to stand by Ds wanting to change his name?

(305 Posts)
poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:13:15

Ds is seven, his father and I seperated when he was just a couple of months old. I met my now husband when he was 18 months old, and he now has two brothers. He sees his dad evey other weekend.

DS has his fathers surname, but for the last year he has wanted my surname (the same as my husbands and his brothers), he just started to write it at school and at home. As a compromise I suggested that he use both names, and we approached his Dad to make sure he was happy with it. He's not, and will entertain no conversation about it.

I don't know what to do now, seems so unfair sad

fluffyraggies Wed 20-Mar-13 12:16:03

Very tricky. Watching with interest OP.

No sound advice other than to play the whole thing down short term perhaps, for the sake of your DSs feelings.

It needs the permission of both parents for a child to change their name doesn't it?

KobayashiMaru Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19:18

Were you married, and does he have PR?

Wereonourway Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19:38

He is his father, I'd imagine his farher is quite upset at the prospect.

It's not like he is an absent father, I think you should speak to ds positively about his name, explain that although its different its special etc?

Dahlen Wed 20-Mar-13 12:22:48

You need your X's permission to change your DS's name legally. However, there is nothing stopping you having your DS 'known as' at school etc as long as he realises that all formal correspondence and exam certificates etc will show his legal name not his chosen one.

All that said, your DS's name is part of his identity. He has a father who is involved with his life and his name reflects that. It would be different if your X had no involvement. I understand your DS's desire to not feel different to the rest of the family, but it should be possible to reassure him that he is just as loved and included. IOW present the name difference as something that includes his father rather than something that excludes him from the family unit.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:26:39

We weren't married.

I should have worded this differently, he doesn't so much want to change it, but add to it... a double barrelled surname, so LittlePoxy Myname-Dadsname

I can see why, he wants his 'family' name to reflect both his families, so I get it, which makes it harder to be positive about his Dad saying no...

ladymariner Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:04

My friend had this situation. Her dd now has a double-barrelled surname comprising of both her real fathers surname and her stepfathers surname, which I thought was a good result for them all.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:15

Dahlen - his school requires permission from both parents

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:51

I have quite strong feelings about this and I think he should keep his name especially as he has regular contact with his dad.

bit late now obviously but for those it isn't too late for: if you are not married to your child/imminent child/future child's father give it your surname.

can i ask why you gave your son his father's name instead of your own?

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30:09

Valium - he will keep it, it will just be added to.

Dahlen Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30:32

Does he have PR? Because if he doesn't, you can do what you like anyway.

FWIW, while I would disgagree with you strongly about losing your X's surname completely, I think adding to it is perfectly reasonable and it's rather selfish of your X to deny that. May be he'll calm down about it?

This is why, IMO, men should take women's names on marriage and why all children should automatically take the mother's surname.

TheCraicDealer Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:10

Agree with Dahlen. If I were your DS's Dad that would break my heart. He's seven, it's unlikely that he's aware of the hurt that it would cause to change his name to his Stepfather's. It seems like such a rejection of his own Dad, which is unfair considering the ongoing (and important) role he has in his life.

Maybe take this opportunity to remind him that having a another name means that he has two daddies who love him very much, rather than being "different".

SanityClause Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:26

His father has said no, but maybe that was a knee jerk reaction.Maybe after some time to think about it, he will be more receptive to the idea.

Who spoke to your ex? Was it just you, or was it you and DS, together? If it was just you, maybe it would help if DS put his case to his father.

poxyfoxy Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:43

I didn't feel I had a choice swallowed. It was just 'what you did'. I was quite young, and naive.

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:35:41

So by 'my name' you mean your new husbands name? Or your maiden name if your new husband has changed his name to your maiden name.

Timetoask Wed 20-Mar-13 12:39:05

I think you are wrong to stand by your ds.
I feel very sorry for his real dad, it would break my heart into pieces.
What you should be doing is telling him to be proud of his name, of who his real dad is, that he is part of your family as much as the other two children, etc, etc, etc.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 12:39:44

If he has regular contact with his dad and he has PR then you should not agree to this imo.
Just supposing you and your dh split up (I know that's not a nice suggestion, but it happens).
I know a family where the mother kept adding surnames as the father wouldn't agree to name changes. She had 3 more husbands and the dc had 4 surnames.
It is more important to support your son with the current situation and explain why it is like that, and understand why his dad isn't happy with the situation.
Also look at it from your xh point of view, would you like it?

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:42:22

Personally I would never ever agree to my child having the name of a non biological parent. Who wants to end up with the name of a former step parent if the biological parents gets divorced? His Father is his Father, his only one.

lottieandmia Wed 20-Mar-13 12:42:28

YANBU - it's your son's feelings that matter most about this. It's his life. It's his name. His feelings about this come first - not his dad's, however hard that is for him.

I was never really with DS's natural Dad, and I met my DH when DS was 7 months old and we have been together ever since. X-P has had regular-ish contact with DS, and agreed last year to DH adopting DS. I made a promise that it would never affect DS's relationship with X-P's family etc., or his contact with X-P. We then asked DS what name he wanted to be known by, as he currently has mine - and he chose (at age 12) MyNameDH'sName - double barrelled, without the hyphen. DS will change his name by Deed poll when he is 16 and can do so by his own decision.

I suggest you tell your DS that he is too young to make that decision just yet. His Dad is still very much involved in his life, and that's just how it is. It's easy to understand your DS's logic, but in this instance unless your X-P changes his mind, it's not going to happen.

akaemmafrost Wed 20-Mar-13 12:49:39

I understand why he want to change it or add to it, but he is a child. It's a huge thing to change and his reasoning for it will be one of a child, wanting to be the same etc. When he is older its quite likely he would regret it especially when he has a child of his own.

He is NOT his stepfathers child and if I was his Dad I would be devastated with my child having the name of a man that my ex happened to meet and marry who has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

halesball Wed 20-Mar-13 12:50:57

I have never replied on a IABU thread. And i'm likely to get flamed for this but IMO yes YABU. I presuming that you and your X had a conversation before DS was born about names and decided to use his surname instead of yours. Also maybe instead of suggesting a double barrelled name to your DS. You could tell him that his surname makes him special as his biological father loves him and that he is lucky to have two father's who care about him. I'm guessing because he has his fathers surname and he was born after 2004 that your X does have PR's, so you won't be able to do it without his permission. Also (and i really hope this never happens to you) but what would happen if you and DP split up and DS who has no biological connection is stuck with the name? Or worse still you get another DP and DS wants to change his name again? Where does it stop?

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 12:51:59

I completely disagree with lottie's post and agree with aka

Astley Wed 20-Mar-13 12:53:04

Exactly akaemmafrost. I don't get all this need to change your child's name to that of a step parent, and all this step parent adopting!

SIL's boyfriend has called about 4 of his Mum's boyfriends 'Dad' and she isn't with any of them now, it's not healthy.

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