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Last Name Dilemma Lock Rss

I just wanted to get people's opinion on what a childs last name should be. I separated from my boyfriend 2 weeks ago & our baby is due in about 3 weeks. The babys name was chosen originally based on HIS last name.. but now that we are separated I'm not sure if the baby should still get his last name.

We are trying to work things out but what if we don't get back together? If I give her his last name will I be hurting my chances latter on down the track for full custody if he fights me for it? But if we do get back together & the baby doesn't have his last name how will he feel about it.. maybe he wont feel like its his child or that I'm not really interested in making it work with him.

I feel that the child should traditionally have the fathers last name even if we are not married or together but I also don't want to make life hard for myself in the future if we cant work things out.

Any ideas??


Hi Anjel
My sons birth father died when I was 5 months preg and I decided not to use his last name. (I found out later that he couldn't be on the certificate anyway unless i had my baby take a dna test proving he was the father, plus have two family members from his side stating it was all correct, etc). I'm glad he isn't on the certificate however because I'm now married and Isaac (my son) still has my maiden name. All we have to do is get a change of name certificate or new birth certificate. Hubby has been there since isaac was very young and has always been 'Daddy', so when we got married in April it was just a matter of isaac's last name being changed.
I'm extreemly happy that previous partner wasn't on the birth certificate, because it saved a lot of legal issues coming up, plus a name being put on paperwork is a hell of a lot easier than removing one! It is also a lot less confusing for Isaac. If previous partner's last name was used Isaac would be 'Smith' and I would be 'Jones', if you understand my meaning.
I'd suggest thinking through all your options, and maybe even seeking legal advice. There is a chance that your partner has a right to be on certificate, but not have last name for baby???? Remember to think of your baby (when it's old enough to understand) the questions that may arise about it's father etc. If you and your partner do get back together you can always change baby's last name later.
Good luck with everything!!!
Let us know how you go, and I hope you have a very healthy child! Emxxx

Emma, 2 boys 1 on the way and still smiling

I was seperated from my partner for the last two births (long stories), but they still had his surname,, one reason being as my first had his surname and how confusing it would be to have a diff name their brothers etc the main reason being is regardless of the status of our relationship he was and always will be thier father and nothing will change that..

The babys surname should hold no weight when it comes to a custody case, i do not mean to offend but that is a pretty naieve thought there.

I guess its a decision only you two can make, good luck :0

Sharon, 24, Qld, 2 boys 3 & 5, girl 1.

If you are concerned about any possible legal issues later down the track why not seek some professional legal advice?
This may help with your decision.

Linda (Jessica 3/4/03, Caleb 11/4/05)

YOU are making that baby, not him!!! I think it's a ludicrous practice of putting men's names on babies and it's pretty transparent why - men don't feel 'ownership' without their name on the child (oh the EGO!).

(don't get upset) but, statistically what are your chances of staying with the father? You are both young? (too young by the sounds of it if he can't stay with you) Tell him NOW you aren't going to give the baby his surname and that might make him think seriously about how he really feels.

Can I just say again: YOU are making this baby. I don't care how many cups of tea a man might bring you... YOU are making the baby and it is YOURS, don't insult yourself by putting someone else's name to your work.

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn

my sister is having trouble getting her ex husband to agree to let her change their sons surname she wants hypen it to include hers she didnt want him to have a diff namea esp as he starts school in a couple weks but my sister in law never changed her name so her daughter has her fathers name so a married couple has a daugter with a diff name to her mother

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

My first son was named with his fathers surname. We seperated when he was 6 months old and he has never had much to do with my son. I am in another defacto relationship and am expecting a child in 3 weeks. Even though we are engaged and will be married, this child will still have my last name, and when we get married, it can be changed.
This is going to cause problems between me and my fiance, but I think its right. You just never know what's going to happen!

My first son, is known as my maiden name (even though legally, his birth certificate has his fathers surname on it.) All of his medial records, day care, and school records are in my maiden name. (Its called 'adopting' a surname for him).

If i could go back, my son would have definatly had my maiden name from the start. Legally though, I cant change his name unless his birth father signs. I'm pretty sure, if the father goes 2 years without any contact with the child, then you can have it changed through the courts, WITHOUT his signature.

I've been through the whole custody thing with him, and it doesn't matter what last name the child has, unless you can prove he's unfit, you basically can't stop him from having visiting rights to his child.

Another thing to remember, if you are still seperated when you give birth, organise to get legal custody ASAP. You could have a "Residency Contract" signed up (you dont necessarily need solicitors for this, but its reccommended). This isn't CUSTODY, but its basically the next best thing. You can specify in it who the child will live with and what visiting rights the father will have. If you breastfeed, it may only be an hour or so, supervised with you for example.

But, when it comes down to it, you cant really stop him from seeing the child (unless there are are BIG issues). The law see's that the baby is just as much his as it is yours!! Sorry,

I'd suggest that you think seriously about it. Personally, under the curcumstances, I think you should name the baby YOUR last name.

Laneisa, QLD, 5 kids + baby Flynn 24/02/05

hear hear!

I would even consider changing my children's names if I divorced. I guess it's from personal experience - my parents divorced when I was 3 and mum kept his name. I finally was able to ditch it when I married at 28. I wouldn't want my kids carrying around his "brand" (so to speak) if he had minimal input.

mumto3, Qld, 3, 2 & newborn

my partner and i are not married, and we may not ever be, but we are expecting our first child, i happily decided that our baby will ahve my partners name not mine. He is the last male in his family to pass on the name, and we are having a boy, so he now can take on the family name.

Please please please give your baby your last name! if you do end up together you can always change it back. For legal and custodial reasons its best to give the baby your last name now and tell your family and ex's family that if you should patch things up in the future and get married, you will make it the family name and you and the baby will change your surnames at the same time. Good luck I hope you make the right decision.


When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter my partner had a very big problem accepting his responsibility. I thought I would be a single mum and therefore decided that my daughter would have my surname. Towards the end of my pregnancy my partner and I started to try to work things out - he woke up to himself and accepted that the baby was his no matter what. When Isabelle was born she was given my surname.
When Issy was about 5 months old my partner and I moved in together.
THere have not been issues with him having a different surname to us.
When my partner and I decided to get married we organised for Isabelle to have a change of birth records to have her surname updated to his (I was changing my name too). So now we are all the same surname - we were married 2 months ago.

I think that if you are not sure what your situation will be in relation to the father it is a lot easier to give the baby your surname at birth - less explaining to people. You can always change it later if the child wants to.

Jordana, ACT, 1st girl Sep-01, 2nd girl Jul-05

umm i have made the right decision.
My partner and I are still together and have been best friends for 15yrs this baby is just as much his as it is mine. And if something terrible happens and we do break up whats to say i cant change the name then, whats the difference form changing it from his to mine or mine to his!
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