Throughout my pregnancy we spent hours talking about first and middle names for our second child. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we discussed both male and female combinations that we liked. Our criteria for first names was the same as before (minus my thoughts about a theme) and I wanted a family name for the middle name (T1′s middle name is my FIL’s first name). About an hour after I gave birth to our baby girl the midwife asked if T2 was going to take my last name or That Husband’s. We both laughed because we had never considered anything other than the American standard, children take husband’s last name. And so on all the paperwork filled out post-birth the midwife used TH’s last name.
When giving birth in a hospital in the US, the birth certification process is streamlined and under normal circumstances it’s all taken care of by the time you are discharged. Having a home birth means that the parents have to go into the local municipal office with a stack of paperwork and apply for a birth certificate. After a few weeks of procrastination we were preparing for our appointment when I thought back on what the midwife had asked and realized “I want her to have my last name.” I have had a different name from my husband for almost 5 years now, and so far it hasn’t caused any problems. I’ve had a different last name than my son for 3 years, and that hasn’t been an issue either (even with multiple trips out of the country and back). But most of the males I know would not even consider such a thing with their own children. Read more →