Quantcast

Unmarried And Dating: Should Your Child Take The Dad's Last Name?

The key is coming to a decision that brings harmony to your home.

Motherhood

My daughter likes her last name but talks openly about changing it. It is a perfectly adequate name, but different from mine and my husband-to-be. The thought of him and me having the same last name makes her feel left out or, in her words, alone. Although she's only been on this earth for seven years, she exudes an incredible sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. We have discussed the possibility of changing her last name through adoption since her father is non-existent and has never played an active role in her life. I want her to have autonomy over the decisions that affect her. But even with her deep albeit short consideration for this process, I think we need more time before making such a final decision.

The key is balance, explaining both sides, and coming to a decision that brings harmony to our home. Even more importantly, what brings her peace.

Reasons Why Your Child Should Take the Father's Last Name

Children usually take the father's last name unless their mother wishes them to have a different one. I feel like it establishes a connection between them at birth and allows the child to carry the legacy of their father's family. If two people are in love and decide to have a baby, then it's their prerogative.

I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist. I gave my daughter her father's last name because it made sense at the time. We were not married, but that was not a prerequisite for me. It established his paternity and our love for each other at the time.

Reasons Why Your Child Should Not Take the Father's Last Name

Giving the child the father's last name is an antiquated tradition. Establishing a family legacy is not just about the last name; it is about the story we want to tell. If both parents are in agreement, they can choose whatever name works best for their child.

Sometimes we are given the gift of knowing that the man isn't ready for his parental duties, and we can determine early if the relationship is going to work out or not. This can make it easier for a woman to give the child her last name to account for any future disappointments.

In my situation, our child has no attachment to her father's last name and has requested to change it. And to change it, we have to go through a lengthy process of getting it changed legally. This particular process is only necessary if the child's father signs the birth certificate. A birth certificate is a legal document, and when he signs it, he is taking legal responsibility for the child and gets fifty percent of decision-making power.

According to the NY Courts: "You can ask the court to change a child's name if you are the child's biological or adoptive parent, the child's legal guardian, or next friend. A name change is not an adoption.

"Changing your child's name to your spouse's or domestic partner's name will legally change your child's name, but it will not legally make your spouse or domestic partner your child's parent. For example, if your child is from a previous relationship and you now change your child's last name to your current spouse's name, your spouse will NOT be your child's legal parent. The only way to do this is to do an adoption."

What happens if the non-consenting parent contests the name change?

The Family Law Self-Help Center reports, "If one parent will not agree to have a child's name changed, the other parent can file papers to request the change. The non-consenting parent must be served with copies of the name change papers and given a chance to object. A judge may or may not grant a child's name change without the other parent's consent."

A name is important because it establishes personal identity and individuality. At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for your child. A failed relationship is not the main reason for not giving your child their father's last name. There are plenty of healthy co-parenting relationships that come out of a break-up. However, children cannot speak for themselves, so they need you to advocate for their future.

We're still in the process of considering if the name change is right for us or not. But, I'm sure when we - my daughter and me - make the decision, it'll be made in love and not lack.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

We all know that the pandemic has been an eye-opener for professionals forced to work from home, isolate, and now, deal with the back-to-office mania. In fact, research by insurance giant Prudential has found that 1 in 4 workers are looking toward new career horizons, and another recent survey of professionals ages 18-24 found that 66% have felt stuck in their careers since the pandemic began.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Like many, I was introduced to Tiffany Haddish when I went to see the hilarious film Girls Trip. I came into the theatre expecting to chuckle a bit and just enjoy a movie night. But little did I know, this was a film I'd be watching so many more times and that would put Tiffany on the map as a breakout star. From start to finish, I laughed hysterically and even spent the evening with one of my girlfriends, sharing and reflecting on our own college memories. Fast forward to today, Tiffany Haddish is an Emmy- and Grammy-winning household name.

Keep reading... Show less

For the past 20 years, Target has introduced us to new and emerging designers from around the world, all at an incredible value. In the latest installment of their upcoming designer collection, this fall, Target features rising Haitian-American designer Victor Glemaud as one of four designer collections dropping today. Launching his eponymous leisurewear collection in 2006, the NYC-based designer expresses iconic and fun fashion through statement knitwear, designed for women of all races, sizes and personalities.

Keep reading... Show less

This is something that I've been wanting to write about for a while now. There are a few reasons why too. One is that I grew up hearing that happiness is an emotion — and a fleeting one at that; that's why the focus should actually be more on being in a state of joy. Secondly, I can't tell you how many times I have looked a husband or wife in the eye as they told me they were leaving their marriage — not because of infidelity or abuse; it was simply because "I'm not happy anymore" (more on that in a bit). And three, I also can't tell you how many times a day will go by without me hearing or reading some variation of "do whatever makes you happy". LAWD.

Keep reading... Show less

So, here's the deal about store-bought lubricant. Oftentimes, when people think about using it, it's in reference to "treating" vaginal dryness or making sex easier post-menopause (when our vagina walls tend to be thinner and our natural lubrication isn't as much as it once was). However, as you're about to see in just a few minutes, it really doesn't matter how wet you're naturally able to get or how old you are, everyone should have at least a few tubes of lube in their possession — an oil-based kind for non-penetrative sexual stimulation; a water-based one for sexy toys (or if you or your partner's genitalia is naturally sensitive) and a silicone-based one for intercourse.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Lucky Daye Is Doing It For The Culture, From The Soul

Every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be a physical manifestation of all that we are.

Latest Posts