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Surname Problems... Any advice?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

I am due in late september (and THRILLED about it) with my first born little boy. I'm a bit frustrated about the whole surname issue... My last name is O'Neill and it has been absolute hell going through life with this name. Everyone misspells it and banks sometimes don't recognise you because in their systems it's "O/Neill" or "O Neill" or even just "Oneill". Even in my college years, I was almost dropped out of school because of that rediculous apostrophe. I also had a very rough childhood filled with abuse and don't associate with the O'Neill side of my family anymore at all.

 

The baby's father's name is super nice and simple. It's Chen. However, he just left me high and dry on the streets of NYC after I wouldn't accept his "solution" to our stresses: late term abortion. He and I had been together for quite some time and we very very close before this horrible situation happened. I am absolutely hurt by him and I can realistically say that I doubt he will come back to be with my son and I (aside from sending a few checks a month). 

 

So, now I am left with the problem of not having a surname for my son. I feel a bit silly about this all, but it does seem important as he will be keeping this surname for his whole life (I wouldn't be as stressed if it were a girl, who would change her surname halfway through her life). 

 

I would be willing to start a new surname with him, but it all seems rather fast... choosing a new name for the rest of our lives in the four months before he's born... 

 

Any suggestions for what we should do?

 

Thanks!!

 

Anya Rose 

www.rememberbaby.wordpress.com

post #2 of 20

Is there anyone in your family that you felt close enough to that you could consider taking their last name?  Mother's maiden name?  Something along those lines?  It would be nice to "keep it in the family" so to speak.  I hope you get through this difficult time.  Best of luck!

post #3 of 20

Hard choice Anya.  Sorry your baby's father did not stick around for you.  I think this is a tough decision, but I like the idea of coming up with a new surname for both of you.  It sound only take one visit to the SS office to change it.  Finding something that you both could be proud of and start over fresh might be a nice way to prepare for your son's birth.

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyTiger View Post

Is there anyone in your family that you felt close enough to that you could consider taking their last name?  Mother's maiden name?  Something along those lines?  It would be nice to "keep it in the family" so to speak.  I hope you get through this difficult time.  Best of luck!

Heck a teacher who was kind to you, a childhood friend with a more generic last name who made life easier, a town you liked, a favorite color. Anything would do. If you like the association with something and it doesn't sound like a surname look up the name in other languages until you find something that feels right.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyaRose View Post

So, now I am left with the problem of not having a surname for my son. I feel a bit silly about this all, but it does seem important as he will be keeping this surname for his whole life (I wouldn't be as stressed if it were a girl, who would change her surname halfway through her life). 

 

Would she, indeed? You make a lot of assumptions there! I guess you mean that of course, halfway through her life, your daughter will get married to a man and will change her name to his. But your daughter could be uninterested in marriage, or married but keep her name! I've kept my name and I'm married, for instance.

 

And look at you, already halfway through your life, and you're still stuck with O'Neill. You're a girl, aren't you? You haven't settled down with some man and changed your name, much as though it seems you'd really like to. Don't assume your daughter will, either!

 

Also, your son could just be called O'Neill, or some made up name, and then change his name halfway through his life because he doesn't like his name! There's no reason why he'd be keeping his name his whole life if he doesn't like it just because he's a boy. He can have it legally changed, or if he gets married, he can assume the name of his new wife or husband.

 

I say change your name if you don't like it! Come up with a new name and go ahead and change it. But don't think of it as doing it for your son. For all you know, your son could think differently from you and like the name O'Neill just fine. You're really changing your name for yourself, and that's perfectly okay!

 

Remember that any child you have, a son or daughter, has the same right to do what you want to do. You're changing your name because you don't like it; your future son could also do that, anytime he wants.

post #6 of 20

I agree that it might be time for a new name for both you and the baby. What better time for a fresh start? I would not just use the father's name in this case because it would be easier.

