Opinions on Last Names?

See the results of this poll: Kid’s last name(s)?

Respondents: 18 (This poll is closed)

  • His last name: 5 (28%)
  • Your last name: 2 (11%)
  • Both last names - double barrelled: 1 (6%)
  • Both last names - one as a middle: 6 (33%)
  • We have the same last name: 2 (11%)
  • Alternate names with children: 1 (6%)
  • Other: 1 (6%)

I think my brother’s kids have his last name, and his wife kept her name. I’ve never really asked and we’re not really close (like - I should know this already and it’s too late to ask), but her address labels tell me she either kept her last name, or bought way too many address labels. On a guess, the former makes more sense. I don’t know if that’s what you should do, as I’ve asked myself what I would do. I used to think I’d get married young and change my name easily (it seems uglier than most other people’s names - so sheer vanity). I’m older now, and have some disagreement with the patriarchal/patronymic system, but it’s a system and it works, and I’m also very attached to my last name now, so I still don’t know, since it hasn’t been something I had to confront yet.

I think name assignment should not be taken lightly here, as records may be kept well, but throw people off the trail in a few generations when your children have a different name (some couples make up a new name and they both change their name), or different names than each other.

I hate to make the assumption, but I think some people do, that children with the mother’s name are from a pre-marital relationship and are not your husband’s biological children, nor has he offered to adopt them. I really hate that I think this, but I think the system generally works this way when there is no father in the picture and the mother names them or changes them legally from another father’s name.

The children may in fact take any name you want on their birth certificate. If you and your husband feel changing your own names to a third option is too difficult, you can legally call your children that third option from the get-go, but I think that’s not a graceful option, and I hate that the patronymic system is too easy to give into, it’s established and custom is to follow it, not question it, or defy it. But with your last name, they will still be tied to one parent in the lineage and their records should report your husband as the other, so no mystery there. Perhaps your descendants will think there was something funny there, or maybe it will be more common practice.

I would probably put your middle name in as a second middle name for some alternate to sheer compromise, a big compromise on your part. [name]Both[/name] your names are there, and I think no matter how clumsy the names sound together, it is less clumsy than alternating last names, and hopefully an acknowledgment to your forward thinking ways than just letting them all have his last name and not yours at all. Maybe in a few generations, it will be more reasonably resolved, but we have to start with something.

My mom kept her name, and all of us kids have my dad’s last name. I’d personally do that for simplicity’s sake, though I understand your feminist dilemma.

I would definitely advise against your thought of giving the first child your last name, the second his last name, and so on. That is confusing for you, for schools, and for family records, and I wouldn’t want to have to explain that to inquisitive parents, personally.

You could do the mom’s maiden name as middle name thing, something I’m not personally in love with, but it is a viable option. If hyphenated names bother you and your particular one sounds like a mouthful, then I wouldn’t do that.

So, in conclusion, I’d give the kids your husband’s last name, and pick middle names for them that you really love. If it is important to you, you could give the kids middle names to honor your heritage instead of your own last name. I haven’t decided if I’ll take my husband’s last name, but this is my plan should I decide not to…

Best of luck to you!

I remembered something from my Spanish language classes. I found this article on naming practices in Spain interesting to read:

I hope if we have anyone who is Spanish or knows more about this, they will post. It just has a lot to think about, none of which may be practical or regarded as relevant in the US.

Spanish children are given 2 last names, one from the father and one from the mother. The father and mother each have two names from their parents, and the wives don’t change their names when they marry. It is still somewhat patrilineal. The traditional order of the two surnames is father’s first surname, then the mother’s first surname. In the US, that would seem like the mother’s last name is the “real” last name just by looking at it. Anyhow, the mother’s first surname is her father’s first surname, so it is still patriarchal system-wise. An equality law allows the reverse order option, and all children in a family must be consistent in the order.

It even goes so far as if you become a Spanish citizen, you have to adopt this practice. If you have one surname, it is either duplicated, or you can choose to add your mother’s surname so you always have two surnames if you are Spanish.

I really think this sounds like a fair system - there is documentation of either parent even though the children and each parent differs in their surname; all the parts are there. But otherwise, it is probably hard to switch our customs and some of the names can still get very long, even limited to two (some last names in Spanish are several words long).

