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anyone give 1 child dad's last name, 2nd child mom's last name?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Our DD has mom's surname as her middle name, and dad's surname as her last name.

We were discussing the idea of switching it for #2 -- dad's surname as middle name, mom's surname as last name.

(Both kids have the same parents, so basically they would have the same middle and last names, but with the order reversed.)

Has anyone done this? If so, how did it work out? How do you feel about it now that it's done, and how do the kids feel about it (if they're old enough to be aware)?
post #2 of 33

Well I personally would not do it. My name is made up from my parent's middle names, and I have always thought it was really annoying that they couldn't take the time to come up with a unique name like they did with my sister. I would feel even more this way if we had the name swap like you are talking about. For me, I think it's a bad idea to name the second one to same way.

post #3 of 33

We did this. We couldn't agree on any other solution--dh was/is opposed to hyphenated names and wasn't keen on combining to create a totally new last name. And I wasn't prepared to give my kids his last name. So we compromised by alternating last names, and it just happened to end up being gendered. ds is Xan Sebastian Mylastname DH'slast name, and dd has the last two names reversed: Ella Sophie DH'slastname Mylastname. So far, no problems at all, and honestly, I don't anticipate any. My kids are quite young still (5 and 3) but old enough to understand naming, and they're fine with having different last names. We're working on #3 and we'll either flip a coin or assign last names based on which first names sound best with each.

 

I grew up in a family where many of us had different last names (my mom remarried, and my two brothers thus have different last names than my sister & me), and it never bothered me too much apart from needing to correct friends when they called my mother Mrs Wronglastname. It's so incredibly common these days... I've known a couple of other families that went this route, and they're happy with it too.

post #4 of 33

We did it.  Kids are still too young to notice (the 2.5 year old knows all our full names, but not the implications of a last name).  People will occasionally call them the wrong one, but otherwise it doesn't seem like a problem. 

post #5 of 33
This makes me think of my kid's school at pick up - they call " dd & ds Lastname." Different last names among siblings are common, and, no big deal, IMO. But, I do think it can create some assumptions and questions. If you're the type to not mind answering a few questions, then no big deal.
post #6 of 33

I would not do it. I had a different last name than the rest of my family when my mom remarried and had another child and I hated it as a kid. I wanted us to all have the same last name.

post #7 of 33

We only have one kid (so we haven't done it) but we have friends who have.  Its not big deal to them. The kids are cool with it Ds's last name is hyphenated and if we have more I could totally consider flipping the names around for the next one.  There are so many blended families that lots of kids have different last names as their parents and siblings that I don't think it would be much of an issue

post #8 of 33

I have not but I did let my kids know that they can legally change their names if they ever want too.

post #9 of 33

We have done some version of this.  Dd1 has my last name (as her mom) and dd2 had dh's.  We plan on alternating last names with future kids as well.  

 

Our kids are still young (5 and 1.5 y/o) so not much input on their part yet.  Dd1 knows that her last name is the same as mine and dad's is different, it's no big deal to her.  They get people who mix their last name up sometimes, but probably would have that happen sometimes regardless because I did not change my name on getting married in the first place.  She'll sometimes get mail or get called dd1 dhlastname (then again, dh gets called dh mylastname sometimes too lol.gif).  

I personally kinda explain it to the kiddos from a mixed genealogy perspective - 'isn't it nice that you can each have names from both mom & dad's families - that's so cool cause you're from both our families'.  And as they're older we'll probably add that we felt that their first names sounded nicer with the last names we chose, that we both wanted to carry on each other's family names out of respect honor and remembrance , and that we or they can go about changing their name legally if it's something that really bothers them.  

post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all these responses! I'm just catching up now.

DP's concern about this idea is that if a kid doesn't have his last name, people will suspect/wonder that he wasn't the father -- as if he came along later, or one of our kids had a different dad, etc. He makes the fair point that in general, there's no question about who a child's mother is if she was pregnant and gave birth. But since fatherhood is less clear, having his last name is one way to indicate that he's the dad.

For those of you who have taken this approach, has this come up? How do you think about it?
post #11 of 33

With regards to the question about fatherhood - It has never come up for us yet/ever (dd1 is only 5).  

 

I don't know whether this would work for you, but I'm supposing that if I were approached with that or someone trying to ask about that issue I'd probably let them know that 'well, I've been married [to dh] for 11 years.'  which would obviously be for several years longer than our child is old.  I don't know whether that truly addresses that concern, it is kinda the type of issue that would be truly rude to ask someone else and not really anyone's business either so I'd hope that you wouldn't deal with it, ever, in the first place.  shrug.gif   I can sympathize though with not wanting to have that kind of question in your kid's life.

post #12 of 33
Yes, we did it, exactly the way you describe.

We have two boys. Somewhat to my surprise, this choice has never caused any kind of issue at all. Not with the relatives, not with school, summer camp, anyone. No one has ever been confused about whether they were siblings or about our family.

As for the boys themselves, it's never been an issue, either. To be honest, I can't even remember a time when either of them asked about it, although I did tell them once that we did it out of a sense of fairness.