Four months seems like a long enough time to me! I agree with the suggestions to find a name that means something to you, whether it's another family name or something else. Maybe ask close friends for suggestions, too.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

 

Would she, indeed? You make a lot of assumptions there! I guess you mean that of course, halfway through her life, your daughter will get married to a man and will change her name to his. But your daughter could be uninterested in marriage, or married but keep her name! I've kept my name and I'm married, for instance.

 

And look at you, already halfway through your life, and you're still stuck with O'Neill. You're a girl, aren't you? You haven't settled down with some man and changed your name, much as though it seems you'd really like to. Don't assume your daughter will, either!

 

Also, your son could just be called O'Neill, or some made up name, and then change his name halfway through his life because he doesn't like his name! There's no reason why he'd be keeping his name his whole life if he doesn't like it just because he's a boy. He can have it legally changed, or if he gets married, he can assume the name of his new wife or husband.

 

I say change your name if you don't like it! Come up with a new name and go ahead and change it. But don't think of it as doing it for your son. For all you know, your son could think differently from you and like the name O'Neill just fine. You're really changing your name for yourself, and that's perfectly okay!

 

Remember that any child you have, a son or daughter, has the same right to do what you want to do. You're changing your name because you don't like it; your future son could also do that, anytime he wants.

Golly gee... I didn't mean to offend you personally, Michelle... >< And just a small FYI it is COMMON for a woman to change her name and a man to keep his. I don't know what my son's choices will be and the best I can go with is what is COMMON if there isn't any easy way out. 

post #8 of 20

Is Rose your middle name? If so I would consider just dropping your surname and and going with Rose. Seems like a nice name and you already have it right there to share with the babe! 

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaJenese View Post

Is Rose your middle name? If so I would consider just dropping your surname and and going with Rose. Seems like a nice name and you already have it right there to share with the babe! 

I like that idea. My daughter's middle name is Rose and I told her she has the built in "stage name" of Firstname Rose. Her surname is a big hyphenated name. My biggest do-over in life would be to go back to 22 years old and with the hubby create a NEW family name for us.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Rose seems awfully feminine... but I suppose if I saw it as a last name I wouldn't think twice. 

 

This is good advice... (:

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyaRose View Post

Rose seems awfully feminine... but I suppose if I saw it as a last name I wouldn't think twice. 

This is good advice... (:


Scroll down for surname list. There's some cool folks with this surname.
post #12 of 20

I'd choose a new name that has meaning to you, either from happy memories or family history. It sounds like your former partner was of Chinese descent. That might be an avenue to explore as well. 

post #13 of 20
I changed my middle name a few years ago and it was a very easy process...some papers filed with the court, a 2 minute hearing, then a trip to the social security office. My former middle name was my mothers name, and after going through a lot of turmoil with her for several years, I felt the need to break free of that and find some peace...so I chose the middle name Serena, because of the meaning (it also allowed me to keep the same middle initial, which simplified a lot of things that would have otherwise required a name change.)

So, my advice to you is to find something that has meaning for you...be it strength, or power, or whatever you need right now...and claim it as your own. Once your name in changed, you'll need copies of the certified court document to change your name on legal documents, with creditors, etc.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!
post #14 of 20

AnyaRose- I love the idea of you and your baby having a new last name!

 

 I changed my last name when I was 18.  It was simple back then, it's a bit more complicated now but totally doable.  I never felt comfortable with the way the last name is passed down from the man's side, especially since my dad didn't do much to raise me.  I didn't want my mom's maiden name because it was just her dad's name who was she hardly knew.  It was incredibly empowering to have my own last name.  I picked a name that my mom wanted to name me.  She wanted to name me Ultra Violet Ray as a first name but instead went with Violet Rose (plus my dad's last name).  I dropped my dad's last name and became Violet Rose Ray.  Even though life could be rough with my mom as a mother, she was the one who raised me and she was my biggest role model.  