Hyphenating seems more like a fad that didn’t work out and isn’t as popular now. One of the arguments against hyphenating posed the question what happens when [name]Ryan[/name] Bukowski-[name]Jenkins[/name] and [name]Amanda[/name] [name]Williams[/name]-[name]Berger[/name] marry, and what ridiculous length will their children’s names have to be? The Spanish naming system seems to answer their children will not share their full quad-hyphenated name, [name]Amanda[/name] will keep her name, and the children will be [name]McKayla[/name] [name]Jenkins[/name]-[name]Berger[/name], or [name]Zayden[/name] [name]Berger[/name]-[name]Jenkins[/name] if they choose (but consistent among their children). In the US, the mother’s name usually goes in order first so the last last name is the really real patrilineal last name (like it matters, but we are awfully concerned about it). If the opposite is true in Spain, and they allow for reverse order as long as you have two surnames, it’s really not important… in Spain.

In the US, suppressing your name in the middle where nobody will hear it anyway, while the real last name, the father’s name, is what they go by, still concedes, but is fairly popular practice in some lines. In Spain, rather than hiding this name in the middle, they place it on the end, so a short way of addressing someone omits the mother’s name as well by cutting it off (except when they are reversed). It’s an appealing system, but it still has a lot of the same issues.

In either case, it gives me the idea you can put your husband’s as a middle and your last name last - in Spanish, anyway, the first surname is the predominant, patrilineal one, while Spanish visitors or immigrants tend to have to choose one in the US, the last last name is what we recognize, but the first one would be more correct to retain the patrilineage, as most cultures do. Also, trivially, according to the article, Spanish do not have middle names, they either have one first name or two, and two surnames.

The US seems so backwards after reading about Spain - the mother’s name is always there alongside the father’s, as a law, not a naming option. Other countries I’m aware of, like Norway, are confusing to me, but if I studied them might make more sense, records-wise.

I had a similar dilemma when I found out I was pregnant. I have always loved my last name (I took my mothers surname when I was young, moving my fathers to a second middle), and always knew that I would never change it if I were to marry. I am also one of three girls, and, being the first to have children, wanted to make sure that the name would be passed on.
My son’s father is an only child, and had the same concern for passing on his name. We compromised, hyphenating [name]Kaleb[/name]'s name, with my last name first, DH’s second.
Lately, though, I’ve been getting more worried about what happens if he marries and his partner wants to take his name. Would she hyphenate as well? What do they then give their children as a surname?
We’ve been discussing changing my last name to a second middle, and, if we have another, will probably go that route. While I don’t love that my last name won’t be as prominent, it seems to make more sense as I think about him going through his life.

I kind of don’t like the Spanish way for a number of probably silly reasons.
Like if you’re English or American for example and have one last name but you become a Spanish citizen and they insist you have to have two last names even though really, what trouble will it cause if you have one last name? It’s seems a stupid restriction put on people for no reason.

And I don’t really like my last name all that much so I’ll be happy to change it to something else when I get married but by Spanish law I’d be stuck with my name regardless of whether I’m more comfortable with the naming practices I grew up with. It’s be especially hard if you were stuck with a name that was barely pronouncable in Spanish.

Also, I kind of like the idea that when you marry someone your name changes to show how you’re part of the same family now in a more permanent, symbolic way than a ring that can just be taken off. And in Spain your kids would have half your last name and half your husbands so there’s be three different full last names in the house, seperating the kids from their parents and each parent from each other.

Also if they only commonly go by the first part of their last name the woman gets pushed out in a way. If the wife was [name]Sanchez[/name] Gonzalez, the husband [name]Jimenez[/name] [name]Delgado[/name] and the kids [name]Jimenez[/name] [name]Sanchez[/name] then the kids and husband would go by [name]Jimenez[/name] and the wife by [name]Sanchez[/name]. I feel like you should have something symbolically to tie you all together rather than three different last name sets in one house.

And on a name lover note, you couldn’t give your kid two middle names really because [name]Pedro[/name] [name]Rodrigo[/name] [name]Jorge[/name] [name]Jimenez[/name] [name]Sanchez[/name] would be a ridiculous mouthful.

I voted for “Other” because you didn’t have a category for “Anagram.” :wink:

I think that couples marrying today should take the first few letters from each of their surnames, and combine them in an anagram to create a new surname that they and their offspring can proudly share.

