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What do you think about kids having hyphenated names?

Forum: Blended Families


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  • 2 Post By Stepmom2Be
  • 1 Post By plan4fate

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March 31st, 2013, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 8
Hi all, you've been such a help to me, would love to get your input on this.

So my son has a hyphenated last name, as his father and I split shortly before he was born and wanted him to share in each of our names. However, as he's gotten older, we've discovered the pain of having such a long hyphenated name! My son still doesn't know how to spell it and it won't fit on any sort of form we have to fill out, for instance.

We've thought about eliminating one last name, and his father has really been pushing for it lately. Of course, he wants it to be his last name that our son takes. Now that we're really talking about it, I'm torn on the issue.

On one hand, my ex is remarried and has another child, and I feel like they would have their family unit with their shared last name and I would be the outcast. I feel like I would be losing a bit of a connection with my son. But on the other hand, I get that having two long, hyphenated names is cumbersome, and it would be nice to have the option of changing my last name if I were to remarry one day.

Even still though, I would change my last name to make myself a "family unit" with my husband, but my son would be no less of that family unit, so that makes me think I should just keep his last name as is and keep mine as well (or hyphenate, if I were to get married)!

I'm so confused and I'm wondering what you all think about hyphenated names, and what you would do in this circumstance?
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March 31st, 2013, 11:22 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,202
In my opinion, the child should have the fathers last name if he is a part of the childs life.

I may be biased, because my stepsons mom refused to allow her son to have my husbands last name unless he married her, which was not an option. So now, his father and I share a last name, and if my stepsons mother every remarries, he will be the only one with her maiden name. Thus leaving him as the outcast.

You shouldnt have to hyphenate your name to accommodate the situation when you get married. I no longer share either of my parents last name, but don't feel as though we are no longer connected.

Also- currently, unless my husband and I have a boy when we have more kids, his son won't be able to carry on his fathers name.

It's really cool that you hyphenated your sons name to begin with. He will know that you love him no matter what his last name is.
Jennifer - Married to Eric 3.10.13 - Full Time Stepmom to OwenPregnant with our first together <3 Due July 12, 2015
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April 1st, 2013, 01:12 AM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 27,101
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What about changing his name altogether? Put your maiden name as his middle (or a second middle) and your ex's name as his last name. This is very common among women in the US I'm told, they actually drop their middle name, and just keep their maiden name and take the husbands name. I wouldn't consider it, because I have family names.. and my poor kids will have long names anyway so it wont really matter.
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April 1st, 2013, 04:02 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
In my eyes its just a name. My daughter and I have different last names and it doesn't phase her at all. I would do what you feel is best for the child.
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April 1st, 2013, 11:19 AM
AtomicMama's Avatar CopperBoom!
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 14,754
How old is your son? Have you asked him if he has a preference? I know there is a cost involved, so if you are unsure, perhaps wait until he is old enough to share his thoughts? He may like the connection to you both as he gets older, or he may want to pick one or the other. Or he may not care at all, in which case, do what is best for you Currently, we are waiting for my DH to adopt DS, so at the moment, DS is the only one in our immediate family with my maiden name. DH, DSD, and I all have DH's last name. That said, I do think if DH wasn't adopting him that I would have hyphenated my last name, or if we weren't planning on changing DS's last name soon, I may have held off on changing mine until we knew our plans better.

Definitely give yourself enough time to really think about it and know what you want before you make a legal change. His schools/doctors offices may even let you fill out paperwork using only one name, so you might be able to make a practical switch without making a legal switch as a test of sorts.
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April 15th, 2013, 06:35 AM
mamarazzi40's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 423
My son has my exhusband's, his dad's last name. His middle name is my maiden name. When my ex and I divorced I kept the married name to stay the same as my son. He was 2 1/2.

In 2010, I remarried and we have a daughter together. She has a first and middle name and her second middle name is my maiden name and then my husband's (and my new) last name. I wanted both of my kids to have a common {meaning connected/same} name, hence both having my maiden name in their names. We're expecting another girl this October and she will also have 4 names with her second middle name being my maiden name also.

My SD has my husband's last name.

Maybe just make your part of his name a second middle name and remove the hyphen?

Last edited by mamarazzi40; April 16th, 2013 at 09:15 AM.
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April 15th, 2013, 09:25 PM
HippieLove's Avatar Modern Day Brady Bunch
Join Date: Mar 2007
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It's a personal choice and I understand how you feel. I'm kind of traditional, so my kids do have their fathers last name even though we weren't married. I regret it because he doesn't deserve it... but they can change it when they get older if they want. In your instance, its already hyphenated I'd just leave it now. He can drop one as he gets older if he wants.

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April 16th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,684
My stepson is 7 and his mother wouldn't let my husband hyphenate their son's name. She's remarried and had children with her husband. He feels like he doesn't belong anywhere.
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