Family

Viral: Mum wants to change her daughter’s surname and the internet is divided

'I don't see why I have to lose our family name connection because I married the wrong man.'

By Rebel Wylie

Choosing your child's name is a huge decision. First you need to find the names you like, then consider how the name flows off the tongue, and somehow try to gauge whether your baby will grow to love the name you have bestowed upon them.

Fortunately the last name is usually pre-determined … but what if you no longer care for that name either?

A mum has posted to parenting forum, Mumsnet, wondering if she should change her one-year-old daughter's surname and it has the internet divided.

When you marry the wrong man …

Taking her plan online, the mum writes, "I'm just about to get divorced and my 1yr DD [darling daughter] has his surname."

"I'm planning to change mine back and I don't see why she has to have a different name to me for the rest of her life, when her father has basically decided to leave us because we're too much hassle."

She continues, explaining that her daughter's father has admitted to finding fatherhood "stressful". Despite this she confesses that he would be offended at the idea of the name change and she understands that she would need his permission to do so.

Her plan involves changing both her own surname and her daughter's to a double-barrelled surname with both his and hers combined. It's such a huge decision, and the mum asks if her plan is unreasonable.

"I know it's just semantics, but I always dreamed of having a child and I love being a mum and I don't see why I have to lose our family name connection because I married the wrong man.

Responses came in quickly, with many prepared to weigh in on the debate. The answers, as expected, were divided.

One clear group was the 'do it despite him' camp, who were of the opinion that a father who abandoned his family had no say in their child's name.

"Just because he's the biological father didn't mean he's the proper dad. You and your dd [darling daughter] will have a bright future without this deadweight. Sorry he turned out to be such an arse," writes one responder.

"If he's really said he wants out because he wants 'Me Time' and you'll be the main carer of DD [darling daughter] then yeah why shouldn't she have your last name?" replied another.

Another urges the mum to be confident in her decision, "If he doesn't want to be a dad (tosser) then will he really give a sh** what her name is? Just tell him you'd like her to have the same surname as you and to sign here please."

Is she being unreasonable?
Is she being unreasonable?

Some responders reasonably suggest that if her concern is that their names be the same, she should keep her married name and change none of them.

"What is in a name? Ask him. If he says no then that's that isn't it? It won't really affect her life so don't let this upset you too much," writes another.

The mum-in-question jumped back into the thread to explain why that was not an option for her, explaining that it would mean living rest of her life with a name she hates.

"I don't see why I should have to live with his family name when he hasn't been the family man he promised he'd be."

More readers chimed in, suggesting she wait for making any permanent decisions, perhaps allowing her daughter to make the decision for herself when she's ready.

"If you were to marry again in the future would you take your new spouse's name? Would any of the children of that marriage take your 'maiden' name or their father's name. Your dd [darling daughter] could turn out to be the only one with your 'family name connection'," writes one voice of reason.

What do you think? Is this a decision for the mum to make, or should she wait?