For example, say a son of the Satran family were to marry a daughter of the Rosenkrantz family. They could take the first 4 letters of each surname (Satr + [name]Rose[/name]), combine them, and anagram the new surname of:


Actor [name]John[/name] Krasinski (The Office) recently announced his engagement to [name]Emily[/name] Blunt. I would take the first 5 letters of each of their surnames (Krasi + Blunt) and out of that I would anagram this new surname for them:


Actress [name]Jenna[/name] [name]Fischer[/name] (The Office) is engaged to [name]Lee[/name] [name]Kirk[/name]. Taking the first 4 letters of each of their surnames (Fisc + [name]Kirk[/name]), I get:



– [name]Nephele[/name]

Thanks for all the thoughtful answers. It’s given me a lot to think about, and I’m also glad that a lot of other women are thinking about this too and not just blindly going along with the patriarchal society we have in the west.

I have thought about combining our names, but it becomes simply ridiculous! [name]Just[/name] too ridiculous, I think. I do kind of like this idea though, [name]Nephele[/name]. But whenever I see it in practise, I can’t help but think it’s a little silly. The Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman did it, combined her husband’s last name Bruegger and her’s Gosman, into this mouthfull of a name…

Anyway, another problem I have with putting my last name as a middle, and then the husband’s as the last, is exactly what some of you said… the child will really only have the husband’s which really defeats the purpose, I think.

Also, what happens if you and your husband/significant other split up? The children are more than likely going to remain with the mother, not the father, and the children all have the father’s last name. Not really fair either.

However, I’m also not too found of my last name (my father’s) and would much prefer to switch it to my mother’s (which is right now a middle). I am really contemplating switching them around like kalebsmom did. I wonder if I could convince the husband to let me give the (future) kids his last name as a middle, and my (mother’s) last name. I need something to placate my indignation at the patriarchal system!

Also I really disagree with this

This is just the patriarchal system talking. I don’t mean to be rude or start a fight, but the idea and feeling of a family does not come from sharing a last name, nor in fact does it come from wearing a ring. I’m not going to go on, but I just want to say that a family can be a family regardless of last names, or marriage-status, or whatever.

Yep, that Brueggergosman certainly is a mouthful! Hah! That’s why I think just taking the first few letters from each surname and inventing a new surname out of that, through anagram, might result in something that’s easier to live with.

Although, the examples I gave earlier (Kristalbun and Frisckki) were deliberately a bit silly, too. :slight_smile:

Are you having this dilemma, Liz22? I could try to see what sort of combinations I could get out of your surname and your fiance’s surname, if you like. But I wouldn’t want you to post your names on a public board. If you wanted to send them to me privately, I could try my hand at anagramming something for you.

– [name]Nephele[/name]

I kind of don’t like the Spanish way for a number of probably silly reasons.
Like if you’re English or American for example and have one last name but you become a Spanish citizen and they insist you have to have two last names even though really, what trouble will it cause if you have one last name? It’s seems a stupid restriction put on people for no reason.

And I don’t really like my last name all that much so I’ll be happy to change it to something else when I get married but by Spanish law I’d be stuck with my name regardless of whether I’m more comfortable with the naming practices I grew up with. It’s be especially hard if you were stuck with a name that was barely pronouncable in Spanish.[/quote]

Yes, you are applying this system as if you are going to be living in Spain, where it is the practice. You are used to your traditions, and essentially choosing to reject your mother’s last name as part of your own name, combined with a desire to change your name to something else. Think about it - a man never gets that “option” or very seldom seems to take it. He is raised to keep his name and be proud of it even if he doesn’t like it, and applies it to his wife and children easily.

But you don’t have to live in Spain with a name that’s hard to pronounce in Spanish. In [name]America[/name], you would have your American names, which can be from all over the world and combined.

If we adopted a similar system, it would have to be agreed upon, as the current custom of taking the husband’s name is currently agreed upon massively, which doesn’t seem likely in the near future unless some people actively participate in a change. [name]Just[/name] because you are used to something doesn’t make it right for everyone. Awkward solutions are awkward because they’re not culturally accessible or common, so many women, who don’t really want to, give up their last names for simplicity (or vanity), or allow their children to have their husband’s last name, at least, for the sake of simplicity, that patriarchal lineage custom, and to advertise their children’s paternity to busybodies.

