Daddy Gave Her a Name

Did you see last week’s episode of 16 and Pregnant?  Don’t judge me, that show is addictive.  Each week they showcase a teenager who is on the cusp of delivering a baby.  Nearly all of the moms are making babies with complete losers.  Seriously.  The one good example of a father made the decision to give the baby up for adoption along with his girlfriend.

Last week’s teen mom started out like a simpleton.  She was putting her baby’s coming home outfit on the family dog.  I cringed at what was to come next, but she matured a lot during that 60 minutes.

Like all the other teen moms, she was desperately hanging on to her no good boyfriend.  He repeatedly showed her he was not interested in being a father.  He talked down to her, he rarely came to see his child and he didn’t even come around when the baby came home from the hospital after being in NICU.  A real winner this one was.  His concerns were hunting.  That’s all he wanted to do.

Towards the end of the episode he sent the teen mom a really hateful text message.  He called her a “stupid stretch mark bitch” and some other names and made reference to signing away his rights to “that mistake”.  My heart broke for that girl and her child.

She made steps to have his paternal rights terminated and have the baby’s last name changed to hers.  This is where I got a little confused.  I didn’t know how I felt about it.  Part of me was all “right on!” because he had been such a jerk.  Another part of me thought she was making a hasty decision that she might regret some years down the line.  After all, it’s possible that he will mature and actually regret his behaviour.  He might end up actually being in his daughter’s life.

The attorney said something to the teen mom about her wanting to have the same last name as her daughter.  I was reminded of my own mother.  When I was a teenager, I asked my mom why she didn’t go back to her maiden name after she divorced my dad when I was just 4 years old.  She told me she wanted to have the last name as me, especially when it came time to enrolling me in school and whatnot.

That stayed with me and I always assumed I would have the same last name as my children.  Here I am 3o-something years later, and Foxy and I will not have the same last name.  At times it makes me sad and I feel like I have failed her.  Other times, I think that’s how it is in these times and Foxy will likely be like a lot of her classmates.

But I wanted her to be special.

Do you have the same last name as your children?  How important do you think it is to have the same last name?  Do you think it is more important to the parents or the child’s image?

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29 Responses to Daddy Gave Her a Name

  1. Sheena says:

    I watched this same episode and my heart broke when he sent that message. I cried with her because I knew how she felt. It does hurt like hell when the dad refuses to accept that fact that he now has more important priorities in life. No child asks to be here, but as parents we do have to step up and accept our responsibilities.

    My son has my last name. I made that decision based on the fact that me and his dad were not married.

  2. CaliSlim says:

    First of all, Foxy will be special regardless, Babs.

    Second, having children with a man who is my husband is a non-negotiable. It’s all very important to me. I understand “things” happen but it is also clearly comminicated that with a child comes a ring if there is not already one present.

    If I were to divorce, I’d consider keeping my married name as well if I had children.

  3. jack says:

    I love that show and don’t always understand why these girls put up with guys, I know we mature at a slower rate but when I was put in the same situation there was no way my parents would allow me to act like such a douche bag!!

    My son has a different last name because when my ex got married they wanted to adopted him so I agreed.

  4. missmajestic says:

    I think it is important, but its more like an ideal. I name doesn’t say anything about a true relationship. I would want to have the same last name as any kids I had. However, times are changing with so many blended families, adoptions, whatever, kids might not have the same last name as their parent for a number of reasons. I don’t think she will stand out.

  5. Nerd Girl says:

    Your baby will be special no matter what.

    One house, one name. I’m old school like that.

  6. Lori F says:

    I kept my married name after I divorced for the very same reason as your mom. However I find myself in a strange situation sort of similar to yours now as I have this new baby coming that will have her daddy’s last name. I want to have the same last name again (honestly, I believe it’s just a matter of time until I do) but that being said, either way, both my girls will have different last names & I (obviously) can’t have both. I’m trying now to convince myself that now that my oldest is a teenager, maybe it’s not quite so important that our names match. I can’t help but feel like eventually changing my name will somehow make my oldest feel ‘left out’ though. Ugh!

    I say all this to basically say: don’t feel too bad. I’ll be figuring out my situation as I go too! And who knows, maybe you & Tim will change your minds and decide to marry down the line; then you’ll have your concerns solved! Hey- it could happen!!

