Last Name of New Baby - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Who's last name should the baby have?
Mine (the name that the baby's mother and sister share) 6 20.69%
His (the baby's father) 16 55.17%
Hyphenate it (despite the two names being complicated to say and spell) 7 24.14%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was married, had a child and am now divorced. My daughter and I share my married name. It is extremely important to me that I share a last name with my children regardless of if it's my married name. I actually feel more ties to my married name than my maiden name.

When I divorced, I obviously decided to keep my married name and my ex husband is fine with this.

When I began dating my fiance, I was upfront with him about how I was not changing my name at any point for two reasons 1) to have the same name of my daughter and 2) I like my married name and see no need to change it again. Call me crazy. He was/is fine with this.

I am currently expecting a son in less than two months and the issue of our son's last name has come up. I just assumed he would have my last name. And my fiance assumed he would have his last name. I understand his rational which is the same as mine (sharing the same name as your child). But it's also important to me that my kids bear the same last name so that they and others know they are brother and sister.

We've thought of hyphenating our unborn son's last name but we both have names that aren't common and ALWAYS require us to spell it out and are often pronounced wrong. I personally think hyphenating would be too confusing for our child.

When I talk about this with close friends and family, I always get the response that it's not my name it's my ex husband's name when in fact it is my name too now. And it's my daughter's name.

I guess I just don't understand why the child always has to have the man's (father's) last name. Again, call me crazy.

But what am I to do? What are your thoughts and suggestions?
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#2 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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That's a tough choice to have to make! I think I would either hyphenate (though that doesn't sound like a choice to you) or give him your husband's last name. My step-daughter and my son have different last names and I can assure you they absolutely feel that they are brother and sister. She also has a different last name than her mom's son, and she doesn't consider him any less of a sibling. I grew up with a different last name than my younger brother and I never even think of him as my half-brother, simply my brother. It is getting really common for kids and parents to have different last names, so I don't think it surprises anyone anymore, and people don't use last names to decide how people are related because everyone does something different.

There's my two cents, anyway.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#3 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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I understand where you're coming from on this; it shouldn't matter where your last name came from, the fact is that it is your name and people need to respect that. I also agree that the baby shouldn't automatically be given the father's last name. What I wonder is, how does your husband feel about sharing a last name with his child? Is it as important to him as it is to you? Is your daughter at a poing where she'd have an opinion? Tough decision, for sure.
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#4 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Christian_mom View Post

I guess I just don't understand why the child always has to have the man's (father's) last name. Again, call me crazy.
If you don't understand why the child always has to have the man's last name, why is it so important to you that your son have the same last name as your dd?

Is this your fiances first child? Do you see how it might be important that his child has the same name as his? Is it important (or do you like the fact) that your dd and you share the same name?

Would your fiance feel like the odd man out being the only person without the same name? It might be nice to have 2 of you with one name, and 2 of you with another, then nobody is left out.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#5 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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I would go with the fiance's name. I would understand your fiance not wanting his child with you to have your ex-husband's lastname.
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#6 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
If you don't understand why the child always has to have the man's last name, why is it so important to you that your son have the same last name as your dd?

Is this your fiances first child? Do you see how it might be important that his child has the same name as his? Is it important (or do you like the fact) that your dd and you share the same name?

Would your fiance feel like the odd man out being the only person without the same name? It might be nice to have 2 of you with one name, and 2 of you with another, then nobody is left out.
Ummm... just a thought here... would you want your new child to have your wife's exhusbnad's name?

I think you should either hyphenate your name or have two with one name and two with another. You're both those children's Mama's so they should both be named after you, but the baby is also your Husband's child, so why not have his name as well. I can understand both sides- whenever I have to call my son's school, I had to explain, "This is Kris S., Gary L.'s Mother." That got old really fast. Is your daughter's Fahter in her life? If not, would hyphenating her last name as well be an option? (If her and her Father didn't mind, of course.) Or maybe the baby having one of the last names as it's middle name and the other for a last name?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#7 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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I think if I was the only one that did not share in the name I would at some level feel shut-out. Even if it never bothered me at a concious level, I think it definitely draw a line around you and kids that I would not feel welcome to cross. I can't help but think that it would become a bone of contention at stressful moments and I would always wonder if your intentions all along were that I my relationships with you and the children was only temporary or transitory.

