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  #1  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:47 PM
ecoaster ecoaster is offline
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Kids (or adults) who were given mother's maiden name?

Do you know anyone who was given their mother's maiden name? How uncommon is this? Any stories about stress or friction this caused?

We (my wife and I) are considering having our first child retain my wife's maiden name which she has held onto. I'm not really attached to my last name and besides, the whole patrilineal name thing is pretty unfair.

I'm guessing my father may take issue with this though.....
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:55 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is online now
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Who cares what your father thinks? Is it his kid? (If the answer is yes, nevermind.)

My husband took my last name when we got married. My kids all have my last name. We didn't ask any of our respective parents for their permission or opinions before making this decision.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:00 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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Are you talking about using your wife's maiden name as your child's first name or last name? I have know people in both categories and the experience was different for each.
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:10 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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Should've read for comprehension the first time around. It appears you are considering using your wife's surname as your child's surname (since you mentioned the patriarchal lineage thing).

I think it depends on where you live. I live in a pretty socially liberal area where it is not uncommon for women to keep their maiden names or hyphenate. Also not uncommon for parents with different last names to hyphenate their kid's last names to include both mom's and dad's. Also know kids of several same sex couples who do variations of each of these. Not an issue for the kid imo EXCEPT that it can be a pain in school when kids have different surnames than either or both parents. But with divorce/remarriage and unconventional choice of kid's last names, it's pretty much a non-issue in my area (southern cal). But things could be different if you live somewhere that is less tied to convention.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:13 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Although my ex lives in a place where they legally give out both the father's and mother's first last names, his full name is shortened to his maternal last name. Usually, if the name is shortened, the maternal last name is dropped. In that case, his dad (before and/or after his parents' divorce) does/did not appear to have any hand in raising him, so he has preferred to go by his maternal last name instead.

Also, when I was a teenager I participated in a government-sponsored student trip. One of the girls in the group had the exact same last names as her mom. In her case, her mom was a drug addict, no one knew who her father was, and she was being raised by her maternal grandparents. Hence, the only last names she ended up having were inherited from her (most often absent) mother.

Note also that I'm from a place where everyone has a maternal and a paternal last name (different from my ex's). And women don't change their names upon marriage.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:17 PM
ENugent ENugent is offline
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I have some friends who have two sons. The elder has his last name, the younger has hers. It doesn't appear to cause them any problems at all, and no one raises an eyebrow. (Admittedly, we live in a very socially liberal area.)

My brother and his wife decided after ten years of marriage to change the whole family's name to a new one picked out of the air. I had just gotten married myself, and had decided to take my husband's name, so now there is no one to "carry on" our family name. (Except for my father's brother's descendants, who are pretty numerous.) My mother had a hard time with the decision. I think she would have had a much easier time if they'd done it when they got married, instead of when they'd been married for years and had one kid living and another on the way. They haven't had school issues, though, because they homeschool.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:43 PM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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As mentioned in earlier threads, for a father there are real (though surmountable) issues on occassion to prove parental rights when travelling with a kid not named the same.Do what your heart desires, but do not go in thinking it that there are no potential problems.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2012, 01:49 PM
rsat3acr rsat3acr is offline
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My wife kept her name when we married 30 years ago. Less common then than now. We each have uncommon last names, but hers emuch less common than mine. Family is important to each of us. Her family line as far as names ends with her generation. She has no brothers, uncles or great uncles. I have male nephews from two siblings and male cousins from uncles. We always said the kids would have her last name, however while I was out of the room and with all the hormones and everything else associated with childbirth, when asked the name she gave her name as a middle name and mine as the last name. So much for plans. Second child we did the same thing. Neither of us wanted a hyphenated last name. We each like it but neither child is wild about it, they think they don't have a real middle name.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2012, 11:57 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
As mentioned in earlier threads, for a father there are real (though surmountable) issues on occassion to prove parental rights when travelling with a kid not named the same.Do what your heart desires, but do not go in thinking it that there are no potential problems.
Word!
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2012, 08:27 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I remember a letter to Miss Manners where the husband's mother complained that he and his wife were planning on giving their child the wife's last name, which she had kept when she got married. The lady wanted to know how to tell the couple this was "unacceptable."

Miss Manners replied "If you tell them that, I have a feeling you will not hear the end of it if you live to be a hundred."
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2012, 10:18 AM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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It's really no problem at all if a child takes his mother's surname. I base this assertion on having done it in our family without any trouble at all, despite the fact that our lifestyle involves considerable international travel where our son has had to travel with one parent at a time.

FYI, my son was born in 1998. His father's surname is his middle name. He and I (his mother) share a last name.

When he was younger, if either parent traveled internationally with him we had to be prepared for questions about whether we had the right to enter a country with him (this happened to me constantly, and I have the same surname as our son, so the last name was clearly irrelevant - what mattered was traveling with only one parent).

If you are going to travel a lot with your child with only one parent, I recommend doing what we did - have a notary public witness a note saying "Both mom and dad give our child permission to travel internationally with the other parent" and be done with it. Sure, it is a small hassle to get such a letter every five years or so - but for us it was 20 minutes at our bank, where there was a notary public available to us who could notarize the letter we had prepared. No biggie.

In this day and age, where it is routine for children to grow up in single parent or blended families, I am astonished that anyone would think that being part of a stable 2-parent family where the names vary a little could possibly be a problem. Kids deal with so much more disruption than that. It's absolutely nothing at all - who cares about surnames? Any kid who has two bioparents who love each other and are sharing, consistently throughout the years, the task of raising a child in a loving environment is WAAAYYY ahead of the game compared to what a lot of kids deal with.

