If the parents of a baby don’t share the same last name, why should the baby automatically receive the father’s last name? It’s old school and annoying: my baby will be getting my name. Period.
So What If It’s Tradition!?
Ok, I get that it’s tradition that a child is to receive the father’s last name, but when I was pregnant with my first baby (and we were not yet married), I had a real issue giving my daughter my husband’s name when we weren’t yet sharing a last name ourselves.
When I brought up the issue my ‘almost-husband’ said “of course she’s getting my name, what are you talking about?” Huh? I don’t get this – why is it assumed by everybody and not even being discussed? Shouldn’t it at least be a consideration that a baby gets the moms name?
I’m Carrying Her!
The fact that the woman carries the baby probably isn’t argument enough for the child to then get her last name INSTEAD of dad’s last name, but it should count for something. Chances are, the mom will be doing way more in terms of raising the child (i.e staying at home on maternity leave, taking the baby to all her pediatrician appointments, taking care of her when she’s sick, picking out daycares and schools, the list goes on) — why does the mom get left out of the equation?
In Case of Divorce
I ultimately caved and gave our daughter my now husband’s name, simply because I was too pregnant and tired to fight for the right. But looking back, I should have fought harder. At the time, I figured we’d likely be together forever and we would get married and then I’d probably take his name (although that’s a whole other discussion all together). BUT I will tell you, there were several times I regretted it, i.e. when we had one of the biggest fights of our lives and I yelled “OMG I can’t believe I gave her your last name, you are worst father EVER, she should have gotten MY name.”
I also thought, in the heat of that moment, how much it would suck if we decided not to be together — then I would want my daughter and I to have the same name and be a family and it would likely be a big pain to change it. I bet lots of women are stuck with this issue now — that their relationships haven’t worked out and their children have their ex’s names. Why get into the situation in the first place?
In the Future…
No matter what’s considered “traditional,” I think things like this should be openly discussed — it’s 2014, the modern woman has a different place in the world. We are making things happen for ourselves, we have different types of families now — ones that are blended, ones where the woman is the head of the household and those where the woman’s name should be honored, not the man’s.
Plus, given the rate of divorce in this country, why would we want to be left out should something happen in the relationship. Wouldn’t you want your child to have YOUR name so at least you and the kids could still be a family officially?
Speaking of tradition, there are other things too, which we should probably reevaluate — taking a guys’ name in the first place when getting married. Why should we? What if we like our maiden names? Maybe the woman wants to continue her family’s last name? Why should the guy get all the bonuses? Agree?