Combining last names for baby

My spouse and I have different last names, and we can’t decide what to do for future children’s last name. Hyphenating seems like it would be a major pain for them. I was thinking of maybe coming up with a new name using both our names. Eg. [name]Martin[/name] + [name]Bentley[/name] = [name]Marley[/name] or Bentin. Is this weird?

It certainly isn’t common, but it’s not completely unheard of. I know several people who have combined last names of their respective parents. If you live in a place where it’s much more common that parents and kids have the same last name, you may find yourself explaining the last name often, but that’s hardly a reason not do combine the names if that’s what you want. It’s perfectly reasonable that you and your spouse would want your kids’ last name to reflect your own individual names.

Plus, it gives you more name options for the kids - if you don’t like how a first name sounds with one last name, try it with the other! :wink:

Lineage and family history are very important to me, so this isn’t something I would consider (inventing a new last name). I also strongly dislike hyphenated names, so in your shoes I would give one of the last names as a middle name and the other as the true last name (in your example above, it would work perfectly). [name]John[/name] [name]Andrew[/name] [name]Martin[/name] [name]Bentley[/name] or [name]Anna[/name] [name]Rose[/name] [name]Bentley[/name] [name]Martin[/name] etc. Or you could get rid of the second name if it feels like a mouthful (so [name]John[/name] [name]Martin[/name] [name]Bentley[/name] or [name]Anna[/name] [name]Bentley[/name] [name]Martin[/name]). I also have a different last name than my spouse, but the children have his last name only. It was more important to him than it was to me.

Good luck.

[name]Just[/name] give the baby his father’s last name.
I’m assuming you have your father’s, and you want to keep it rather than take on your husbands, which is fine.

But if you’re keeping your father’s last name, why can’t/shouldn’t your baby keep theirs?

I personally don’t understand the difference in situation, or why it’s a puzzle to some.

A new name is really weird to me, but in my country that wouldn’t even be possible. I strongly dislike the idea, to me a lastname is heiratage, it has a story somehow. Since your family names are both short and easy I think hyphenating would be fine. At least it is way better than the new name idea.

I hate last names. Hate them. I think they peg us into holes and I feel like having a last name makes me “owned” by the family. So I completely support the combination name! I think it’s cute with the right names, and they’ll be unique to their ln instead of owned by it’ My kids will have unique names not at all tied to me. They might have to explain their names every once in awhile, but it shouldn’t be too hard and they’d have to do it even if you kept one of yours alone.

I especially resent everyone saying it should go to the father’s. Why? The father’s name is no more a part of them than their mother’s and the only reason it is that way commonly is because way back when men literally owned their wives and their children. I think it’s horrible to go along with it just because it’s the way it’s always been.

…Sorry for that. It just makes me angry, you know?

This is something I have been debating about too. I can’t decide whether or not to take my fiance’ last name or to keep mine. I honestly don’t like mine though, but I feel if I take his last name, that means I am part of his family, which most people take it to mean, but I don’t. I suggested for us to pick a new last name or to try combining, but our last names don’t work as well as yours for combinations… and my fiance’ refuses to change his name even though it is super common. So I basically sighed in defeat and am planning on taking his last name. So our kids will have the same last name as us.

I guess the last name does tie the family together. If you all share the last name, you equal a family. But I hate the fact that when you marry you have to take the father’s last name? And why are people so clingy to their stupid last name, like my fiance’ where they can’t give it up for a new one when they start a new family? I I hate tradition.

Also, why must the child take the father’s last name? Why can’t the child take the mothers? Another sign of sexism in this world.

That’s an interesting idea. I would just be worried that one name would be more important because it would be the actual last name, and middle names don’t come up much.

I have heard this before, but I don’t understand how a name would make a family. My [name]MIL[/name] has a different last name than the rest of the family, but she is obviously still their mother. My [name]SIL[/name] also just got married and has a new name, but she is still their sister. My grandmother never had the same last name as me, but she was still my grandmother.

My family changed our surname when I was a child, so I have some experience with this!

My father is Lithuanian and my mother is Irish. My mother HATED my father’s last name. No one could spell it, no one could pronounce it. So, after my father’s mother died, we legally changed our name the summer before I started middle school. But all of us did it, parents and children. Today I don’t think it’s as weird for parents and children to have different names, so I don’t think it would be a problem if you and your husband kept your respective names.

Later, after my mother died, my sister and I went to visit her grave, and while there, she commented that she loved how my parents names were listed on it, because it showed our new family name, and both of my parents former names. She thought it was very modern and that symbolically we had created a new family together.

