In cases where the father was unknown, the mother was put under pressure to name him. This Child at the time of its Baptism could not find a Father.
But a confession from the time it was born to this day Could not be extorted from the Mother. If the baptism of an illegitimate child did take place, after suitable penance by parent or parents, you may find that the child was registered under:. Consider the possibility that an illegitimate child may have been born in a different location to younger children in the family.
A young unmarried mother may have been sent away from home for the confinement. It was also common practice, to conceal illegitimacy, for the child to be brought up by the grandparents as the parents. Skip to main content. If the parents subsequently married the child was legitimised under Scots law provided the parents were free to marry at the time of the birth.
If a child was born to a married woman and the father was not her husband you may find this indicated in column one. Child and family psychotherapist Nicola Dyson says it is becoming another area to be navigated — alongside who empties the bins or who "marinates" their career. So it's hardly surprising that our children's names are changing too.
That both parents are happy with the choice is essential; she says, but sometimes it is the wider family who are distinctly unchuffed. It is their identity, their sense of self. Luckily, Andrew and I agreed, but for others it can be tricky.
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Gifts would arrive for her addressed to their surname, not mine. I mean, what century are we in? Who carried her for nine months and is her primary carer? In the end, Jill feels her decision was vindicated when her marriage broke up after she discovered he was having an affair. This underlines a controversial point that Dyson makes, that "giving the child the mother's surname may make sense because while not wishing to denigrate the importance of the father, statistically it is the relationship with the mother that is most likely to last.
This may sound cynical — who has kids with someone thinking they are gong to spilt up? And, of course, there are many blended families out there that tick along nicely, but in the course of researching this article I came across a lot of single mums who resent the fact that their kids carry the name of someone they basically detest. It made me happy. When signing forms at school I have always had to write 'mother' in brackets at the side so they know who I am.
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I didn't enjoy that. My worry now is that if I marry my current partner and take his name that I will have the same name as his two children, whereas my two would be different. I would hate for them to feel left out. You need consent from the father, but as he failed to attend court they ruled I could change their name in his absence. It was really straightforward and my children were over the moon," she says.
Thankfully, my situation is far more straightforward. For one thing, I have never encountered hostility, but I have certainly had some baffled looks.
One friend pointed out that they're all male names anyway, so what was the point? Well, yes, but you've got to start somewhere, I said. Another friend argued that by giving the child the man's name, you are compensating for the fact that he can't give birth. Cue the whole bonding argument, which I think is an insult to Bugaboo-wielding dad's everywhere — that by giving children the father's name, Daddy is less likely to run for the hills when the whole horrible, nappy-smelling paraphernalia of parenting kicks in.
But I've had positive responses too — plenty of "God, I wish I had done that! I disagree. While I don't think the female line should always be passed on — it's boring and monolithic whichever sex routinely trumps the other — wouldn't it be nice if there were more of a mix? I think it is a tremendous injustice that the male line is still automatically passed on — that it is a visible and etymological sign of the sexual inequality that our country is steeped in. And, without wishing to get too drum-beaty, I am glad that my kids' names aren't such an obvious manifestation of this.
And, on a more prosaic level, I just like the name Hardy. Just the kind of name-baggage we like. I have two daughters, aged two and four, and they have their mum's surname.
It goes without saying that my wife, on marrying me, kept her name — but that's not unusual these days. Older children or adults decide to adopt their mother's last name Marilyn Monroe, Barry Manilow, Ryan Giggs , but again that's a bit different. I've realised that giving children the matronymic surname at birth is rare. Come to think of it, not a single one of our friends has done it without doing the double-barrelled thing , though of course we're far from being pioneers or alone.
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Why did we decide to do it? It wasn't a "we" decision: I said I thought it was right, and my pregnant girlfriend agreed and was pleased we got married after both kids were born. If I say it was because I am a staunch feminist, fighting bravely against patriarchy, that makes it sound far more thought-through than it actually was. It's true that it didn't seem right to me that children should necessarily take their dad's surname which seemed an old-fashioned idea , but it wasn't ostentatiously done — it seemed quite natural.
I was so delighted and excited to be having a child, that's all that really mattered. I looked up a Mumsnet thread on the subject , in which a woman says her partner "would feel less of a man, if child had its mother's name". That sounds hilarious to me. Is it seldom done because families like surnames to continue — for the sake, as it were, of the family tree?
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I can understand this, but I can't say I was, or am, so bothered about posterity. Perhaps it also helped that I was nearly 40 when my daughter was born, quite old in other words, and didn't feel I had to please other people. One: if I'm such a feminist, why did I get married? I never thought I would, but somehow it stopped seeming part of the old way of doing things, and started to seem like it could be our way of doing things, and not necessarily patriarchal.
Changing a Child's Surname
That's to say, the nature of the marriage — how it was organised, with jobs, etc — seemed the important thing. Two: would it have made a difference if my first child had been a son? No, the decision was made when we didn't know the sex of the baby. Four: how did my family react? If my parents were opposed, they didn't mention it — they, too, were simply thrilled I was finally?