My 2 cents - hyphenate it, all of you change to a new third name, or see if your fiance would consider changing his name to yours. That way no one is the one that is excluded.
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#8 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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see if your fiance would consider changing his name to yours.
Another good idea.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#9 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Last names aren't what makes a family, IMO.

I changed my last name to DH's, then had 2 kids with him. They still have his last name, I switched to my maiden name when we divorced.

Then I got married again and tookd DH2's last name. Our child has his last name. When we split up I switched back to my maiden name. If we hadn't been married at the time, I probably would have given DS my last name (ie the same last name as my parents.) but I'm not 100% sure I would have done that.

So, now I have one last name, the girls have another last name, and DS has a 3rd last name. I still get called "Mrs. DDlastname" and "Mrs. DSlastname" on occasion- usually from a dr's office or school, and I answer to both, though my last name is neither of those anymore.

I didn't vote because IMO it depends. If you're married to his father, then I think the baby should have his father's last name. It's just how I personally would do it if I were in that situation.

But the fact that you're still not married to him makes me doubt the importance of that. You have the option of leaving DF off the birth certificate altogether (not that I think you should do this!!!!) so why shouldn't you go ahead and give DS your own last name? Is there a particular reason you haven't gotten married yet? If it's some kind of "fear of commitment" reason I'd be even more hesitant to give the baby his last name.

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#10 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is your daughter at a poing where she'd have an opinion?
My daughter wants us to keep our names the way they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
If you don't understand why the child always has to have the man's last name, why is it so important to you that your son have the same last name as your dd?

Is this your fiances first child? Do you see how it might be important that his child has the same name as his? Is it important (or do you like the fact) that your dd and you share the same name?

Would your fiance feel like the odd man out being the only person without the same name? It might be nice to have 2 of you with one name, and 2 of you with another, then nobody is left out.
Yes it's his first child and I do understand how important it is to him or I would just name my child and be done with it since I'm the one with the say ultimately.

I thought about the two with one name, two with the other but I'd much rather have both of my kids with the same name.
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#11 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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Last names aren't what makes a family, IMO.
I don't think they are either. But I do think for a lot of people they can be a sign of their commitment, connection and belonging. And all of that is what makes a family.

If the people involved don't feel that way about names, then it obviously isn't an issue. But then if names were not important to the OP, then we probably wouldn't be discussing this!
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#12 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think if I was the only one that did not share in the name I would at some level feel shut-out. Even if it never bothered me at a concious level, I think it definitely draw a line around you and kids that I would not feel welcome to cross. I can't help but think that it would become a bone of contention at stressful moments and I would always wonder if your intentions all along were that I my relationships with you and the children was only temporary or transitory.

My 2 cents - hyphenate it, all of you change to a new third name, or see if your fiance would consider changing his name to yours. That way no one is the one that is excluded.
I guess the other issue here is that I could take his name and give my son his last name but then my daughter would feel left out.

And he won't change his name to mine, not because of his personal opinion on it, but because his parents would frown upon it.
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#13 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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Hyphenating is beginning to sound like the only answer then. It may be cumbersome for part of his life, but (in my unimportant little opinion!) it is less likely to cause anyone to feel like they don't belong.
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#14 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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If you hyphenated your name to "Mrs. NAME1-NAME2"

then it might not be so much of a problem of having
CHILD NAME1 (so she wouldn't have to change it)
CHILD NAME2 (so he'd share a name with his dad)

After all, you'd all share a name somewhere in there.
And your DH would get his way as well.

Honestly, if I were your DH, I wouldn't want my DS to share a name with your ex-husband either.

It might be a little of pain for your name since you're used to it, but if it's easier on your children, then why not the little extra effort?
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#15 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I feel like my fiance will be an extension of my family.

I'm not sure how to word this is the correct way so that everyone understands... I guess the best way to to explain this is that I was already established when I met him. That is I already have a child, own a home, a car and have otherwise made a name for myself and my daughter around town, if that makes any sense.

I guess it's like he is joining our household and becoming a welcomed extension of my family- one that was there prior to him.

I'm not sure if I said that correctly. But I just feel like my family should have my name.

