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?

A: 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