can't agree on a FIRST name. Their kids are already born.

You have time to think about this.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful

Personally, I would wait and change my child's last name after we married. Or, if you are expecting, is there any reason that "talking about getting married" would mean you will not be married by the time the baby is born? Weddings don't really take all that much time to plan or cost that much. We had a civil ceremony almost seven years ago and only had to pay for the license and the Justice of the Peace. I would not be comfortable legally linking my child when I have no legal connection to the father.

3 moms found this helpful

I didn't give my son my now ex's last name. You are planning on getting married, but that ring is on on your finger and you don't have that $40 piece of paper.
Call me a pessimist, but I wouldn't until you are married. Since he is that father of your child, it would be easy to get his name changed. I have seen so many promises of marriage fall apart under stress of a baby and other life predicaments. Where you guys planning on getting married before you found out about the baby? Or after? Did he start talking or did you? I ask because a lot of marriages that happen because of a baby, usually don't last. I too have seen way to many of those.
I of course have no idea what you guys have or haven't done, but that is my two cents. Wish all the best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful

When the ring goes on the finger and the marriage is legal, then the baby can have his last name. Until he can commit to being in that child's life forever...

3 moms found this helpful

I am a believer that the child should always have the father's last name IF the father is in the picture and in this child's life.

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

No marriage, no name. You will be raising this baby. When you get married, change the name. Simple.

2 moms found this helpful

The baby should have your last name. Five years from now if you're married or if BF is a major part of your childs life, then you can consider changing the last name.

2 moms found this helpful

I would tell him that I'd be happy to give our baby his last name: AFTER he marries me.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree, figure out if you're going to marry him. If he is good enough to create and raise a child with, I would think he is good enough to marry.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd give the baby my name and if you get married do a name change. It's easy enough. If you don't get married and you move on your child will never have the same name as you. It's much harder to delete his name than it is to add it.

2 moms found this helpful

I would want my child to have my name. Since most likely you will be the one going to school meetings and docs appointments etc. I would not want to have to explain that I am Ms. G mother of Johnny Smith. You can easily change your child's name when you get married.

2 moms found this helpful

i gave my daughter her dads last name, even when we were not getting along while i was pregnant i was going to give her his last name. the way i look at it he will ALWAYS be her father rather he is in the picture or not he is her dad period

2 moms found this helpful

I personally think children should have their Dads name when possible. You are both his parents, so if anything, hyphenate the two names, but dont deny the Dad. If you thinkyou are marrying him, give Dads name as it will soon also be yours. My DD has Dads name, and we havent gotten married yet (we are this spring).

2 moms found this helpful

What the heck does getting married have to do with a child and his/her father? What should really matter is if you can trust that he will always be a part of her life. If he has a hand in raising her, she should have his last name. Now if he's the type to disappear never to be heard from again, then no, she should have your name. The relationship between the parents really has nothing to do with the parent/child relationship (or at least it shouldn't). Besides, if you give her your last name and you and the father end up separating down the road, what happens if/when you meet/settle down and eventaully marry someone? Then this child no longer has any affiliation with either of her parents.

2 moms found this helpful

Is the father in the picture? If he is and he's supporting the baby, then YES give the baby HIS last name. If he's a loser and wants nothing but the ability to say "I have a kid" then give the baby your last name. But if there is an active role in parenting on the father's part, that's a major kick in the gut to him not to have the baby take his name.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd give both last names. If I had it to do over again, I would have done that with my son even though I was married to his dad at the time.

That way your baby will have both names and can use both or either as he/she gets older. If you two DO get married, you can change your name or not, and you can keep using both last names for baby or just start using his.

Having both will make it a lot less complicated for either of you to add baby to insurance (especially if you later switch jobs) and make school contact much more streamlined.

HTH
T.

2 moms found this helpful

Well I was unmarried when I delievered, and I gave the baby both of our last names. Works for us. =)

2 moms found this helpful

I did 7 years ago and I regret it all...
first because we never get married...then when I did get married to the love of my life , the father of my child has this dream of getting her legitimate and after that oh boy!!! He now wants custody and after thousand of dollars expend on legal fees......
we coulded avoid all this to start with keeping my last name on my baby ....