  7. brannon says:

    I watched the show, too.

    I’m happy she changed the last name. When she said the baby was taking the dads name at the hospital, I cringed. If I were a single mom, I’d want my kids to have the same last name as mine for exactly the same reason as your mom.

    My aunt, a retired teacher, used to tell stories all the time about how children are labeled so very early on in their schooling…and how the teacher’s would make judgment and comments about those identified as coming from single parent households (by differing last names). I know not all teachers do this, but I’d rather not put my child in a situation to be treated unfairly and judged by his/her teacher.

  8. Ames says:

    The stigma is on the parents, especially when the parents have melanin.

    Perhaps you can hypenate your daughters name. She can share both names.

    I could probably handle having a different last name from my kid. Failure for me would be multipe kids and none of us share a last name.

  9. AR Gal says:

    16 & Pregnant/Teen Mom addict reporting for duty! Regarding the show, I fully supported her decision to change her baby girl’s name. She should regret nothing. What he said to her in that text message is unforgivable and she did what she had to do. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want me or my child associated with a douchebag that had the nerve to call me a ‘stretch marked b*tch’ after I pushed his offspring out of my twat. Perhaps when he grows into his balls he can try to earn back the love of an innocent child he threw by the wayside.

    As far as your questions, I’ve never really given it much thought. One of my sisters is divorced but she chose to keep her married name. I never asked her why but I’d be willing to bet it was for the same reason your mother did.

    • Barista says:

      Amen to the Teen Mom commentary. I was in tears when she got that text.

      As far as the name goes…if I were to get pregnant before getting married the baby would have my name.

  10. pserendipity says:

    Apparently, he did not consult the bitch list first.

    Aidan and I have a different last name. Tim was adamant about him carrying on his family name, although I would have given him his fathers last name out of respect for Tim.

    It never really crossed my mind until he started daycare and the people there starting calling ME Aidan’s last name.

  11. Mrs TDJ says:

    Foxy is already special Babs, no matter her last name. I’ve never thought too much about it. My parents were not married when I was born, so they gave me my dad’s last name. They married a year after I was born. My little one has our last name because we were married.

  12. amista says:

    I don’t have the same last name as my children because I kept my maiden name when I got married. With so many women keeping or hyphenating their last names, I don’t find it that odd when moms’ last names don’t match their kids’.

  13. Tiffany In Houston says:

    I would like to have the same last name as my children however, I’d must rather have an ACTIVE, LOVING co-parent rather than us all having the same name in I were in that type of parenting situation.

    I don’t watch the show but based on what you have said, I would have done the same thing as the young girl in question. I am also doubly glad that they have that young man on tape for posterity so his assholishness will be on display for years to come. I hope she keeps a copy.

  14. Petite Pearl says:

    I believe it’s the mother’s decision which name the child gets if the parents are not married. However, my husband was adopted by his stepfather at age 3. His biological father and mother were married when he was born, mind you. His name was changed to his stepfather’s last name and I believe at that point it’s the wrong thing to do. In most cases, it might be uncomfortable for your child to have a different last name, but your child will likely feel some kind of way about you not giving them their father’s name or you making the decision to change it after the fact. Though my husband doesn’t openly admit it, it bothers him. This is one decision I think most people making thinking of themselves more than their child. But it depends on how you look at it.

  15. Deljah says:

    I don’t think it’s critical to have the same last name. You can’t always accurately assess a child’s situation by their last name.

    When my mom had me unmarried, I got her last name. When she married 13 years later, my stepdad adopted my brothers and me, and we got his last name. I was not in favor of a name change then and still think it was wrong to override my feelings on it. I dropped that name totally when i got married.

    My mom went on and on about how great it was that my stepdad cared enough to “give us his name”. I already had a name that I was very attached to, so I wasn’t moved (then or now). She cared more about same name than I did. Just keep whatever Foxy starts out it.

  16. Deljah says:

    *starts out with.

  17. SimplyB says:

    I plan to give my child my last name since I am not married. If I get married to my childs father I will change the last name. I haven’t revealed this information to my family and I know I will not hear the end of it.