For those who cite family history as a reason not to do this… Family [name]History[/name] is extremely important to me. I do genealogy on a weekly basis and have researched my family line back to my 3rd great grandparents, and you know what, most of my ancestors don’t bear my father’s surname either! I’m descended from [name]Blake[/name], Moran, [name]Gallagher[/name], Hefferon, O’[name]Hara[/name], Ferry, Shovlin, Conahan, Shupshinskas, Venauskas, Bendarauskas, Jusinskas and Solute. There are so many family names that get lost over time because of the paternal name rule. By incorporating both your names into one, you’re actually continuing both names forward in a new way. I love that idea. My new name has no relation to any names in my family history, but it connects me to my immediate family and has more meaning because of how we came to our name. Not many people can explain how they got their last name, it’s just the name fate gave them. If you create a new name, you’ll be giving new meaning to your family history, not taking away from it, IMHO. My 3rd great grandmother [name]Blake[/name] is not any less my ancestor because I don’t bear her surname.

I’ve never heard of anyone combining their names to make a new last name. I didn’t even know that was legal. I personally think it would be extremely confusing for the child, and the school system, if a kid’s name didn’t match either of their parents.
Now, I know it sounds a little sexist, but sadly, that’s society. I would just give them the father’s last name, because it’s traditional. (Or hyphenate, which would be my first choice in the situation, but it sounds like you’re not keen on that.) [name]Even[/name] if it’s not true, a child bearing the mother’s last name, not the father’s, gives the idea that the child was born before the parents were married. It doesn’t matter if it’s true, it’s what people will think. Stereotypes suck, but we can’t really avoid them. However, mothers keeping their maiden names isn’t unheard of, so a child who’s last name matches their father and not their mother won’t really be questioned much about it, at least not by adults. Their fellow children will wonder, sure, but it’s easily explained. I personally like to choose the paths that will cause the least trouble for the child, so that’s why I think that.

I’ve heard of couples doing this, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. In fact, I kind of like it. As your child is created from both of you, his/her last name could be too. For the record, I don’t see anything wrong or especially burdensome with a hyphenated surname, either. Close to a quarter of the kids in my son’s class have them.

I really don’t get the idea that having the same surname=family or that it’s foolish for women to be possessive of their surnames just because they were passed down by their fathers. [name]Both[/name] ideas seem antiquated to me.

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I actually really like the idea of coming up with a new name for the whole family, but my spouse and I are both established professionally with our names.

I would just give the child the fathers last name, it seems like the only option to me, but to each his own. Good luck!

I love the idea, actually! I knew a family where the mother kept her maiden name but they wanted their daughter to have parts of both, so they took the beginning of one surname and the end of the other, and came up with a new surname for their daughter ([name]Lockwood[/name], I think). It’s an interesting and fun idea, and it can work for both families. I have heard a few horror stories of families who don’t all share the last name (when they’re married and all living together and everything), so I would probably just take my husband’s name and give the same surname to my children, but I’m one of those people who is excited to take on her husband’s name (well, it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s one of the things about getting married I’m looking forward to).

As a school teacher, I see lots of variations on family names. [name]One[/name] that I like is when the daughter in he family has mum’s last names and sons have dad’s.

I’ve never heard of that one. It’s definitely interesting.

Does anyone know what the actual issues are with having a different last name than their kid? I figure as long as I keep a copy of the birth certificate in my purse, I should be okay, but I may be wrong about that.

Hmm. Well I’d normally suggested just making them have a double-barreled surname, but since you said that wasn’t the route you wanted to go, I’d say it makes more sense to give them their father’s name than to make a whole new name that you and your husband wouldn’t have. Unless, you’d continue to go by your current surnames professionally but use the combination name personally? Although I think that would create a lot of confusion, I know a few people who do it that way and manage.

My sister has said if she ever married her long-term boyfriend she would want them to combine names, but that combo sounds stupid.
I am married and our son has my last name. It was very important to me to pass on my name, and not so important to him. No one has ever questioned if we are married or if he is the real father, but we live in a liberal area.
I suggest you look at whether one name or the other will not get passed on in this generation without you passing it on. My surname is uncommon and my father was an only child and my siblings will not be reproducing (my only brother is autistic/retarded).
As yet another alternative option, I would suggest you consider seeing if any of your grandparents names did not get passed on, and consider using that as a name for your children (I know a couple who did that, and it sounded very nice to “save” that name).
Good luck making your decision.