2 moms found this helpful

I plan to give my son the father's last name, but if he was the kind of person who I couldn't trust to be there for his kids, then I would've given him my name. However, he was the primary parent for his daughter for two years of her life (she is 4 now) and continues regular visits and participation in her life. I don't get the feeling any the slightest that he will abandon his child, so I am perfectly happy to give him his last name. I would say that if you really trust he will be there when it comes to the baby, no matter what happens with your relationship, then give the baby his last name. If you have a slight hesitation at all that he won't be there though, then give the baby yours.

1 mom found this helpful

My baby has my fiance's last name...

1 mom found this helpful

Well it really comes down to your decision. However if it were me I woluldn't give that baby his last name until I was good enough to be his wife....I mean your good enough to have his baby but not be his wife?? Maybe I am old fashioned.....lol!

1 mom found this helpful

If your talking about getting married and you are sure he's the one then do it. Even if your not sure he's the one and you know he will be around for the baby do it. If you have any reason to believe he is going to walk and not be around, which if you are talking about marriage I highly doubt this is the case, then give him/her your last name.

1 mom found this helpful

I would personally say no... not married yet - and I'd not change my name if I was married.

FTR I AM married, kept my name and my children have my last name too.

1 mom found this helpful

Use both last names.

1 mom found this helpful

What about a hyphenated name? That way, the kid can kind of pick which one to use later (if he/she doesn't want to use both) but they are still both on the birth certificate?

That's what we have done, although our situation is different: we have been married 9 years, but I didn't take my husband's name. DH does not like his family and didn't want our son to have that name at all and just my name, but I felt like it was important to have a name connected to each of us on the legal document. As our little guy gets older, he can choose if he wants to continue the long name or pick just one as his "go-to" name. Our names both start with the same letter so initials will always be the same.

1 mom found this helpful

i gave my son my husbands last name, we werent married at the time. in fact we didnt get married until my son was 4. i dont really see the big deal about last names, its not like he will have anymore legal right to the baby if you spilt up....i say consider it.

1 mom found this helpful

You are carrying the baby, you are giving birth to the baby, you will do most of the work of raising the baby...I say give the baby your last name. That's what I did. Actually, her dad's last name is one of her middle names, a pretty decent compromise in my book.

1 mom found this helpful

I would say to give the child your last name, since you are only talking about getting married. You will most likely be the primary caregiver if the relationship does not work out and will you feel uncomfortable having your child have a different name from yours? If he wants the baby to have his last name, then he should marry you before the baby is born so you can share a name as a family.

1 mom found this helpful

No. I learned from my mistake. Your last name if you get married you can always change it.

1 mom found this helpful

It would depend on the situation.

With my first son the biological father had left me while I was pregnant so it was easy and I gave my son my last name. But with my second two I was still with their biological father so I gave them his name and we are married now and he is in the process of adopting my oldest so we can give him the same last name as the rest of us.

Now if your relationship is on and off then I would give the baby your name, just in case.

1 mom found this helpful

If you are not actually married the closet I would do is a hyphenated last name with both of yours.

1 mom found this helpful

Your name till the ring is on your hand and the papers are signed! GET MARRIED now instead of later.

1 mom found this helpful

wait until you get married!!...a lot can happen, and you don't want to be the odd man out with the different last name.

1 mom found this helpful

NO! So he will have the baby take his name but not you? I would have the baby have your last name and if you get married in the future, hiphenate it. Have it like Jones-Stevenson etc. Don't get into the mess of that without being married.

M

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like you don't want to do it or you wouldn't be posting here. Don't get married just because you're having a baby together, but if he wants the baby to have his last name and you want to get married, then do it beforehand, If not, use your name and you can change the baby's down the road. Or give 4 names, for example John Jim Smith Jones.

I haven't read what other people have said, so this may be a repeat.

I had 2 daughters outside of marriage to 2 different guys. Both girls got my maiden last name as their last name. Both situations were totally different from each other. I chose to give them my maiden name because of past situations of others.

