have been with my husband for around nine years, married for 7. We both have children from previous relationships. With my stepchild, the co-parenting goes fairly smoothly, and we have a week on, a week off custody. With MY 2 children, the oldest being 13, I legally have 50/50 custody with their dad, and I have a primary placement. Per court agreement, he is allowed physical custody every weekend and extended time in the summer. However, in the 11 years since our divorce, he doesn’t exercise those rights. He sees our children 5x/yr max, typically when his parents come to get them for a visit. I am extremely lenient with visitation and honestly don’t recall a time I’ve told anyone in his family no in regards to visitation. My ex is currently 10k+ behind on child support, does not have his license, and has had a known drug problem per his family and those close to him. Even if we go through with the adoption, we have no plans to keep them from their family (assuming biodad is sober)… this is strictly for legal purposes. My ex has offered to sign over rights so long as he no longer has to pay child support, and my current husband has no issues adopting these children that he already considers his own. I also have a major fear of something happening to me - currently, if that were to happen, they would go to bio dad, and I worry that he would see them as a paycheck (social security) and try to retain custody. My dilemma is this: my 13-year-old is not keen on changing their last name. I understand to an extent as this is the name they’ve always known, all their friends have known them by, etc. My husband says he doesn’t care if they change their last name or not as long as they are taken care of in the future. I guess I’m the one with the issue there because I feel like if this man steps up and steps in when he doesn’t have to, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is their father. What are your thoughts? Let the children choose the last name, hyphenate it, or change it?
Ask them what they want to do
Let them choose. They can always change it later if they change their minds too.
Ask the kids what they want to do. But if your husband adopts them, they become his children legally. Biodad would be just a stranger. He’d have no standing to take them if something happened to you.
Ok so i have checked into step parent adoption myself. 1. You have to revoke your ex’s rights 2. It wont happen due to the fact he has contact with them those 5x. If he went 1yr or more with no contact AND not helping financially you still would have to prove to the courts why they need to revoke his rights IF he fights it then it wont be easy.
definitely would leave it up to the kids
It should be up to the kids… my husband took my last name…
Let them decide. Especially your eldest.
Let them choose. The oldest has expressed feelings about not wanting to change their name. Don’t force it on them.
Ask them what they want as they sound old enough to decide.
Let him adopt them and not change their last names. Its not that big of a deal. Im married and kept my last name. My kids have my last name too.
Let the kids choose. My step dad adopted me . I wanted the name change. It was easy for me cuz the same time I moved to a new school.
I say it is their name, their choice.
Kids are old enough to decide this.
I would say let them choose. My mom wanted to change my name when I was younger and I’m glad we didn’t because I have no relationship with her husband now and I would’ve completely regretted it.
Signing over rights… would be the most important. Adopting would be second and the name I would leave for now, until they are fully ready and understand.
The dad can’t sign over rights to get out of support. He can sign them over & husband can adopt but dad will still be responsible for c.s.
Let the children decide.
At that age they should be given the choice
At 13, they have an opinion, so it’s really up to the kids.
Full custody is hard af to get and expensive. Let them decide
Regardless your current husband can not adopt them with either A. Bio dad’s consent to terminate his rights and to sign them over to your husband. B. Prove to the judge the bio Dad has abandoned said children. (My husband adopted my son a couple years ago) Without either or both, judge won’t grant the adoption. Blessed beyond measure it only took the same day for a signature when received for bio Dad to sign and two days to get back to our attorney. Hope it works out for you the same! No matter what, they do have you get an attorney which it’s at least 2,000 retainer fee for just for the attorney not including court costs, guardian en lightem and so much else. It’s pretty pricey for it all but def worth it in the end! As far as the last name, I would ask the kids. Maybe conduct a family meeting and see how everyone feels?
Pretty sure your kids are old enough to make that decision for themselves, if you do force it on your 13yr old, you might regret it.
Definitely leave it up to the kids. I understand your feelings, but they’re at the age where they start to want to have some control in their life. If you force them to make a major life change like this when they don’t want to, it could create issues where there are currently none and cause them to resent you, the adoption, or even their step/adoptive father.
