Me and my husband have been living in the US for 2 years now and we are having a baby. My husband has three unhyphenated last names and two middle names.
Example of what it looks like: William Edward Philip Nassau de Zuylestein
I’ve talked to many Americans and they said wouldn’t recommend using his long surnames for our baby if we plan on raising him/her in the States. It would cause a lot of confusion cause the baby would have problems with high school, college, driver’s license, DMV, plane tickets, taxes and stuff. In other countries like Britain or Mexico, you could definitely have more than one middle names and more than one surnames without trouble. Why does American law limits only one middle and one surname? We don’t want to hyphen the surname for our baby. To us, it is the erasure of our culture and identity. It’s wrong and we’re already rethinking our permanent move here.
Do you know anyone with more than one, non-barreled surnames in the US? Here are some of the examples to help my American friends understand and get used to:
This is what all Americans are accustomed to and the American law restrict them to this:
William Edward Nassau
This is the citizens of other countries in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia are used to. Citizens in this country enjoy the freedom of having more than one surnames, more than one middle name because they can honour their ancestors:
William Edward Somerset Nassau de Zuylestein
William Philip d’Albert Nassau de Zuylestein
Oliver Frederick William Nassau de Zuylestein
Atalanta Marie Louise Beatrice von der Schulenburg
TLDR: We don’t want to “delete” our surname and reduce it to an “Amercanised” non-cultured version when other countries in the world are fine with foreigners keeping their traditions. We don’t to be the freak show what is now called “Vanderbilt” that was supposed to be “Van der Bilt”