I'm sure there are times when people have drawn inaccurate conclusions due to the fact that my son and I have one surname while my husband/his father has another. Most likely, they think that our son is my child from an earlier relationship. Since that kind of idle speculation harms no one, it's hard to care about it.
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  #12  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:10 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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The OP confused meI thought you and your wife now had the same last name, but you were considering giving the kids the last name your wife used to have before she was married, which is what a "maiden name" is.

IIRC, Clark Kent was given his (adoptive) mother's maiden name as a first name, which is what I thought the thread would be about based on its title; but I guess that's not what you're talking about after all.
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:19 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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The only people I've known to do it were single mothers. As CairoCarol says, I'd probably assume the child was your wife's from another relationship, but...so what?

Schools are getting much better about calling and asking for "The parent of Jane Doe," instead of Mr. or Mrs. Doe, which I find a relief (as I am NOT Mrs. MySon'sLastName, and very grateful not to be!). Travel with only one parent is dicey no matter what the name situation. It takes 2 seconds at the doctor's office to say, "the patient's last name or mine?" when asked for a name.

As for what your family thinks, that's something you know better than I. I got around similar name issues by not giving a shit what our families thought, but that's probably not a solution for everyone.
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2012, 12:50 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoaster View Post
Do you know anyone who was given their mother's maiden name? How uncommon is this? Any stories about stress or friction this caused?

We (my wife and I) are considering having our first child retain my wife's maiden name which she has held onto. I'm not really attached to my last name and besides, the whole patrilineal name thing is pretty unfair.

I'm guessing my father may take issue with this though.....
My brother, uncle, and stepbrother all have their mother's maiden names (or other family names that would not otherwise have been carried on) as their middle names.

I suppose you could do the reverse. That is, Edgar Coaster and his wife, Roberta St. James, could name their child, say, Leland Coaster St. James.

Last edited by Kimmy_Gibbler; 05-14-2012 at 12:52 PM..
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2012, 03:58 AM
AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet is offline
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When I met my friends, Hannah and Sophie they had hypenated names. Now Sophie goes by her mom's last name, and Hannah goes by her dad's last name
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2012, 05:44 AM
saoirse saoirse is offline
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My oldest son. His mother kept her own name, and she was one of five daughters, and thought it would be nice if someone carried her name. Also, my son was given a first name from my family, and there would have been three other kids with the same name as him otherwise. There wasn't much problem with it, and I think there would be less now.
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2012, 06:59 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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My father and his two brothers were all given their mother's (rather unusual) maiden name as a middle name. My sister and I were then also given it as second middle names (I am not sure about my grandmother's three other grandchildren). My sister's daughter and my two daughters also have it as a middle name. Given that my sister and I have had only girl children, in my dad's branch of the family, at least, it seems on course to outlive his surname. (And this despite the fact that my father's father's surname was also his first name. He was Welsh, and this is not uncommon there.)
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  #18  
Old 05-15-2012, 08:02 AM
kferr kferr is offline
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It seems this maiden name as middle name thing is more common than I thought. My brother has our grandmother's (on dad's side) maiden name as his middle name and I've got our mother's maiden name.
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2012, 09:51 AM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoaster View Post
Do you know anyone who was given their mother's maiden name? How uncommon is this? Any stories about stress or friction this caused?

We (my wife and I) are considering having our first child retain my wife's maiden name which she has held onto. I'm not really attached to my last name and besides, the whole patrilineal name thing is pretty unfair.

I'm guessing my father may take issue with this though.....
My wife didn't take my last name (its not customary where she some from) and I have no problem with that except taht people always assume we share a last name so if she makes reservations somewhere, I am Mr (wife's last name) and if I make the reservations she is Mr (my last name). Frequently, people assume we are not married.

If I met a kid and he didn't have the father's last name my first guess would be that the child was born to another man unless they were the spitting image. Mostly because second marriages are a lot more common than children taking the mother's last name.
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:07 AM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
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We did it. I'm close to my family and my husband isn't and actually preferred to not pass on his family name, so our kid has my surname. She's too young for any travel problems to have cropped up, though.
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  #21  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:28 AM
RedBloom RedBloom is offline
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My husband took his mom's maiden name when he turned 18. His dad basically left him and his mom when he was 9, never paid child support, and was a jacka**. He hyphenated it for awhile, then eventually dropped his dad's last name for good. I'm not sure if it's the name part or the dad-leaving-part, but it (he) seriously messed with his sense of self... even to this day.
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  #22  
Old 05-16-2012, 05:29 PM
Orca Eyes Orca Eyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoaster View Post
Do you know anyone who was given their mother's maiden name? How uncommon is this? Any stories about stress or friction this caused?

We (my wife and I) are considering having our first child retain my wife's maiden name which she has held onto. I'm not really attached to my last name and besides, the whole patrilineal name thing is pretty unfair.

I'm guessing my father may take issue with this though.....
The only people I know who have their mum's last name are people born to unmarried mothers (usually ones whose partners take off).
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  #23  
Old 05-16-2012, 07:29 PM
sisu sisu is offline
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My dad and his brother got their mum's surname as a middle name. It helped that it was an old English name that could be both surname and first name. Myself and my two brothers also suffered with this affliction. Really why give me a middle name "Onslow"?
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  #24  
Old 05-16-2012, 07:44 PM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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I have my mom's last name. Then again, my parents were never married so I'm probably not what you're looking for. The only stress it caused me was due to the fact that my mother's side of the family has a really bad last name. My father's last name is very normal and I used to wish I'd had it. Now I kind of like my unusual last name because of a "fuck you, that's why" kind of thing.

Last edited by AClockworkMelon; 05-16-2012 at 07:46 PM..
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  #25  
Old 05-16-2012, 07:52 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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My daughter has my MIL maiden name. It's a beautiful French name.
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