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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Picking a surname

    Hi Berries,

    I honestly don't know if my husband and I will be lucky enough to have a baby at this point, but I spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over little things in case we do. We've had two adoptions fall through, and four unsuccessful rounds of IVF, but what if, right?

    Anyway, we're now looking into adopting an older child, and the dilemma I have would apply equally to whether I got to be the mother of a newborn or an older child. I certainly won't be changing the first or middle names of any child that isn't a newborn, but the surname issue comes up quite often. Here's the thing: both hub and I have hyphenated surnames - please take a moment to recover from the horror, those of you who hate double-barrelled names.

    I didn't take his name when I married, and we each have our father's name + our mother's maiden name. I LOVE my name (all five of them - two middle names) and so does he. We've always planned to each give one name to our child. He switched back and forth for ages re which name he'd pick, but has settled on his father's name because his two sisters each gave their mother's name to their children, and he wants to honour his dad. I always thought I'd give my father's name. Then I was pretty sure I'd give my mother's name. I adore both my parents, and neither of them give a toss which name I pass on. I'm the only lunatic who is hung up on this choice. Would it be completely shallow and superficial to just pick the name that flows best with whatever first name the child has??? I was lucky enough to name my goddaughter, and I agonised over the decision for months. I love words, I love names, I want to infuse my child's name with meaning, and maybe his/her surname will be the only one I get to pick. Shouldn't it come down to more than "Oh his first name is six syllables long, better give him my shortest name" or "His/her name would sound beautiful with Mum's Spanish surname."

    Somebody please give me an e-sedative, and tell me what to do! I know this child is at this point completely fictional, but it's keeping me up at night!

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Oregon, USA
    The name will be infused with meaning no matter what, because as you said your names are both meaningful to you. If you have an older child you could always let him/her choose. If you have a baby why not just choose whichever flows better? I see nothing wrong with that.
    Sequoia Orion born November 2014
    Considerations for our next child's name: Cytheria, Caspian, Seraphina, Cyrus, Arcadia, Venture
    Middles: Beatrix, Dwyn, Jupiter, Violet, Zephyr, River, Willow

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    If both names are equally meaningful, I don't see anything wrong with choosing which one sounds the best with the rest of the name.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hi Phia,

    I agree with everyone--you're putting so much consideration into your child's surname AND all the constituent names are meaningful to you, so there is no way it won't be meaningful. Makes perfect sense to me in your situation to select the names that work best with your child's first name--but I do understand keenly missing those names you'll be excluding in the process. I think that's just sort of an intrinsic naming dilemma for anyone with an embarrassment of meaningful names (whether first, middle, or last) from which to choose.

    I also wanted to say that my daughter is Sophia nn Phia and she has a hyphenated surname (mine-husband's), so no horror from me at all!

    Best of luck it you!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I like the idea of letting an older child help choose his/her LN since it will be an amalgamation of yours and your husbands no matter what.
    I was 8 when I was baptized (my mom claims it's because she wanted me to remember it, I think she was too overwhelmed with being a single working mom before Anyway she let me help pick out my middle names and it's one of my favorite memories of us. She gave me a list of names she liked (just like your last names) and told me why she would choose each but that I had to narrow it down to two - just like she had. It was awesome and special and something that is really unique to us. So don't stress about it too much. If you adopt a kid that's old enough to decide fantastic! If not, you can go with flow or not change his/her LN until it can be his/her decision as well. (I know this might feel odd but if you are adopting a 5 year old it's not like they won't remember being adopted so changing the name right away isn't as important - and you can start the conversations with them then. - if you adopt a baby then I'd just go with best flow.)
    Little Lorelei - May 2016
    Endora - Freya - Merida - Viola - Zelda
    Dexter - Felix - Gideon - Hendrik - Victor
    Etsy Shop: Pineapple & Fox

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