    I think it is important to have the same name if you are married and under one roof but if you are living separately with no plans to ever marry the child should have the mothers last name.

  18. busybodyk says:

    I saw that episode and was shocked that she changed the baby’s name but I understood. My parents were not married to each other so I grew up with my mother’s maiden name. When I was 13 she married my step-father so I didn’t have the same name as either parent. It didn’t bother me. My mom always told me that I would take my husband’s name when I got married so it would change anyway. Something about that might have been old fashioned but it worked and didn’t bother me.

  19. Ms. Smart says:

    I guess I have an odd story. My parents were married when they had me so I had my dad’s last name. They divorced and my mother did not go back to her maiden name. However, my father changed his first AND last name. He changed it to his mother’s last name. It was a hasty decision. So when he got remarried, that wife and those kids have another last name.

    I think at the time, my mother kept my dad’s last name so that we’d have the same last name. But that was short-sighted on her part because she got married again and took on her second husband’s last name. My brother has his father’s last name. So I still ended up as the only person in the house with my last name. And no, my father wasn’t down with me changing my last name unless I changed it to the last name he had (his mother’s last name). BTW, now my mother is back to her maiden name.

    Do people still care about last names? Yes. It depends on where you are and how old the people are. Sometimes, you’ll hear old ladies tell young women that if the father didn’t give HER his last name, he doesn’t get the option of giving the baby his last name.

  20. KKAve says:

    Since I’m not married, if I were pregnant, I’d have a hard time giving my child my boyfriend’s last name. I have a small family and my child will be considered my immediate family. Therefore, he/she would have my name. If I got married, we’d all be a family and both of our names would change.

  21. Coco says:

    I have no children but chances are if I had a child I would give the child his/her father’s last name. I am so not attached to my last name (my father’s name–will someone marry me so I can get rid of it (j/k)). My parents weren’t married so me and my mother don’t have the same last name. As a child I didn’t have any issues except for the heffa at my dentist’s office. She basically told me and my mom that we would have issues b/c we had different last names. My mom wasn’t pleased to say the least and my fiesty little behind was mad at the lady. Otherwise we had no issues.

  22. S23 says:

    Tyler has my last name. If and when I ever get married, I will hyphenate my last name with the new one. That way we will always share that bond and any new kids will also share the name with me. I do think it’s odd when I get notes from school, they always say MRS. Conerly on them.

  23. Honest says:

    I’m all about a child having their father’s last name. If something happened and I got divorced I would probably revert to my maiden name. I’m not concerned with my child having a different last name then me. I know and the people who I care about will know what happened.

  24. Cyn says:

    I saw that episode and I kinda disagree with the decision to change the baby’s last name. Dude was a jerk from day one and because he decided to show up for the birth she gave the baby his last name. What he said was dead wrong and if I was that girl’s father, I woulda tried to kill him but that does not negate the fact that he is the father and he is young. Neither of them fully understand the magnitude of the responsibility they both now share. I think changing the name back was a hasty decision and I believe that girl is going to continue to flip flop based on the whims of that dude. I also think her parents need to be advising her better.

    For me I do not want kids without a husband. If I did have kids prior to marriage I would give them their fathers last name. I think it has become much more of an issue because now the father must be present to sign the birth certificate.

    BTW, Foxy is already and will continue to be super special despite her last name.

  25. BK says:

    my kids do not have my last name.. they carry their father’s last name.. it wasn’t even a second thought for me.. I was not married to their dad but it didn’t change my feelings on whether or not the child carries the father’s name..

    you child is special and a blessing.. a name won’t change that period.

  26. KJ says:

    I have my mother’s maiden name. We haven’t shared the same last name since she married when I was 7. She told me once, when I was about 10 years old, that she and my dad talked about him officially adopting me and changing my name. She asked me if it mattered to me and I told her no. At the time it didn’t but as the years went on and I kept having to explain why my mother had a different last name than me, it started to.

    If I had a child but was not married to the father, I believe I would give the child his last name.

  27. Ms.K says:

    My little girl has my last name and like ” S23″ if I ever got married I’d do the hyphenated last name. Not because I want us to always share the same last name but because I LOVE my last name and the history that comes with it. So I’d like to always keep it.

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