marriage and name-changing

lisa vaillancourt vaillan at POP.UKY.EDU
Tue Sep 9 07:35:25 EST 1997

I find it interesting that women feel free to decide for themselves whether
they will take their husbands name, keep their own, or even have their
husband take their name, but few question the tradition of giving children
(especially male children) the name of the husband.  What is this
overwhelming need of men to leave offspring to carry on their name?  Women
have rarely had this opportunity or, apparently, this great need (except
rather recently in the case of single mothers, who frequently give the
child their own name).  Legally, I believe the children can have any last
name.  Why don't we question this?

As an aside, I was told recently by a friend of a problem a mutual friend
of ours had recently.  She was flying to Mexico with her husband (different
last name from hers) and her 6-year-old son (same last name as the
husband).  The authorities would not allow this couple to take their child
out of the country, because the woman could not prove she was the childs
mother, and apparently the permission of both parents is now required.  I
guess in these days of non-custodial parent abductions, the authorities are
being more careful.  Bottom line, bring the child's birth certificate or
other proof of custody when you go to the airport.  If anyone knows more
about this potential problem, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

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