You don’t like your name and willing to change it - what if your husband’s name is uglier, why do you think it’s more important than yours? From a name-nerd perspective, which you brought up, that’s like letting your Aunt [name]Mildred[/name] pressure you into naming your daughter after her instead of something you like, that conveys the qualities and values and confidence and choice you want to pass on to her. But to Aunt [name]Mildred[/name], it’s a tradition, and traditions are very important to some people. I’m not saying tradition shouldn’t be important to you either, but maybe you’d be relieved to follow tradition if her name was [name]Julia[/name] instead of [name]Mildred[/name]?

You should think, would your answer stay the same, no matter what, or consider why people disregard traditions because they are artificial constraints that put the woman and the children she bears in a role as property of the man, even just in name. Her whole family is gone from her, and still belongs to her brothers and his sons, she’s the wife of the man and his family now. Family unity in the form of a name is our custom; in Spain, they follow another custom and to them, that’s the only way that makes sense, is traditional to them, but foreign to you.

I think hyphenation ought to be revisited. It seems to be the only way in English that a person can have 2 last names, if they are as if one name, and if two hyphenated people meet, the obvious way to resolve this is the Spanish way.

Anyway, you don’t have to change your traditional preferences, but understand what problems some people might have with them. The tradition as it stands now is awkward to people whose values don’t fit in with it, just like your values don’t fit in with Spanish law.

^I think Spain’s naming traditions are all fine and well if you’ve been raised in it but I think my main problem with it is that if you then become a Spanish citizen from outside you HAVE to abide by their naming practices. You can’t just keep one last name and take your husbands name when you marry if you want to. It bothers me that there is no choice in the matter and I always want a choice.

If I were to marry someone who had an awful last name then maybe I wouldn’t take it to make life easier and I would be quite happy if the man said “I hate my last name so lets not burden the kids with it” or “Can I change my last name to yours instead when we marry?” then I’d be cool with it. It’s his name so it’s his choice. I just want to be given the choice rather than be told “You have to take his name” or “You have to keep your own.”

And this feminism thing of keeping your own last name is a little skewed to me. I mean if your husband is seen as owning you if you take his last name then by keeping your own it’s like symbolising that hedoens’t own you but your father does sicne you’re using his last name, or your grandfather if you take your mother’s maiden name. All last names end up going down the male side so really the only way for it to realyl be feminist and be your name would be to change it by deedpoll to a name you chose yourself and then passed that down.

Good about choice - I agree. However, while we do have choice in the US (I don’t know if you are in the US, but assume the customs are similar and popular if you aren’t), it’s unpopular to do something different. It is true, my last name is my father’s last name. I could change to my maternal great-grandmother’s maiden name, but that was her father’s name - I don’t even know his first name. [name]Do[/name] you get it? The reason it’s always a man’s name is because women don’t get to have names.

Hyphenating at once seems empowering and kind of nonsense - at least in Spanish, the wife keeps her parents names, i.e. one from each grandfather. The children have two patrilineal names essentially, so siblings are known by their generation and not their household family name, and because it is tradition and law, nobody gets confused by it. In the US, hyphenated names are usually shared by spouses, or just the wife feels it’s important, and the children, that is my name, [name]Karen[/name] Father-Husband, for example. [name]Karen[/name] Father-Mother as a system, like in Spain, retains a personal lineage that does not change when you marry; all the children of their own generation, a combination of the father and the mother - I think that’s the best I could think of, if it were massively adopted and easily incorporated into American records. The problem is, it doesn’t.

But hyphenization was clumsy when people tried it and they still do occasionally because it is a step forward in a place where they want to take a step forward; they do not feel comfortable conceding completely to the husband’s name, nor do they want to avoid taking it, and I think husbands are more apt to comply because they get to keep their own name and everyone has the same name, we’re all happy. It is not popular because it has issues with being awkward and not quite what people had in mind for a liberated system, but at least people acknowledge the effort to chip away at the constraints of the customary practice. It’s not that drastic and shocking a step to take. Because it doesn’t easily fit into the customary patrilineage, people get stuck at the problem when two hyphenated people meet and want to get married. It doesn’t resolve in the US like it does in Spain, because people have gotten used to that being their ONE last name, so liberated hyphenates have to hyphenate the whole thing or discard it as a system that doesn’t work, and just settle back into patriarchal simplicity. It seems quite obvious to me for two liberated hyphenates to change their ONE name to a hyphenated new name, taking one of each, but which one and why. Maybe they just swap one and keep the other one.