When my oldest was born she was a planned baby even though we weren't married yet because my ex would not sign the divorce papers. Her biological father and I planned our wedding. I had my engagement ring and the wedding bands purchased. I got pregnant and baby was born in May. Wedding was all set for August. Well, he ended up leaving me and his daughter the day she turned 5 weeks old. Anyway, my oldest daughter now has the same last name as the rest of us. My husband adopted her when she was 4 years old and we knew for sure we were going to stay married. From the day her bio. father left us until the day the adoption went through he saw his daughter 7 or 8 times. That includes the courhouse for child support once and the day we all had to meet at the courthouse for the adoption hearing.

Fast forward to a year later in June. My second daughter is born to another guy. She was not planned. We had no engagement or marriage plans prior to me becoming pregnant. Well it happened, I became pregnant. We did not become engaged until she was 6 months old. We got married when she was 15 months old. When we were married that is when her name was changed to his.

Sorry I type a lot. I hope reading my situations and those of others makes it easier for you to make your decision.

I say you should give the baby both your and his last names... I have my mother and fathers last name... my dad was never there for me growing up after telling my mom he would but his family was

i WOULD GIVE THE BABY THE FATHERS NAME BUT THATS JUST ME.

C.,

I really think this depends on your concept of marriage and how strongly you feel about your own last name. Do you think of marriage as a fortification of the relationship between you and your boyfriend, or a necessary step for your family now that you will have a baby? I don't really think there's a right or wrong answer there, but if you believe that marriage is more about your relationship with your boyfriend, then I would hold off on marriage until the time is right and give your baby your name in the meantime. If you feel that the baby's mother and father should be married, then I would move forward with the wedding talk and set some solid dates, and plan on giving the baby his name.

I've had this conversation with my boyfriend before, and I don't think we've resolved it. I personally would not marry him just because I got pregnant, but if we were already engaged and I got pregnant then I would give the baby his name. I don't know if your boyfriend is like mine, but mine feels very strongly about all of his children having his family name. I, on the other hand, don't feel very strongly about my name, but I do have some discomfort about taking his name when his ex-wife still holds that name (she won't change her name back because then she would have a different last name than their children, and she would need his permission to change their kids' last name to hers, something he would never agree to).

I will say that in the grand scheme of things, last names are far less important than babies or marriages, so don't let it worry you. I agree with the poster who said that you'll probably feel more clearly once you hold your baby in your arms. Good luck!

i say give the baby your last name. you can always change it later if you do get married. you never know what will happen. you're only talking about getting married now, so that's not enough of a commitment in my opinion.

Hi C., just wanted to let you know that in some states, if you give the baby the father's name and then decide to change it to yours later (like if you break up or just change your mind) you will have to get the father's permission before you change the baby's name to yours. Which sucks, IMO, but that's how it is.

Best of luck,
J.

I gave my son my partner's last name. We got married when DS was 2. To be fair we had been together 23 years when DS was born.

It's his baby too, and you're planning to stay together, so why not give the baby both your names?

If he is the baby's father, and you know that for sure. I would want the father on the birth certificate for legal reasons, I think you have to unless you are going to say you are not sure he is the father.
I could be wrong.
But lets say you need insurance under his name or God forbid, something happened to him... you would have less hoops to jump through to claim Social Security benefits... etc...
It is always better to be honest.
A baby should have all the correct information.
In this case you are talking marriage. Wouldn't you be taking your husband's name? Wouldn't you all want to have the same name?

My hubby was not married when his daughter was born and he was never married to his daughter's mother. My SD last name is hyphenated with her mom's first then dad's. She hates it and now, at 16, has dropped her mom's last name. The main reason is her Mom did get married and took her husbands last name and so what was the point?! Just giving you a different perspective.

I was engaged when our baby was worn, so I gave our son his last name. We got married 5 weeks later. I knew I was getting married and very much in love. Go with what you feel. If you honestly don't see spending your life with the daddy give the baby your last name. Good luck!

