The name game: Choosing a last name for your baby
Let’s make a deal
In this article

Let’s make a deal

For Talia, a 32-year-old Art Historian in New York, passing on her last name was a priority when it came to having kids. She didn’t change her last name when she got married and considered it only natural that she would want to share her name with her kids.

“I’m an only child, my Dad’s an only child, and so my name wouldn’t live on if I didn’t pass it on,” she says. “I think it’s unfair that women’s names are expected to die out.”
Fortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly—she met a good match!—Talia’s husband found it equally baffling that women’s last names are usually the ones tossed out the window. “I was lucky enough to meet an open minded guy, and he understood,” she says. “And his last name is going to live on—he already has a brother who has kids.”

In the name of fairness, the two struck a deal: If Talia was going to pass on her last name, her husband could choose the first name. Ultimately they settled on a name that paid homage to both families: the baby’s first name comes from his paternal grandfather and his middle name is taken from his maternal great-grandfather.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Talia says of the conventional method of passing down the father’s last name. “We’re not living in some patriarchal society anymore—at least I’m not.”

Parenting Editor
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