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Son wants his name changed, should I or shouldn't I/

My son is 7. He is from a previous relationship. I got married about 9 months ago and am pregnant now with my husbands first child. He is going to have his dads name. My seven year old has his dad's name. He asked/told us that he wants his name to be the same last name as my husbands, our sons, and mine. At the time, I said that we would wait till he was older to make sure that is something he wanted. I'm conflicted about the whole thing. I don't want him to feel left out because we have the same name and he doesn't. But I don't want him to resent it later either. So if I decided to change it, what age should I consider doing so. When my parents got married my step brother and sister had there names changed. My step sister was about 10 my step brother was about 7. They have never met their fathers. My son knows his dad, although his dad rarely comes around. I don't know what is "right". Please help.


Asked by AnitaB27 at 3:05 PM on Oct. 28, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 8 (267 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I would give it a little time, if it was definitely the right thing to do, you would know it. And if your son has any kind of relationship with his bio dad then I would give that a chance. I understand he wants to match the rest of his family, but I would be worried about him regretting the decision later.

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 3:13 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • I would say first make sure that his bio-dad is alright with most states that i know of you cant change your childrens name unless both parents sign off....if thats good to go then i say go ahead....if thats what he wants....if there is any place you want him to feel like he belongs its at home...hope u find ur answers

    Answer by macksmom716 at 3:08 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • Most states you'l have to get the bio father's "permission" for your child to change his name, if he's on the birth certificate.

    Answer by ballewal at 3:08 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • That is sooo cute.. He wants also fit with the rest of the new family!.. He still young to make a serious decision.. If I was you I would try to make him feel special on other ways... and later on in life if he still wants to do it, he will be able to... Good luck!


    Answer by Monica655 at 3:25 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • If the child is asking, it must be bothering him that his name is different. I had a friend who basically just "unofficially" changed her son's name to match the rest of the family. They always referred to him as "Smith" when legally his last name was "Jones". The school even agreed to address him with the new name although he was legally enrolled under another name.

    It was never really an issue until he became older and started having to use his legal name......driver's license, college application, etc. By that time the child was old enough to make his own decision.

    I'm not saying you wouldn't encounter some problems, but it worked for them. I honestly didn't know for a couple of years that he didn't legally match the rest of the family.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 3:41 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • Both my daughter and my husband have been in a similar position to your son. My husband's dad was in the picture, and my husband has told me on more than one occasion that he felt it would have been wrong and cruel to take his dad's name from him.  My ex-husband had his parental rights taken away and has not been in my daughter's life (I changed her last name to my maiden name).  After I remarried my husband talked to her about adopting her and changing her last name to his, and she didn't really understand what that meant.  Several year later when I became pregnant my husband talked to her about it again and she said she didn't want to change her name because it would be weird to explain, plus she liked her last name (my maiden name) better with her first name.  One idea - If your new baby is a boy maybe you could give him the same middle name as your son.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:45 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • I thought adoption was the only way to. Or at least a big court ordeal.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:13 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

  • I would. I'm in the same situation. Although my DD has my maiden name. (She's 7 also.) I don't think I need permission b/c her bio dad is not involved, and he's not on her B/C. Good luck!

    Answer by SAMNMAYASMOM at 12:14 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • Do you have a strong gut feeling either way.....?

    Answer by sherribeare at 3:27 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • Just playing the devils advocate- not -I repeat not trying to be mean. Since when does a seven year old get to pick what is to be done or not done? He is about in first or second grade? Where is he hearing this discussion about names etc. Who is really pushing it? Ask yourself where will I be in 4 years ? You loved the first guy enough to have your son- now the name gets dumped? Is your present husband willing to adopt? What about your sons first grandmother and family? You have only been married 9 months what if it doesn't work out? I would slow all this down things are happening to fast. This may come back to bite you. Emphasize character and his uniqueness. A son needs his real Dad When he gets older he might resent the change even if if his real dad is a bum. I say wait awhile.

    Answer by Wilma2 at 3:46 AM on Oct. 29, 2010