 

One cool thing I did to pass on the empowerment of self naming is that I did not give my daughter a middle name.  Instead, she can choose her own and as a present her dad and I will pay to have it legally added.  She is almost seven and she has had a great time coming up with middle names that fit her interests.  Of course she wants to be Rainbow Sparkle and Wanda but eventually, when she is older, she will find just the right one.  This might be a neat thing to do for your son, as you could explain the lineage that you gave him.  

 

My daughter's has two last names, mine and my husband's.  I didn't change my last name when I got married.  We have had no problems with this situation.  Instead it has spurred important discussions about family history and self preservation.  

 

No offense to Michelle's post but as parents we make tons of decisions that our children might want to undo.  That shouldn't keep us from being strong, powerful mothers.  It has been amazing how important it has been to me to ditch that old last name and to claim my name for myself.  

 

Good luck on your journey!  

post #15 of 20

Hi Mumma,

 

I haven't read all the posts, but i just wanted to share my experience.

I come from an abusive childhood as well, and I suffered with my last name through out childhood.

When I turned 18 I changed my name (legally) and have never looked back.

At birth my name was Sandy *MiddleName*  *LastName*, but everyone called me by my first and middle name as though it was one whole name.

When i turned 18 I changed my name to Sandy and had my middle name changed to be my last name. I completely dropped my families last name...

 

It is very simple to do. It was relatively cheap, and no problem at all with changing driver licence etc.

So thats an option if you have a middle name you like?

Or do you have something/some place that you have always been drawn to? Like a place? Activity? You could take inspiration from that and create something really beautiful!

My (now) last name is the name of a country that I have visited often and grown up surrounded by its culture.

 

Please feel free to PM if you have any questions :)  !!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyaRose View Post

Golly gee... I didn't mean to offend you personally, Michelle... >< And just a small FYI it is COMMON for a woman to change her name and a man to keep his. I don't know what my son's choices will be and the best I can go with is what is COMMON if there isn't any easy way out. 

 

No, I wasn't offended, AnyaRose. Just wanted you to know that there's no reason why your son would be "stuck" with a name any more than you are, or your daughter would be. You mentioned his gender as a particular concern; it doesn't have to be, is all.

post #17 of 20

OP, I understand the gift you are trying to give your child, and I think that the simple fact you have put so much thought into this shows that you have your babe's best interest at heart. Similar to travelmumma, I am an abuse survivor who opted to change my last name upon turning 18, and I have never regretted it. When I got married to my DH I took his last name and my children, DH, and I all share a surname, less because of tradition and more because the family that we are together means a lot to us.

 

I agree with one of the previous posters that said find something that has meaning to you and go with that, even if the menaing is just that you think is sounds cool :) I think that you wanting to have a new last name for you and your son is awesome and I wish you the very best!

post #18 of 20

why not legally change your last name to something you like then give that name to the baby.  its cheap and easy to do so.  i love the last name i chose for myself, it's right out of one of my favorite sci/fi series
 

post #19 of 20

My best friend from childhood is the daughter of a man who became very notorious in our town for leading a motorcycle gang.  He's serving life for murder, among other things.  Everyone knows his name, and no one has nice things to say.  She got stuck with a feminine version of his first name, his middle name, and his last name.  She has no contact with him.  When she married a man with the last name of Brown, she took his name.  When she divorced him, she kept the name.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahBoo View Post

My best friend from childhood is the daughter of a man who became very notorious in our town for leading a motorcycle gang.  He's serving life for murder, among other things.  Everyone knows his name, and no one has nice things to say.  She got stuck with a feminine version of his first name, his middle name, and his last name.  She has no contact with him.  When she married a man with the last name of Brown, she took his name.  When she divorced him, she kept the name.

 

 

Not that many people have notorious parents, but this is why none of my children are Jrs or feminised names, or wahtever. My kids' first names are their own. I have 3 children, one doesn't have a middle name :) and I am thinking about changing y surname to match theirs even though I don't care for their father. I think we should have the same surname. ;) Good luck OP and I wish you the best of luck.

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