But as for choice - it’s good we have a choice, or nobody would be allowed to settle on a decision that feels right to their modern values, or feel bold enough to have this conversation with their future spouse - about how they feel about their name and if the man is open to changing his name instead, or defy the custom any way they choose.

What’s bad about choice is that it still tends to be more confusing than an established system, to everyone, to people sending correspondence to your family unit, like a holiday card or an invitation, to schools and doctor’s offices, to genealogists… etc. Well, genealogists might be up for it, because most people come from somewhere else where the system may already be different, but established at least systematically by country. The rest of us in genealogy mode find out and have to deal with it. Everyone naming themselves at will really upsets a lot of other areas where they have to use their name, and to me that’s a good and bad thing. What’s good is the system just simplifies things, but what’s bad is that women who really don’t want to and shouldn’t have to, struggle over what’s best and eventually give in. Some women are glad to, I’m not talking about them. Some women adjust to an awkward alternative for the sake of just a little more progress than we had before. It’s a good thing to upset the system ultimately, so alternate practices become recognized and adjusted to, just impractical for people who do.

At least nobody is forcing you to move to Spain and do it their way, but I don’t agree with the system we have now, except that it is established and definitely just easier to give into for simplicity. I would not take a radical approach and invent a 3rd option, although some people already change their names because they want to (without getting married), or because they are in show business, and some people have changed their name when they immigrate or have a name transliterated or shortened or both, so it might be the ultimate most fair thing.

I feel to do so is really to cut off the lineage - the reason this is an issue is that some people take their literal name very seriously, they come from a long line of whatever. Of course, they are men or remembering a name that came from a long line of men. I actually feel uncomfortable breaking that tie myself, one reason I’m inclined to keep my maiden name - it is my name, and I know how I got it, but it’s my name. Because of this discussion, I also feel like adding my mother’s name legally.

The fact is, at least records are kept and filed in recent history, so no amount of name-changing should absolutely obliterate any information anyone needs to know if they are looking for it. Whatever is right for you is not compromised by someone looking for an alternative that is the least awkward and satisfies their personal values.

Mother’s maiden name in the middle is the most “acceptable” and an old tradition to keep that lineage intact. I think hyphenation is the next best, as it is accepted as a single last name in databases, and widely used enough that people aren’t utterly confused. Alternating last names is the weirdest, weirder than making a new last name. A new last name is both fair and works simply, but I don’t think that’s a simple choice to make. I don’t think passing the mother’s name instead of the father’s is a fair resolution; it’s turning the tables, but I don’t like that solution.

Good luck!

Here’s something else to consider in regard to choice of surname for one’s children (although I presume this doesn’t apply to you, Liz22)…

With the lifting of adoption restrictions on gay couples, and with more individual states in the U.S. legalizing marriage for gay couples (by [name]January[/name] of next year we will have 7 states in the U.S. in which marriage between gay couples is either permitted or officially recognized – besides other nations which have already legalized gay marriage), it will be interesting to see how gay couples decide upon a surname that will encompass not only themselves, but also their children.

– [name]Nephele[/name]

I lived in Spain for a while. The people there also remarked on how confusing it would be to change your name to your husband’s. It just goes to show that unfamiliar customs sound strange.

Also, though fading now, most children are/were named after the parents. For example I stayed with parents [name]Antonio[/name] and [name]Esperanza[/name] and daughters [name]Antonia[/name] and [name]Esperanza[/name]. I think that they feel plenty of family connection.

Also I can give you an opinion as someone who has my mother’s last name as my middle name. I would say use some name that has a strong family connection as a middle name, whether it is your last name or the name of a grandmother/aunt, etc… I like having my mother’s last name as my middle as it connects to my family. I do not, however, like that I have a unisex first name, then two last names. If you do use a last name as a middle, make sure to have a traditionally feminine first name.

Some people commented that since you don’t use middle names often then you should just use what you think sounds good/like the best. I think this is a reason to give a name that has meaning. The name won’t be used often, but the child will always know it’s there.

Anyways, hope that helps.