I am married and was married when I had my daughter, but did not change my name at marriage, and we decided to give the child my husband's last name and not mine. And there is always confusion with teachers and insurance companies and doctors--or, not so much confusion but I always have to explain. If you want to always be the only one explaining, no matter whether the father stays around or not, then give the baby his last name. Otherwise, let _him_ have to be the one to say, "I'm John Smith, Mary Jones's father."

I am going to agree with a bunch of the responses. Do not get married just because you are having a baby together (that can create alot more problems down the road). You are the mom, name the baby with your last name, especially if you are only talking about getting married. It would be a little different if you had a date set and details organized. So my advice is definitely give the baby your name unless you get married and change your name BEFORE the baby is born. If he's just your boyfriend, there is no guarantee he is going to stick around (sorry), and how would you like to be the mom and have your little baby with a different name. and i'm sure he'll deny the fact that he'd ever leave, but until there is a wedding ring on your finger, i think the baby should have your last name. you can always change it after you get married.

1) What do you want?
2) Why? What's his reasoning?
3)You're not married, so technically I (mom) would give the baby my last name. If we marry later, I would then consider hyphenating it.

if your not married when your baby is born use your name and change it after ward's if you do end up getting married. With respect; talking and doing are two different things. Stay calm and very firm when talking about it; you will happliy change both your names when you get married. (don't use the babies name issue as blackmail to get married) The right answer maybe very clear to you when they put your baby in your arms ;-)

I would give the baby your name. It makes everything easier. Both my kids have my last name different fathers, and only my daughters father is on her birth certificate. You can both be on the birth certificate and both sign it, but you can give the baby any last name you want and I would recommend yours. Unless you are married before the birth. The last name has no bearing on anything legal. My daughter has my last name but is legally her fathers daughter and nothing can change that. He is responsible for her. So put him on the birth certificate as father but give the baby your name until you are married and then change your name with the baby's name. If you don't end up married it will make your life easier to not keep explaining why your child does not have your name to Dr.s and insurance, etc. And when you do get married you can change it all together. But it sounds like marriage is not definite, so I would do what is best for you and the baby. Oh and Mom is the one who gets to pick the name on the birth certificate. Since you are not married you may even need a paternity test to have him added to the birth certificate. I needed to do that with my daughter, since we were not married, he was not on the original one, but was added later after the paternity test.

This day and age i would hyphenate it. That way you dont have to worry about changing it later if something goes awry. Your child can use either last name legally alone later in life as a signature if he/she so chooses to do so.

with my oldest son, i gave him my last name. i told my SO from the get go that he would have my last name. im very proud of my last name, and was the last born child to it. even being a woman i still felt like it was my responsibility to carry on my name. so i gave my son my last name. Do what you feel is right!!!

Updated

with my oldest son, i gave him my last name. i told my SO from the get go that he would have my last name. im very proud of my last name, and was the last born child to it. even being a woman i still felt like it was my responsibility to carry on my name. so i gave my son my last name. Do what you feel is right!!!

I would give the baby his last name. He should give you an engagement ring if he is serious about getting married. My son is named after my fiancee so he has his last name. Make sure he signs the birth certificate in the hospital. Good luck

Hi, C.:
Give the baby the last name of the father.
At least your baby has a father that is known.
Be proud of it.
Good luck.
D.

My son has his father's name, we are not married but have been together for 6years and are discussing getting married but for me either way I want my son to have his father's name to me it is only right.

When my daughter was born I was not married to her father but had been with him for 8 years and at the time we had no plans to marry, just to live our lives together and I had to have his permission to put him on the birth certificate and he had to sign papers saying he was the father. We just got married in sept of last year we have now been together for 14 years total and have been happy all of those years married or not. I think its fine to use daddy's name after all it will be his child. I seen other posters say you could always change the name after marriage I think that can work either way if things were to go south you could always change the name to your name. I do not think having a baby is a reason to get married. Best wishes.

My son has his father's name, and we are not married. (we are engaged) I have not run into any issues having a different last name. Also, you can change your child's name at any point. My son's father has a biological dad and a stepdad, and went by one name for awhile, and then switched in high school, and then switched it back later. : ) No issues.

I know people who have kids (one couple NEVER planned to get married, and one couple lives together, very long term but have never married) and both of their kids have the man's last name.

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