I say let the kids choose… my middle child has been adopted 2x. Once by my ex husband and my current husband adopted all 3 of my children… my oldest completely changed her whole name. The other two wanted there named changed so they wouldn’t be associated with there dad
I think you should ask them. If they want to change do it. If they don’t let them keep their name. If they ever want to change in the future they can.
Let your child decide for themselves if they want their last name changed. It’s not your right to change it for them without their consent…
I understand your wanting him to adopt them but do NOT make your kids change thier names. That is not fair to them and would be selfish of you to make them do so.
My mother remarried when I was 13. My step dad had 3 other children, and I was the only one with a different name. I wanted to fit in better, so I changed my last name. I’d had no contact with my birth father since I was 4, and he never paid child support, so there was no problem.
I think this could backfire on you in the future with your kids. They’re older and established with their identity. Regardless of bio dad’s situation, you chose to have children with this man, and he’ll always be their bio dad regardless. If you’re worried about something happening to you in the future, draw up a will designating a guardian is case of your death, and have bio dad sign off on it, but don’t try to take away the identity and background of your kids. It’s great that they have a good step-dad, but you don’t need to have him adopt your kids in order to maintain that relationship.
as a child who had their last name changed to my mothers husband last name, i love him to death but if i could go back i would of made him adopt me as a child because anything you will fill out online as insurance, credit, ect the system acts like you never even exist with your new name which is definitely a pain and your birth certificate with not match the same name and it will be hard to get anything done paperwork wise, they will have to carry their name change paper EVERYWHERE
Just lived this!!! My hubby gave them his last name and we proudly share this last name… they love being same as mom. They were 12, 13, 14 when adopted.
Leave the kid’s name alone
Hyphenate and be through with it. That way they get the best if both worlds.
The child is old enough to choose this on their own.
It’s just a name. Let them keep the name they already have. If your hubs is ok with it, leave it alone especially if you know he already treats them like his own.
I would let my kids decide
They are old enough that they can decide. Still have the bio dad sign away rights so that if anything happens, they go to your husband. But let your kids decide. It’s not about how you feel or what you think is the best in this situation. They are old enough that it will make a difference in their life, so it’s their choice. Some people feel that their name is their identity, so again, let them decide.
At 13, the child should be able to make that choice. Having gone through a SPA with my kids, I feel that should be the least of the concerns. The peace of mind you get knowing they will be taken care of should something happen to you, is worth them keeping the name they’ve had if that’s what they want. Good luck to you!!!
Let your kids pic after all its them that have to have it as a last name and you don’t want to regret making them have his last name
The kids should choose nobody else
First you sound incredibly lucky to have a good man and father for your children now. I say, don’t push you kids to change their names. If you do, they may come to resent the man they should love. Leave them alone and just continue to let them know how much you both love them Your husband is an adult who is not putting himself first. Now you need to let him know how much you appreciate it and follow suit!
For protection, let your husband adopt them. Let the children decide if they want to change their name.
Respect your kids decision to keep their last name
Let your child chose. You don’t want your child to blame you if you do change it. Especially if it upsets them.
Let the children decide. If you force another name on them, they very likely could come to resent you which could cause problems more challenging than a last name.
My ex gave up his rights a year after my husband and I had been married, he wanted out of child support, my husband said he’d adopt them, my kids were young so we changed their names, our state actually issued new birth certificates.
At one time my then husband wanted to adopt my daughter. My oldest did not belong as is the father of my oldest. It did not end up happening. But a girls name changes when they marry. On the other hand my son always wanted his name changed from his dads. Said he would change it himself at 18. But he never did. Listen to your kids. A good man you defintally have there
I think there is some legal steps with the name changes. I also believe they can have both names legally…like they can go by their birth name and have an AKA listed. That way they can still fit it as they are but have a legal status too.
Child support will not auto stop because of this. He would have to sign off on everything and not have an ounce of rights left.
Your child should be able to keep their last name if they want to. The important thing is the love your family has no the name.
Just because he is willing to sign over rights doesn’t necessarily mean that child support stops. At least in my state
The children’s last name is only about them. It is part of their Identity. How they see and know themselves. I f they don’t want to change it don’t make them. Their name doesn’t change who cares for them, or the love and respect they have for the man who is providing for them. But their name IS part of their personal identity. It is more about acceptance, and accepting that the name they currently have is a part of them. Please don’t take that from them if they don’t want to change it. Especially if your husband is fine with it.
