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Name on Birth Certificate

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello, My wife and I are pregnant with our first child. We have kept our individual last names and we'd like my wife's last name to be the babies last name however, I'm the one giving birth. Does anyone know the legalities behind last name designation? Thanks!! Hilary

post #2 of 7
It's going to depend on where you live, but in some places, you can just pick whatever you want as the baby's last name.

If you're in MA, the legal spouse of a woman giving birth is the father of her child unless paperwork is filed stating otherwise, even if that legal spouse is female.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks! We live in New York State. I just can't seem to find any clear info on this.
post #4 of 7
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Feel free to join us over on the Queer, Pregnant, and Parenting thread to talk with other pregnant queer mamas. I think you can give the baby pretty much any last name you want. We gave our baby my wife's name and no one said a word. I have a friend whose kids have her mother's maiden name and not the name of either parent.
We live in California and since we are married, we could put both our names on the birth certificate as parents. If you want clarification, you can call the NCLR hotline. http://www.nclrights.org/?s=+certificate&issue-area=parenting&audiences=parents-potential-parents&post_type=resources

You may also want to join a Due Date Club to connect with other moms due in the same month. Just click on Due Date Clubs at the top to find yours.
post #5 of 7
Meepycat - we live in MA and while yes, our experience was how you describe it for parental designation, that had no impact on the last name assignment. We could still choose any last name. And the form doesn't say "father" anymore, it says "parent 1" and "parent 2".
post #6 of 7
Sphinxy, I'm so glad they've updated the forms! They were really dumb about handwritten corrections for a while.

I definitely got the sense, when my kids were born, that I could say whatever I wanted for last name here, but wasn't 100% sure.
post #7 of 7
@meepycat - what I wrote before was true for the form we filled out at the hospital. Funny story ensued since that post about the actual birth certificate though... The hospital told us to wait a couple weeks and then the cert should be ready at the town hall. So DW goes to pick it up one afternoon and it lists her as the father. Well it had been a long day and she just wanted to get home, so rather than protest she just gave the clerk a look and said something like "seriously?", and left. So, the next day a new copy of the cert shows up in our mailbox with a post-it that says sorry for the mix up. on the new one DW is listed as "second parent". So apparently there are two different versions of the MA birth cert, and it is up to the town clerk to print the right one. Must be tough for them to guess with gender-neutral names. My DW however has a very traditional feminine name, so not sure what went wrong there.
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