Advice about having a different last name from a child? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 07-13-2011, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
nmouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi everyone. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences about how it is to have a different last name from your child. I will be having a baby this fall, and one of the options under consideration is giving the baby a last name different from mine. Before I decide, I'm trying to assess  what if any logistical problems this could present down the road.

For any of you that are differently surnamed from your kids, can you tell me where, if ever, you run into difficulties with third parties?

Places where I have been imagining trouble include scenarios where someone might demand that I "prove" I'm really his mother:

  • signing child out from school
  • traveling with child, especially internationally
  • extra hoops at the doctor's office / hospital
  • managing health insurance
  • opening/administering joint accounts with child


How common are these difficulties? Also, if you have had issues, what do you usually do to resolve them? Do you have to fax a birth certificate around?


First baby due Oct/Nov 2011. Slowly finding my way...

nmouse is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 07-13-2011, 11:42 PM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

My son has my last name however its very common for kids to have all types of names.

I can answer some of your scenarios

1. when you register for 'school' you need to provide certain info. Usually a bc is one of those pieces of info.  Generally every year you need to fill out 'paperwork' but on a lesser level with name, contact etc.  Just list yourself as the emergency contact, mother etc.

2. traveling, you both will have ID, passport etc

3. dr- nothing different, you are the mother

4. insurance- the child is a dependent, you call HR and have the child added

5. again the child is a minor child you provide the ssn/ dob and the account is open, child is linked to you because you are his mother.


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
#3 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Springshowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,703
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)

In Canada you can only give them one of the parents last names, or both names hyphenated. Any other change would have to be a later legal name change.

Springshowers is online now  
#4 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 03:05 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)

I have a different last name and have yet to run into any problems.  I don't have experience with school or any kind of travel that requires ID, but it has not been an issue with any doctor's office or health insurance.  I believe I had to "explain" why my kids had a diffferent last name than mine on the health insurance form, but I just wrote that they have their dad's name and it wasn't an issue.  Had no problem with joint bank accounts either.  I occasionally have to take an extra second to explain that we have different last names when signing up for something or scheduling appointments for both of us, but it has never been a problem. I think it is very common these days :)


Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  
#5 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 03:49 PM
 
littlest birds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: a dream-filled fixer-upper
Posts: 2,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Three of ours have a different last name and I've never had a practical problem...  sometimes people assume one thing or another so they just give the child my last name or call me Mrs. Xyz in error but it doesn't bother me at all.  Nothing else has ever come of it.


ME&treehugger.gifHE... loving our: wild.gifdd(18) ~~violin.gifds(13) read.gifdd(13)~~ peace.gifdd(10)
 
 

littlest birds is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 03:53 PM
 
samstress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: so-cal
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i have a different last name than my kids (4 years and 2 months) and it's never caused a problem.  i think it's so common nowadays, that no one really thinks anything of it. 

 

of all your bullet points, i've done all of them with my oldest (except the last one) without any trouble.  as for the joint account, dh and i share an account and have different last names.


mother is a verb
I GOT MY vbac.gif!!!

samstress is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 04:01 PM
 
olaz-b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We are in Canada and our DS does not have either mine or my DH's last name.  For various reasons, we chose my MIL's maiden name instead.  When we applied for his birth certificate, there was a question on there asking why he had a different last name than us.  The explanation is on his certificate, which means that whenever we need to prove anything legal, we just show it.  So far, we've had no problems.

olaz-b is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 04:15 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I haven't experienced the slightest problem.  

 

I wasn't married to my oldest kids' (twins) father, but he wanted them to have his last name.  Everyone thought that was crazy for me to agree to - or even illegal!  

 

> Progressive friends thought, "Why would you GIVE them his name, if YOU'LL be the one raising them?"  Well, exactly.  There's no question about their connection to ME.  If having his name helps HIM feel connected to them, when they're babies and he really has no idea how to care for them...why NOT facilitate that?

 

> Conservatives (i.e. my parents) thought, "How can you 'pretend' they're not 'bastards', if they ARE?"  That seemed so short-sighted.  The problem was that we conceived kids together and just didn't know whether WE were going to "work out", long-term.  What we NAMED the kids was neither the root of - nor the solution to - that problem.

 

I do often get called "Mrs. (Ex's-last-name)", by people who know my kids better than they know me.  I think that irritates my ex's new wife [who really IS Mrs. (Ex's-last-name)], but she's reasonable about it.  It's an understandable mistake.  If I expect to form a relationship with someone (like the parent of one of my kids' new friends), I correct them.  If it's just somebody passing me in the hall, who knows I'm the twins' mom (and assumes I share their surname), I don't bother to correct them.

 

Almost without exception, people in a position to check, for example, who's allowed to pick up your kids from school, will KNOW you are their mom and it will never be an issue.  In cases where people DON'T know you're Mom, you still will not have a problem.  SO MANY kids these days have different last names from one of their parents.  It's just not an anomaly, by any stretch of the imagination.

 

I even have a friend who's married and their kids have different last names from both of them.  The husband has a really boring, super-common last name.  So the wife kept her maiden name, simply because she liked it.  And they invented a last name for the kids, that's a combination of their last names...because they don't like hyphens and double-surnames.  And everyone still knows who the kids' parents are.