The kids are 8 and 11 now and we have no regrets.
post #13 of 33

 

Quote:
DP's concern about this idea is that if a kid doesn't have his last name, people will suspect/wonder that he wasn't the father -- as if he came along later, or one of our kids had a different dad, etc.

That's what I would think right off the bat. I'd assume that the kid was your child from a previous relationship, because that happens more often than people being creative with naming.

post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

 

That's what I would think right off the bat. I'd assume that the kid was your child from a previous relationship, because that happens more often than people being creative with naming.


I suppose some people might make that assumption, but I didn't take it into consideration when going the route the OP did. In 11 years of parenthood, if anyone has ever assumed anything about our kids' paternity on first meeting us, they have been polite enough not to mention it. (Although, when we do meet people, we generally introduce ourselves as first/last names and the kids by just their first names, so by the time people do get around to knowing the different last names of the boys - if they ever do - we are firmly established in their minds as a family.
post #15 of 33

I'm single so our situation is different but I wouldn't do it. I HATED having DD's last name be different from DS's before her adoption finalized.

post #16 of 33

I wouldn't do it, but then I'm very traditional.

 

I had a good friend years ago who has a daughter. When the parents divorced, my friend changed her last name back to her maiden name. Her daughter was upset, b/c she still had dad's last name, and thought that meant that my friend wasn't her mom anymore. On top of dealing with the divorce and visitation and all the confusion that goes along with that, she had to be assured that Mommy was still her "real" Mommy.

 

A couple of my friends now have kids, are married to the kids' fathers, but kept their maiden names after they got married. In one family, the kids have dad's last name, in the other, they have the mom's. It's getting so I can't keep track of what the kids' last names are, which is kind of embarrassing when we go to write thank you notes for gifts, send invitations, etc. b/c I feel I should know (and if it were one family I probably would be able to remember, but as it stands sometimes I can't remember which family uses dad's name and which mom's).

 

I know my convenience is not a good reason to decide on how to name kids -- that's not what I mean. Just that it's confusing for lots of people in your life, but especially the kids.

post #17 of 33
My kids have a big hyphenated name. Not ideal, but I get credit in the here and now for them being mine.. not just their father's.

I do know a marriage where the boy got dad's surname and the girl got mom's surname..... seems to work fine for them but what if you didn't get one of each? Could their resent from the partner that didn't get to pass their name on?
post #18 of 33

DD1.... her dad and I weren't married, and a big reason was that we couldnt' agree on a shared last name. When I was pregnant, we decided that if it was a girl, the name would be "First name, Middle Name, Dad's last name as middle name, Mom's last name" with the usage being "First name, Mom's last name."

 

When I married DH, we were both professionally established with our own last names and both kept them, and because I already had a daughter with my last name, and he was the last of his line, we decided that whatever gender, the child would have his last name. There was a strong possibility that it would be his only biological child.

 

Our third child will have his last name as well. One of the reasons that I don't push for my last name to be in there is that our last names are actually quite similar... his is only four letters long, and the first three letters of his last name are the same as the first three letters of my last name. And we know this child will be a boy, so the reasoning for DD1's naming isn't relevant. 

 

By normal naming standards, my dad and his brother would be the "last of their line"... but my sister's husband took our last name, and their daughter has our last name, so my dad actually has two girl grandchildren with his same last name. (And on my mother's side, both her father's and mother's last names are all in no danger of dying out...she had seven siblings...) So I feel less urge to "continue" my dad's last name with more kids, especially when I know that passing on his name is important to my husband.

 

We've had occasional issues for DD1, mostly related to her grandparents on the "other" side, where they don't recognize her full name and drop my last name from hers. This was only really an issue when they created a gift trust for her, but was quickly sorted. I think they're probably a little miffed because both of their other kids are girls, one of whom took a married name and the other of whom isnt' likely to have kids, and K is the only child of their son, but that's his choice you know?

 

 

post #19 of 33

Oh, and my girls have different last names and it's never been an issue. That said, given that DD1's dad didn't stick around, I'm very, very glad that she has my last name. 

post #20 of 33
Quote:

DP's concern about this idea is that if a kid doesn't have his last name, people will suspect/wonder that he wasn't the father -- as if he came along later, or one of our kids had a different dad, etc. He makes the fair point that in general, there's no question about who a child's mother is if she was pregnant and gave birth. But since fatherhood is less clear, having his last name is one way to indicate that he's the dad.
 

I think this is a fair concern. But yeah, blended families are so common it's no big deal. I know some gay and lesbian parents who also switch up kids' last names sometimes too.

 

I've never even considered giving my son and our future kid(s) my last name. I like that they have DH's last name, for tradition's sake...or something. It's a special connection between DS and his dad and I go by DH's last name too most of the time. I like it- it feels like we are all on an awesome team or something! We're the "Lastnames"!  We're all together, we've got the same name and we're amazing! orngbiggrin.gif I dunno. I just think it's cool for everyone in our family to have the same name. shrug.gif Besides both DH and I have crazy long ethnic last names...hyphenated names would be torturous and I'm not too attached to my name anyhow. Not a big deal. We debated picking a really cool last name for us when we got married that our kids would eventually have too, but couldn't think of one that was good enough...

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