IMO a name is a very important part of a family. It's one of the few things that identifies that we are connected somehow.
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#16 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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What about hyphenating your last name?
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#17 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:29 PM
 
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What about your maiden name?

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#18 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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IMO a name is a very important part of a family. It's one of the few things that identifies that we are connected somehow.
I thought so, and that's why I posted what I did about it being a sign that the fiance, despite being the father of one of the children, was being kept separate and aloof from what you see as the heart of the family.

Well, personally, I think that is a bad idea if what you are interested in is a committed long term relationship with someone who shares your life. But that isn't what you asked about. So I'll bow out now.

Good luck whichever you decide to do.
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#19 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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I guess I feel like my fiance will be an extension of my family.
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I guess it's like he is joining our household and becoming a welcomed extension of my family- one that was there prior to him.
But you're not just welcoming him into *your* family, you're also creating a family *with* him.

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I'm not sure how to word this is the correct way so that everyone understands... I guess the best way to to explain this is that I was already established when I met him. That is I already have a child, own a home, a car and have otherwise made a name for myself and my daughter around town, if that makes any sense.
There are many women who are well established in a workplace or financially who get married and change their name to no detriment. And if you hyphenated yours, it's not like you'd be completely changing it either.

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IMO a name is a very important part of a family. It's one of the few things that identifies that we are connected somehow.
And your DH probably wants to feel connected as well.

I can understand that name is super important to you. I guess if you're unwilling to budge, you have to decide if where you stand on the name thing is more important than compromising. I don't mean to sound judgmental, honestly, I stand firm on a lot of my beliefs too - but some of them come at a price. You have to be willing to pay them. Some battles are worth it, some are not.

Besides hyphenating your name, I wouldn't know what other option you have.
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#20 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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i had 3 last names birth, step dad & married (we were not together is not their dad) when i had my dd i chose my birth last and then the one at the time i was using the most. i regret not using the one my mother uses. and when i had my ds i wanted them boht to have the same last name so his is the same as my dd as will every child i have in the future. a last name can always easily added on just by hypening it.
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#21 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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If you hyphenated your name to "Mrs. NAME1-NAME2"

then it might not be so much of a problem of having
CHILD NAME1 (so she wouldn't have to change it)
CHILD NAME2 (so he'd share a name with his dad)

After all, you'd all share a name somewhere in there.
And your DH would get his way as well.

Honestly, if I were your DH, I wouldn't want my DS to share a name with your ex-husband either.

It might be a little of pain for your name since you're used to it, but if it's easier on your children, then why not the little extra effort?
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#22 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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But you're not just welcoming him into *your* family, you're also creating a family *with* him.
<snip>
And your DH probably wants to feel connected as well.

I can understand that name is super important to you. I guess if you're unwilling to budge, you have to decide if where you stand on the name thing is more important than compromising. I don't mean to sound judgmental, honestly, I stand firm on a lot of my beliefs too - but some of them come at a price. You have to be willing to pay them. Some battles are worth it, some are not.

Besides hyphenating your name, I wouldn't know what other option you have.
Yup.

I understand the discussion your having on this issue OP. My dd and I have the same
last name, it's my last name, not my ex's. BUT my dd has my last name because he
and I agreed on it.

I understand that you don't want your children having different last names, but leaving
dad's name out completely, when he wants his child to have his last name, I don't see
how that is fair.

Personally (just my opinion) I wouldn't want to start a marriage out ignoring the father's
feelings on this. I think his personal feelings on his child's last name trumps your feelings
that your children have the same last name. So hyphenating names seems to be the only
option.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#23 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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Put yourself in his shoes - and you'll have your answer?..

How would you feel if he shared a last name with his child from a previous marriage, and planned on giving your child together his last name as well, wouldn't you feel hurt and left out?..

New endeavor coming soon...
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#24 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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If it were his name vs. your maiden name - i.e. the names you were both born with - I could see this being a conflict.

But expecting someone to be OK with giving his child your previous partner's family name? Come on, how is that even a question? :
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#25 of 32 Old 12-02-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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But expecting someone to be OK with giving his child your previous partner's family name? Come on, how is that even a question? :
I totally agree. There's no way in you-know-where I would give one of MY children my husband's ex's last name.

