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Little Nemo
01-06-2009, 12:51 AM
What are the conventions if any? I've seen couples where the children have their mother's last name and others where they have their father's last name. Is it just a random decision within the family or is there some subtlety I'm missing?

thirdwarning
01-06-2009, 12:57 AM
I think the baby is more likely to have the father's last name if the parents are together when the child is born. I think the conventions are changing so fast in this area that there really aren't any.

Eliahna
01-06-2009, 01:12 AM
Legally, in most countries, you can give your children whatever surname you like. It does not have to be either parent's surname.

As for conventions, well I guess that comes down to the individual. May as well as if there's a convention behind the first name that's chosen. I gave my daughter my surname because her father did not want to be named. In almost any other circumstance, I'd have given her his surname and I will support her if she wants to take his surname when she is older.

Todderbob
01-06-2009, 01:17 AM
Typically, if the father is in the picture, even if the mother and father aren't together, the child gets the fathers last name.

However, as previously stated, there is no legal requirement as such.

Flutterby
01-06-2009, 02:00 AM
In Alberta (http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/778.cfm) the naming differs depending on if both parents sign the registration of birth or not.

If both sign, it's the same as if you were married and both signed. You can name them the mother's maiden name, the father's last name, a hyphenated or combined version of the two or a last name culturally or ethnically significant.

If only the mother signs, it's the mother's current or maiden name.

So it depends on how much the father is in the picture when the baby is born (you fill out the registration of birth at the hospital, and have ten days to get it in.. they really recommend you fill it out and leave it at the hospital to be sent to Vital Statistics).

maggenpye
01-06-2009, 02:37 AM
Similar to Flutterby's info. In New Zealand you cannot give the child any other name but the mother's if paternity is questioned. It requires legal confirmation (approval from father, adoption papers etc) for any other name to be used.

Petrobey Mavromihalis
01-06-2009, 02:41 AM
My daughter was born in Greece. We could have chosen either surname (not sure if we could have gone with something else). We went with mine as its rarer than her mum's. When she grows up she can choose whatever she likes and it won't bother me.

Kalhoun
01-06-2009, 05:34 AM
My son had both our names.

TokyoBayer
01-06-2009, 07:21 AM
I'm not actually sure what happens in Japan, but I just dropped to comment on the title. "Unmarried children? Kids having kids?" were my first thoughts.

DianaG
01-06-2009, 07:33 AM
I think the baby is more likely to have the father's last name if the parents are together when the child is born. I think the conventions are changing so fast in this area that there really aren't any.
I think this is probably true.

I gave my daughter her father's last name when she was born, a concession I wasn't terribly comfortable with at the time (and in retrospect pretty much the only one I made), which was kind of dumb, since it was a pain in the ass to undo.

I changed it back to my surname when she was two, because she had no contact with her father and it seemed silly and impractical for she and I to have different names.

CairoCarol
01-06-2009, 07:41 AM
In South Africa, you are required to give the child the surname of the person named on the birth certificate as the father. (Or at least this was the case in 1998 when my son was born there.)

TokyoBayer
01-06-2009, 07:56 AM
I checked and found out that:

For unmarred parents, if the father acknowledges the child, the parents can file in the Family Court to have the father's last name. The baby then is entered into the father's family registry and cannot be entered into the mother's. If the parents go with the mother's last name, then the child is entered in the mother's registry and not the father’s.

Foreigners do not have family registries, so there may be more flexibility. We’re married, but my wife kept her last name. We registered our daughter with my last name in Japan as well as for the US consulate report of a birth abroad, which is the equivalent of a birth certificate. IIRC, we could have used either of our last names for both Japanese and the US.

I’ll have to ask my wife if she knows the answer for unmarried Taiwanese. Taiwan doesn’t allow Western last names, so we went with her name, but again, this was for a married couple.

WormTheRed
01-06-2009, 08:05 AM
Easy; here the kid always gets the fathers first name as a last name. Unless there is no father, then it gets the mothers first name as last name.

With -son or -daughter after the name, of course.

Oh, to bother with those family names :)

Todderbob
01-06-2009, 08:21 AM
Taiwan doesn’t allow Western last names, so we went with her name, but again, this was for a married couple.Whaaaa?

So if I was to move to Taiwan with the name 'John James' I'd have to change my name? :confused:

phall0106
01-06-2009, 08:44 AM
I gave Hallboy my last name when he was born. (His father and I were not, nor were we ever, married.) This was the same last name I'd obtained when I married 10 years earlier, but kept when I divorced. (It is also the last names of the Hallgirls, whose father I was married to when they were born.) Confused? My maiden name was P. --> married H. and my last name became H. --> divorced H. and kept the last name H. --> Hallboy born 10 years later and takes my last name, which is still H.

