Is there an expectation in “20th Century Australia” for a child to carry its father’s name?
No, says a Federal Magistrate.
According to the Brisbane Courier Mail:
“A DAD who argued it was an “Australian” principle for children to have their father’s last name has lost his bid to have his three-year-old twin boys renamed with his surname.
The boys, who were conceived during a brief relationship in 2007, had their birth certificates registered bearing their mother’s surname.
Federal Magistrate Janet Terry dismissed the bid for a name change after the father’s lawyer argued it was “important for their sense of identity” and was “right and proper” they carry his name.
She also rejected the suggestion that there was “an expectation in 21st century Australia” that a child bear their father’s surname.
“The flaw in the argument that a child needs to have a parent’s surname as part of theirs in order to prevent a confusion about identity or cement a relationship with a parent, is readily exposed when one considers that no one would dream of suggesting that the millions of Australian children who were given their father’s surname in the 19th and 20th centuries had, as a result, a less than satisfactory relationship with their mother and their maternal extended family or were confused about their identity.”
The father argued the boys should have a hypenated name. Magistrate Terry rejected that too.
The father further argued that the mother didn’t want to use his name because the children may get teased about it (the names are suppressed by the Family Law Act).
“This is not a case where the mother failed to name the father on the children’s birth certificate and rode roughshod over him by giving the children her surname,” she said.
(Both parents had signed the birth certificate after the father insisted the mother undergo a paternity test after the boys’ birth in 2008.)
The parents have been ordered to “urgently” attend a course on parenting after separation.
So, The Hoopla wants to know… what decisions have you taken about your family name?
Have you changed it from a name that was difficult to pronounce or spell?
Have you hyphenated it… and then what happend when two people got together with TWO hyphenated names?
Have you used the mother’s family name for your children?