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Whose last name should I give my baby?

Q. I am single and pregnant. The father and I are not together. I am trying to decide whose last name to give the child and want to do what is in the best interest of the child. I have no idea what role the father will play in the child’s life. Should I give the baby my last name or his?

Whose last name should I give my baby?


My vote is for you to give the baby your last name. You and your child will be a family. Sharing a name makes that clear.

Another thought, though, is this: An important part of most people’s identity is knowing who their parents are. That’s one of the complicated reasons that so many adoptees go on a search. You might consider giving your child some part of his or her birth-father’s name as a middle name, as an acknowledgement of the other parent. It’s just an idea. Only do it if it feels comfortable for you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Whose last name should I give my baby?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Whose last name should I give my baby?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 20 Jul 2007
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Jul 2007
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