Although both Hallgirls have their father listed on their birth certificates, Hallboy's does not have a father listed on his (my choice).

Little Nemo
01-06-2009, 09:24 AM
I'm not actually sure what happens in Japan, but I just dropped to comment on the title. "Unmarried children? Kids having kids?" were my first thoughts.Damn. That should have been "Unmarried couples naming their kids". I'll contact a mod to change it.For unmarred parents, if the father acknowledges the child, the parents can file in the Family Court to have the father's last name. The baby then is entered into the father's family registry and cannot be entered into the mother's. If the parents go with the mother's last name, then the child is entered in the mother's registry and not the father’s.As you noted, this is not a custom in America. What exactly is a family registry and how does it work?

Antigen
01-06-2009, 09:35 AM
A friend of mine in Montreal had an agreement with her husband - if the first child was a girl, all the kids they'd have would get the husband's last name. If the first kid was a boy, they'd all get her last name. They would have gone with hyphenated last names, but my friend's name was already hyphenated, which would make for a very awkward name!

Rico
01-06-2009, 09:49 AM
Damn. That should have been "Unmarried couples naming their kids". I'll contact a mod to change it.

<mod>

Done.

</mod>

Eva Luna
01-06-2009, 10:13 AM
I’ll have to ask my wife if she knows the answer for unmarried Taiwanese. Taiwan doesn’t allow Western last names, so we went with her name, but again, this was for a married couple.

Yes, please do post, because now I'm curious - a (South African) friend of mine lives in Taiwan and just married a Taiwanese woman. I have no idea whether she took his last name, but does that mean that even if she did, they wouldn't be able to give their (hypothetical future) children his last name, even if they wanted to?

Elendil's Heir
01-06-2009, 10:23 AM
I only personally know of two, in two separate households, both girls, and each got her father's last name. If the father and mother remain together, I think that's the most common practice.

The Hamster King
01-06-2009, 12:32 PM
Legally, in most countries, you can give your children whatever surname you like. It does not have to be either parent's surname.Doing this might take some effort however. A married couple I know did this. They each kept their own last names when they got married and they gave their three kids a last name that was different from either of theirs. (All the kids share the same last name, however.)

They were eventually allowed to do it, but not without going to court over it. Definitely more trouble than just filling out a form at the hospital.

Atomicflea
01-06-2009, 12:41 PM
My lovely stepson has his mother's last name, which is a shame because he lives with his father and I and it would make things easier on this end. I would say consider who's going to have primary custody and give the household surname, if one exists.

ZipperJJ
01-06-2009, 01:10 PM
Yeah, my cousin had a baby with a guy who is in the baby's life but not in her life anymore (if that makes sense). So while the baby is his son for sure, the baby has her last name because she has custody and she finds it much more pleasant for her son to share her last name than to have some other last name that no one she deals with would recognize.

AngelSoft
01-06-2009, 02:58 PM
Damn. That should have been "Unmarried couples naming their kids". I'll contact a mod to change it.As you noted, this is not a custom in America. What exactly is a family registry and how does it work?

Not claiming to be 100% accurate but I looked into this when my daughter was born, since her father is Japanese. From what I understood, the koseki (family registry) lists a lot of information about a person. Their parents, their spouse, their children, their address (past and present), all sorts of stuff. It's a government document kinda like our birth certificates but that is constantly changing and has a lot more importance. If a child isn't listed on a person's koseki pretty quickly, it becomes difficult to 'prove' to the government that the child is yours. In my case, since we weren't married when she was born, she wasn't added to his koseki. We would have had to petition within 30 days (I think) of her birth to have her added. Since we didn't, at this point for her to ever get on his, he'd have to basically adopt her through the Japanese legal system.
Also, from what he told me, the koseki is what is used to determine who gets what when someone dies. There are no wills, per say, in Japan. Basically it all gets divided up among the spouse and children on the koseki. Of course, it's been over a year since I researched all this so I might be wrong on a few things.

And on the topic, she has my last name. Mainly because her father isn't in the picture and his last name is very ethnic and I felt it would be easier for her and me to have the same last name.

WF Tomba
01-06-2009, 06:46 PM
Doing this might take some effort however. A married couple I know did this. They each kept their own last names when they got married and they gave their three kids a last name that was different from either of theirs. (All the kids share the same last name, however.)

They were eventually allowed to do it, but not without going to court over it. Definitely more trouble than just filling out a form at the hospital.
This was in the U.S.? Who gave them trouble about it?

gang green
01-06-2009, 06:57 PM
I knew a married couple who gave their daughter her father's middle name as her last name. He used it regularly in his business, as it was, I suppose, a cooler name than his real last name.