It sounds like there is maybe more going on than just a question of what last name to give the baby... I started to talk about this more fully, but I got upset about the whole thing. The baby is as much your fiance's baby as yours... I will leave it at that.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#26 of 32 Old 12-03-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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For my son we just did two last names not hyphenated, we can use or not use and he when he is older can use or not use them as he chooses but since we have different last names, his brother (my stepson) has my husband's last name and I insisted he have my name as well this was how we did it.

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#27 of 32 Old 12-03-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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I guess I feel like my fiance will be an extension of my family.

I'm not sure how to word this is the correct way so that everyone understands... I guess the best way to to explain this is that I was already established when I met him. That is I already have a child, own a home, a car and have otherwise made a name for myself and my daughter around town, if that makes any sense.

I guess it's like he is joining our household and becoming a welcomed extension of my family- one that was there prior to him.

I'm not sure if I said that correctly. But I just feel like my family should have my name.

IMO a name is a very important part of a family. It's one of the few things that identifies that we are connected somehow.
Bolding is mine.

This is the main reason DF and his ex did not work out. They had a very similar situation to yours. She had two daughters. She and DF had a baby. She and daughter #2 (Elizabeth in my siggie) had her ex's last name. My stepdaughter has a hyphenated name DF's and her mom's ex (who died a couple of years ago, strangely enough).

It bothers DF to no end that half his daughter's last name is the name of a dead guy who refused to pay CS amongst other crappy things while he was alive.

The name issue is just a symptom of a bigger problem. DF and DSD's mom did not work out because they did not form a family together. He felt like he was joining hers, and that really was not good enough for him. He felt like an addition. He felt like he had to make himself fit her life. He didn't fit, she wasn't willing to change things to make the family equally his, so they parted ways.

DF and I are picking a new name when we get married, and we will both change our names and DS's (and in theory "his" half of DSD's) to that. To us, having the same name will make us feel like family (not that we don't, but it is a more tangible representation to the outside world), but I didn't feel that I should just up and change my name to his simply because I have a vagina. It also represents the culmination of a couple of years of hard work blending our family. It is just within the last several months that we have started functioning as one family unit instead of two. We want to celebrate that. But what works for our family won't necessarily work for another.

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#28 of 32 Old 12-03-2007, 07:39 AM
 
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This was a sore subject for DP and I as well. I wanted him to take my and DS's name which is my maiden name. DP wanted me to take his name. When DS2 was born we both wanted him to have our respective last names. I felt the same way you did. Everyone knows me by my last name (it is very distinctive) and DS1 had my last name. I truly wanted to change all of our last names to the same thing but DP was very admit about keeping his last name the same. Sigh. We finally agreed to trade. DS2 has his last name. The next child will have my last name we will trade from then on.

Now its equal. 2 people have DP's last name and 2 people have my last name. It was the only way it worked for us.

Good luck!

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
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#29 of 32 Old 12-03-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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I would go with the fiance's name. I would understand your fiance not wanting his child with you to have your ex-husband's lastname.

Me, too. Or change your name and your dd's name to your maiden name, and make the new baby's name your maiden name as well. I don't know how your fiance would feel about his baby having your ex-husbands last name.
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#30 of 32 Old 12-03-2007, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
Me, too. Or change your name and your dd's name to your maiden name, and make the new baby's name your maiden name as well.
In my state, changing a child's name (who btw doesn't want to change her name) is a huge legal ordeal in which a wait is required followed by a court date where the judge would have to find it in the best interest of the child to change names. It would also require my ex husband agreeing to it, which he probably would but I'm not sure since this is an older child we're talking about.

I've talked to my lawyer about this and he feels strongly that the judge won't feel it's in my daughter's best interest not to mention she doesn't want to change her name. This would be applicable to hyphenate her name as well so her name really must stay as it is.

When I divorced I specifically told the court I wanted to keep my name so I would have to get a court order to revert to my maiden name which would also take time and money and really be pointless since my daughter wouldn't have that name either.

~ ~ ~

Thanks everyone for voting and for your replies. While there were one's I didn't want to hear, I did think about each and every post and why it was posted (putting myself in someone else's shoes).

I've decided to leave this decision up to my fiance. I figure he can give our son either a first or last name and I'd choose the other. His choice as to which one.

It's a win-win situation since I really don't like the first name he chose

As for myself and my daughter, we will remain with our name.

Thanks again!
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