My daughter-in-law doesn’t want to carry on the family name

When our grandchild is born to our son and his partner, we naturally assume the baby will take the husband’s

When our grandchild is born to our son and his partner, we naturally assume the baby will take the husband’s surname. This is just tradition and many families do it and feel it’s right for them.

But this week, one of our reader Beth wrote in to ask for advice about her daughter-in-law who’s made a stand regarding her surname.

“Hi all. I have a brand new baby grandson but my daughter-in-law says he should have a different last name…namely hers. But both my husband and son want our new grandson to carry on the family name. It’s especially important to my father-in-law who fought in WWII. He’s elderly and you could see the disappointment when we told him the baby was taking the mum’s last name. I don’t know how to approach this subject with the new mum as all the certificates are lodged”.

What would you do?

  1. Carolyn Janson  

    They could use a hyphenated name, including both names. And you can change the baby’s name until it is 13 months old, I think.

  2. Jacquie  

    Sorry, but as hard as it is it’s not up to you. It’s between her and her husband.

  3. Ronin  

    The mother of my granddaughter, now 6, registered her with her own surname, even though my son was registered as the father. My son has been the sole carer of his daughter for five years. But her surname cannot be changed until she reaches 18! Makes no sense!

    • Heather  

      I know the feeling, there are some very callous mothers out there.

      • The watcher  

        Not true. Can be changed with consent of both parents. If mother or father cannot be found then after publication of intent then name can be changed.

  4. Margaret  

    Its between the parents of the child but it appears maybe the Mum isn’t listening to the Dad either.

  5. Robyn Jefferson  

    I think that traditions change. Nothing wrong here. The hyphenated name might good. It is not grandparents right. There are two sides to this family. Mind your own business. You are using emotional blackmail.

  6. The name could be hyphenated with both surnames, however I agree with Ronin, makes no sense to take on mothers surname. Come on Dad you just need to step up if you want your son to have your surname.

  7. Rikda  

    This family is lucky they don’t have daughters. We never got a say in the kids last names.LOL
    They’re outr grand kids & that what matters.
    We’re “Nan & Pop” we get great respect.
    Nothing s too much if we need them. They’re just great.
    They’re adults now & are even better.
    “A rose is still a rose”

    • Robyn Williams  

      At last, someone with some common sense. Grandparents should stay right away from the name game unless they are specifically asked by both parents for their input. In my opinion the surname itself is very strictly between the biological parents and no one else unless the biological parents are no longer in the picture then it becomes the sole duty of the legal parents/guardians. Names should have no bearing on how the child reacts with other members of the family or vice versa. Love your daughter in law for the person she is – not her name and love your grandson and his parents unconditionally as people not names.

  8. pamela dewar  

    I have friends here in New Zealand whose daughters hsve used the mothers name and there was no drama. Grandparents should but out.

  9. It’s nothing to do with the grandparents. The mother & father of the child are the ones to make the decision.

  10. Kerrie  

    Whats in a name.. a rose by any other name shall smell as sweet.
    Sorry Nan and Pops but nothing to do with you. By the way if you were to look up your ancestry.. I bet it was something else way back.

  11. Disey  

    I used to work with a female who thought that her daughters should have her name and the boys should have his name. This is crazy – I think this is taking feminism too far because that’s how some women look at it. As I have said before, “what’s in a name” – register the birth in both names and eventually the kid him or herself will decide what they want to be called when they turn 18. I’m all for women’s rights, but some of you are soooooooooooo looney !

  12. Kate  

    Well if they were married not an issue. My daughter did the same thing as they weren’t married.

    • My son and daughter-out-law are not married, and the boys have my son’s surname. It depends on the registration details, not whether you are legally married.

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