So he was "Firstname Coolname Ethnicsoundinglastname" and his daughter was "Girlname Coolname".

lee
01-06-2009, 08:17 PM
It really is personal preference as far as I can tell. There are many reasons one might chose the father's name or the mother's and married or not doesn't make much difference as many married couples have disparate names. My children have my last name, which is also my maiden name, which is a decision I made when I was a child. Luckily for me, my partners are not very attached to their original last names, so there was no conflict.

Eliahna
01-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Doing this might take some effort however. A married couple I know did this. They each kept their own last names when they got married and they gave their three kids a last name that was different from either of theirs. (All the kids share the same last name, however.)

They were eventually allowed to do it, but not without going to court over it. Definitely more trouble than just filling out a form at the hospital.

I realised later I misspoke. In my country, you can give your child whatever surname you like merely by filling in the form they gave you at the hospital with the surname of your choice. This process is different from place to place.

I couldn't have my daughter's father listed as her father on her birth certificate* because we'd never been married or lived together and he refused to acknowledge paternity but if I'd wanted to, I could have given her his surname regardless.

* After DNA testing and a court order, he is named on her birth certificate now, but had I not fought for that it would have said "Father Unknown".

Mirror Image egamI rorriM
01-06-2009, 09:44 PM
My unmarried coworkers gave their newborn baby the mother's last name, because the father is going to change his last name to "Dang" at some point (because he hates his parents and Dang is funny). After he changes his name, they're going to get married, and the mother and baby will be Dang too.

Little Nemo
01-06-2009, 10:01 PM
As in the whole Dang family?

Mirror Image egamI rorriM
01-06-2009, 10:03 PM
Yeah...I like the mom a lot, she is very smart and funny. The dad is...weird. Sometimes he is really nice to me, and sometimes he comes into the office when I am counting the money and farts on me, and I can't get away because I can't get away from the money. Lately he has been offering to bleach my hair (?).

Snnipe 70E
01-07-2009, 02:19 AM
I explained to my son's exgirlfriend that it was important to me that my grandson have my last name. I wanted there to be no doubt that he was my grandson and a part of our family. He is now 14 annd a blessing to our lives.

Deereman
01-07-2009, 04:41 AM
I can only use myself as an example. My parents weren't married when I was born...I'm a bastard. They married five years later.

I got my mother's maiden name for my last name, and it's stayed that way ever since. My father's last name was not used in any way by me, not even a middle name. I have had no issues, though it can be confusing for others sometimes...especially since my younger brother got my father's last name (they were married by then)

I've never really considered changing my last name, nor has anyone else. It is what it is.

TokyoBayer
01-07-2009, 10:01 AM
Whaaaa?

So if I was to move to Taiwan with the name 'John James' I'd have to change my name? :confused:should have said that Taiwan does not allow foreign last names in its family registries. As I write below, you don’t actually change your name.

I think, though, that if you were to move to Taiwan with the name 'John James' that it could cause problems if that name didn't match your passport. :p

As you noted, this is not a custom in America. What exactly is a family registry and how does it work?Sort of a hijack, but since the OP asked, here goes.

Japan started these things. They serve as evidence of births marriages, divorces and deaths.

Each household has its own registry. Adults who live on their own count as a household. When a couple gets married the wife is usually added to the husband's registry. When children are born, they get added as well. If the couple gets divorced the wife’s name is crossed out of the husband’s registry. Which gives a slang term for a divorced person batsu ichi (literally “crossed out once”.) Child get crossed out when them move out either to get married or to form their own household.

The registries will show if a person is married or not. In order to get married in Japan, the law requires you to present a family registry, so people who are already married would be caught.

Foreigners are not given registries, but can be added to a Japanese spouse’s one, as I was when I was married previously to a Japanese woman.

Taiwan also has a similar system (imposed by Japan during its colonial rule) as does Korea (ditto). The difference with Japan is that there isn’t a way of writing foreign names phonetically in Chinese as there is in Japanese using kana. Thus, when a foreigner marries a Taiwanese, they have to pick a Chinese name which then becomes “official”, but only for family registry. You don’t actually change your name.

We used my middle name as a source of the sound of the characters for my “official” Chinese name, which was added to my wife’s family registry.

Our daughter could have been given either my made-up “official” Chinese last name or my wife’s last name for her Taiwanese name, so we went with my wife’s name.

Yes, please do post, because now I'm curious - a (South African) friend of mine lives in Taiwan and just married a Taiwanese woman. I have no idea whether she took his last name, but does that mean that even if she did, they wouldn't be able to give their (hypothetical future) children his last name, even if they wanted to?If I understand correctly, she wouldn’t be able to legally take his last name, and the children part is answered above.