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#9 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
nmouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Jeannine that is the same thing we are thinking of doing! I have been trying to get information about options, and in many places I have seen women posting about how they kept their birth name at first but are thinking of changing it to be the same as their child & child's father "to make things easier." I could never find very many specifics about what things would be easier, though one person mentioned hassles signing kids out from school with different names. But it sounds from the responses here like the hassles are way overblown, so I guess maybe the thing having same names makes easier for some folks is just psychological or family issues. 

 

Thanks everyone for the answers!


First baby due Oct/Nov 2011. Slowly finding my way...

nmouse is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 07-14-2011, 05:25 PM
 
kawa kamuri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

in sixteen+ years i've never had a problem.


Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12 2ndtri.gif

 
       

kawa kamuri is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 07-15-2011, 06:04 AM
 
Cyllya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You shouldn't have these problems. I mean, schools shouldn't be letting any random bloke abscond with a child just because their last name is the same, so you'd have to prove you're someone with permission to take the child anyway. 

Cyllya is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 07-15-2011, 10:13 AM
 
XanaduMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SE PDX
Posts: 2,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Saw this on new posts. ds has dh's last name (mine as a second middle name) and dd has my last name. I've never had a problem with the names issue. If I traveled alone internationally with them, I might carry birth certificates, though mainly since I'm not a US citizen (and they are), which complicates things somewhat. I've heard of people having big problems with this recently, which is why it's on my radar. But otherwise, we don't give it a second thought--and nobody else seems to, either.

 

ETA: I've traveled alone with both of them domestically, and it's never been an issue.


read.gifSarah ~ wild.gifds X 12/05 ~ flower.gifdd E 3/08 h20homebirth.gif  ~  stork-suprise.gif 7/12 dizzy.gif

XanaduMama is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 07-15-2011, 07:56 PM
 
mamayogibear's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,070
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

Three of ours have a different last name and I've never had a practical problem...  sometimes people assume one thing or another so they just give the child my last name or call me Mrs. Xyz in error but it doesn't bother me at all.  Nothing else has ever come of it.



Yeah that! Most people just call me Ms. child's last name, it's gotten to the point where I respond to that just as much as my real name. I wasn't married to their dad though, I just gave them his last name because I really don't like mine. Even though he's no longer my boyfriend their last name just seems right so I doub't I'll be changing it since they have a really cool last name...


be good family...

mamayogibear is online now  
#14 of 18 Old 07-19-2011, 07:48 PM
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've never even had a problem with my step-daughter, whose last name is different than mine... I've never had an issue signing her up for things, signing her in and out of places (like camps or schools), or basically doing anything else that I ought to be able to do if she were my biological child. If I can think of any minor inconveniences, it is filling out a form that has everyone's name listed together because I have to specify whose last name is whose instead of just putting one last name... and sometimes the kids' stuff doesn't get filed together because they don't all have the same last name... but that is sort of a clerical issue, and one that most businesses have a system for overcoming because it is common. When I was in the position of registering kids for a program, I was in the habit of always double-checking both last names in case they were different. 

 

So no, there isn't really any real reasons why it has ever been an issue. All that said, I would love it if we all had the same last name... just because.


Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 07-19-2011, 07:59 PM
A&A
 
A&A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

I've never had a problem. 


"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
A&A is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 07-20-2011, 01:18 PM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 5,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've never had a problem--not with school, health insurance, anything. Honestly, this is so, so common that I can't imagine you'd have any difficulties. Around here (Northeastern US), no one assumes that my last name is the same as dh's. The only people who call me Mrs. HisLastName are telemarketers and a few of dh's elderly relatives who can't fathom the idea that a woman might not take her spouse's name!  

NYCVeg is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 07-20-2011, 07:32 PM
 
~PurityLake~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, US
Posts: 6,148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by nmouse View Post

Hi everyone. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences about how it is to have a different last name from your child. I will be having a baby this fall, and one of the options under consideration is giving the baby a last name different from mine. Before I decide, I'm trying to assess  what if any logistical problems this could present down the road.

For any of you that are differently surnamed from your kids, can you tell me where, if ever, you run into difficulties with third parties?

Places where I have been imagining trouble include scenarios where someone might demand that I "prove" I'm really his mother:

  • signing child out from school
  • traveling with child, especially internationally
  • extra hoops at the doctor's office / hospital
  • managing health insurance
  • opening/administering joint accounts with child


How common are these difficulties? Also, if you have had issues, what do you usually do to resolve them? Do you have to fax a birth certificate around?

I never changed my surname when I married my husband, and our daughters have his last name. My feelings on that subject aside, I've never in 6 years, had any problems proving I'm their mother, not at the doctor, when applying for insurance, registering them for school, or applying for aid. I never needed to produce their birth certificates, although I do have them if that were necessary.
 

 


Katreena, peace.gif 39 year old Alaskan treehugger.gif Mama to 1 hearts.gif and 1 lady.gif gd.gif
 
 
 
 

~PurityLake~ is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 07-21-2011, 09:11 AM
 
SilverFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

in my current province, it's actually very unusual to change your last name when you get married, and even requires extra steps to legally do so. there are literally thousands of kids running around with different last names than their mothers, and so i've never had even a moment of difficulty with it. the forms are all set up to allow for several different last names within a family. 

 

the only people that ever comment on our different last names is my own family, who appear to be absolutely horrified that i didn't change my last name (seriously! my sister makes a comment about it almost every time i see her) and some extended fam who still send me mail in my husband's name. legally, though, absolutely never a problem. in a situation where proving you are the mother is so important, proving you have the same last name isn't enough anyway ... you could be any relative or even a non-relative who happens to have the same name. 

SilverFish is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off