I pretty much agree with this whole synopsis. However, giving the child the mother’s last name may be simply turning the tables but maybe it is time we did this. There’s no reason why we can’t go from a patrilineal system to a matrilineal after all these years, the mothers deserve recognition for parenting.

Like [name]Devon[/name], I’ve always enjoyed having my mother’s last name as a middle but right now I feel like that isn’t enough for me. Oh and I plan on using a feminine name for girls, [name]Devon[/name] :slight_smile:

I guess this is all hypothetical talk anyway. Maybe I’ll come back to this thread in a few years once I’ve had a child, and see what I think then, or what I actually name said future child. Right now though I feel like it should be husbandsname (poss as middle) mylastname. I talked to him and he definitely didn’t rule it out, so that’s progress!

Ultimately, people need to do what they want, it’s everyone’s choice.

Oh and on the subject of alternating, it’s kind of weird, but I know a family that did it hislastname herlastname, then herlastname hislastname etc. So the kids had both names technically, but I guess one is considered THE last name over the other. Not a solution for me but it makes me happy that people are thinking about the problem and not blindly following tradition.

But you have to start somewhere, and by passing down your last name right now (although it may be your father’s now will be yours when you pass it on) and your children passing it on to their children, etc. you are changing the system. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction, I think.


But you have to start somewhere, and by passing down your last name right now (although it may be your father’s now will be yours when you pass it on) and your children passing it on to their children, etc. you are changing the system. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction, I think.[/quote]

I see what you mean, but by that logic then surely your husband’s name (if you take it) becomes your name as much as your father’s surname is when you’re not married. At least you took your husband’s name by choice and made it your name whereas you were just born with your father’s last name. I don’t really feel like my last name is my name the way my first is. It wasn’t really chosen for me it was just something I would have regardless.

Choosing to take your husband’s name instead can be an illusion of choice - you are “choosing” to go with established routine behavior rather than choosing to stay with the name established for you at birth. To me, my last name is like my first name. Sure, people change their first names and last names, but not as a cultural requirement when they get married. Choosing to keep your own name is still a choice. A man grows up never thinking about it, so maybe he’s the one without the choice - but it’s his name by cultural default because he’s a man.

This is really only an issue as the OP has wondered what to do when they have children. In our culture we have one last name, which generally defaults to the father for paternity, or to the mother when no paternity is established (as in the case of single women who are fertilized or adopt as a choice to become a single parent), or the paternity is disregarded (as in a non-committed relationship resulting in pregnancy, for example, in which the mother has custody). None of this is put into law, but this is the standard most people follow, so if to deviate from it, i.e. give the children mom’s name, people make assumptions and talk. If people know the woman primarily, they may address her husband as Mr. her last name also, because it deviates from the standard way we’ve done it for centuries.

I agree with liz22, it’s good that people are stretching their own minds to come up with agreeable solutions, and getting other people to question how we agreed upon the established system, or at least accepting other solutions. It’s an awkward stage, but someone has to stick their neck out if alternate methods are to be expected and accepted - if this works out, one day it may not be such a matter of choice either. You can still take your husband’s name, but how people accommodate the alternate to that will probably also become standardized and everyone will learn what to make of it. Like nephele says, this may come from the example in gay marriage and adoption. My gay friend who is married is a hyphenate and their adopted son is also hyphenate. I think hyphenation is semi-established as the equality option, but people still get scared off by what should happen when their children get married and default to the man’s name for simplicity and paternity - gay couples don’t easily have that option, so maybe hyphenation will make a comeback, and the difficulties of hyphenate children marrying each other will be addressed and resolved in a way that doesn’t suck. I really don’t see what’s wrong with having two last names, it’s just that we’re only set up for one.

My mom kept her last name when she married my dad, and I have his last name.

However, I do not get along with my father and have not spoken or heard from him in 3 years. I never really associated myself with his last name, and never understood when I was little why my last name was his and not my mom’s.

The day I turn 18, I plan to change it to my mom’s. I’ve wanted to change it since I was about 4, but both parents have to sign off. My father would never agree to it. So, I must wait.

My sister, on the other hand, will keep our last name.

My mom has always said she wishes she gave one of us her last name and the other my father’s.

I think it varies from person to person. But, if passing on your last name is important - give it to your child. (I plan on giving my children my last name.) If it’s extremely important to your husband to give your children his last name, then do it. The kid can always change it when they’re older if they really want to.