Nava
01-07-2009, 10:14 AM
My cousin moved to another country following a girl; they lived with her parents in the equivalent of the apartment over the garage. Two years later she bore his first daughter. She refused to marry him or let him give his lastname to the little girl because that way, by claiming single-motherhood, she could get a lot of time paid off work (two years IIRC).

It took her request to make her pregnant again so she could have a second baby just in time to stick the two maternity mega-leaves together to make him realize what kind of crap he was sleeping and trying to raise a kid with. His other three daughters are from a normal woman.

TokyoBayer
01-07-2009, 05:19 PM
Missed this.We would have had to petition within 30 days (I think) of her birth to have her added. Since we didn't, at this point for her to ever get on his, he'd have to basically adopt her through the Japanese legal system. I don't know that for sure, but it sounds right.Also, from what he told me, the koseki is what is used to determine who gets what when someone dies. There are no wills, per say, in Japan. Basically it all gets divided up among the spouse and children on the koseki. From what i've heard, the law does dictates certain things, including precentages to spouse and children, but there are wills and I don't know how much leeway people have.

Lamia
01-07-2009, 05:45 PM
Doing this might take some effort however. A married couple I know did this. They each kept their own last names when they got married and they gave their three kids a last name that was different from either of theirs. (All the kids share the same last name, however.)I was in grad school with a guy whose last name was "Rockefeller". Turns out his parents just decided to give him that name. His sister had a different last name that they picked out for her.

The parents in this case were a lesbian couple, and I don't know if they shared a last name with each other or if the kids were adopted, the result or artificial insemination, or what.
My unmarried coworkers gave their newborn baby the mother's last name, because the father is going to change his last name to "Dang" at some point (because he hates his parents and Dang is funny). After he changes his name, they're going to get married, and the mother and baby will be Dang too."Dang" is a fairly common Hmong name, and I think Vietnamese too. If I heard of a Mr. Dang I'd assume he was SE Asian.

AngelSoft
01-07-2009, 07:39 PM
Missed this.I don't know that for sure, but it sounds right.From what i've heard, the law does dictates certain things, including precentages to spouse and children, but there are wills and I don't know how much leeway people have.

Hmm you might be right although he had NO idea how wills worked or even what they were. Then again...this is the same man who didn't know what the hell I was talking about when I pointed out many people at a local Japanese festival here in America were wearing their kimonos wrong. They had them right over left instead of the proper left over right. Got a blank stare from him and basically had to explain it to him. If I didn't know any better, I'd think he was faking being Japanese lol

Oregon sunshine
01-07-2009, 08:09 PM
Parents are allowed to give their kid any last name in our state. Many unmarried couples around here hyphenate their names to create the kids' last names.

My husband and I were not married at the time our daughter (now 16) was born. I gave her my maiden name at birth. Her dad and I married earlier this year; I took his name and we changed our daughter's name to our common last name.

The Hamster King
01-07-2009, 08:24 PM
This was in the U.S.? Who gave them trouble about it?It was in Tennessee. I don't know all the hoops they had to jump through, but it went beyond the normal "fill out the form in the hospital ... that's your name" routine that most people go through. It involved a trip to a judge.

Legally they were allowed to do it. But the standard procedures didn't accomodate it.

TokyoBayer
01-07-2009, 10:51 PM
Hmm you might be right although he had NO idea how wills worked or even what they were.lThen he was hopelessly uninformed. They are allowed under Japanese law, and a quick check show that they can override the standard distribution of assets, where a certain percentage goes to the surviving spouse, less to ligitimate children and even less to illigitimate children.

I Am The Lorax
01-08-2009, 12:04 PM
My parents were never married, but were still an "item" when I was born. They made a deal while my mom was still pregnant, that if I was a girl, she names me and I get her last name. If I was a boy, my dad would name me and I'd get his last name. I got my mother's maiden name and a Finnish first name to match.

Mirror Image egamI rorriM
01-08-2009, 01:38 PM
"Dang" is a fairly common Hmong name, and I think Vietnamese too. If I heard of a Mr. Dang I'd assume he was SE Asian.

He's pretty much Whitey McWhiterson. We have a membership card at my store, where you can look up people by their names, and he's "Dang" in there, but all the other Dangs are obviously Vietnames, like "Quy Dang" and such.

Elendil's Heir
01-08-2009, 02:18 PM
Dang right they are!

InterestedObserver
01-08-2009, 04:33 PM
As we can see, the law in different places varies a lot. As for convention, hell, wasn't that what I was bucking all those years? :p

My late DH and I never legally married and produced 2 children. They have both our last names, though technically, HIS name is their LAST name. No hyphen (tho' I think on one birth certificate it was written with one, but not at my request)

I figure they will mostly use his last name (and that's pretty true of my 16 yr old).

Honestly, we were more comcerned with the first and middle names and just tacked on both last names without a great deal of thought. Not as if the child has to use both.