Don’t make it an issue when it’s not! What a great man you have
Hyphenation the name ie, bio-newname!
I would not make them change their name if they are not comfortable with it
If your husband adopts them put his last name as theirs, he’s the dad now
I saw that last night
Your kid already said what he wanted.
Doesn’t matter what you want. Nor does it matter how many times a year your ex sees ya alls kids. No adoption will happen unless he signs off on the kids.
Let the kids choose. I’m in a similar situation. My oldest has never met bio dad and he has no rights and doesn’t pay child support. I never pushed for either. We have kind treated it like a sperm donor situation. He’s not a bad guy by any means and my child has no desire to meet him. I’ve been with my fiance for ten years. In my state the bio dad doesn’t even have to sign away rights. Once me and my fiance get married all we have to do is go to legitimization court, say he’s the dad and sign the birth certificate. I gave my oldest all the options (changing last name entirely, hyphenate, don’t change, make current last name as second middle name and add his last name, etc) and when the time comes it’s my kid’s decision.
Coming from an almost exact situation I sayblet them choose. My now 20 yr old never changed hers, my now 18 yr old wanted to change hers when she was about 15 and I waited a few years to allow her time to be sure, we officially changed her last name when she was 17, she hyphenated hers like mine. My now 15 yr old daughter and 13 yr old son also want to change their last name, one wants to hyphenate like mine but my son prefers to have only my last name or to change the order of the hyphenated last name. It should 100% be your children’s choice. My oldest decided not to change hers because she was 12 when I married my husband and she was already use to her last name and even though she had basically no relationship with her bio, she was close to her paternal grandmother and uncle whom have recently passed, she feels that’s her connection to them.
Let your children decide on name changes. But completely understand for legal reasons and the what it’s of life to know your children will be cared for.
If your kids are okay with not changing it i wouldnt. I do believe they can keep their name even if they are adopted. I can understand where your children are coming from since thats all they know. Its who they are.
I was coming to say let them keep but the above statements mirror my own thoughts good luck
Let them make their decisions on the last name. Don’t force it. They know what they want, and maybe one say they will change their minds. Or maybe they won’t. Just let them choose.
Let the children decide they are old enough to make that decision. I was adopted by my adoptive mother shortly after I was born. ( my real biological mother is her sister) My adopted dad who didn’t meet my mother until I was 1 and didn’t get married to her until I was 2. So obviously my last name went from Wilson to Karniewicz. They divorced when I was 11 years old and my adopted mother never changed my name back to Wilson even though technically he’s not my dad but he will always be my father even though there’s no blood relation cause he’s always been there and he is my father and that will never change. Like he told me when I found out about being adopted. I may not have helped make you but I did raise you, and I’m still your father regardless of what anyone else thinks, your my daughter. And I agreed he’s my father. A last name doesn’t change that. Nothing binds you to a person, name, title, chains, rope, not even blood. What binds you to people is the lessons they taught you and the love that you share. That’s what binds you.
Shakespeare said “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”
If the kids don’t want to and your husband doesn’t mind, there’s no harm in them keeping the name they have had for their whole lives. Your husband is a wise man, what matters most is that they are taken care of.
Let the kids keep their name. There’s nothing in a name it’s all in the actions. If at a later date they want to change it that’s their right. Just be glad stepdad is cool with it & loves them like he does.
The older the kids get the more they understand. I have a friend who changed her last name the year she went to high school. Her reason was I am adopted and her is my human dad so my grown up friends should understand.
Let the children choose.
I don’t see why they couldn’t have both last names.
Their name = their choice. Odds are if you forced them they would just change it back at 18.
He would have to relinquish parental rights. Here in Florida as long as there is a step parent willing to step up & dead beat willing to sign off, it’s usually no problem. It does have to go in front of a judge though.
I would leave it up to the children…
Maybe suggest hyphenated. Then everybody’s happy!
Let them decide on their own. They will when they realize it’s only a name it’s not who you are
Definitely let the children choose. It’s their name! Not yours.
Let your kids choose
Kids choice. Do not force them.
I was in a change name situation at 13 years old.
My real dad had passed when I was 2 yrs old and my mom got with my step when I was around 5ish. They didn’t get married till I was around 8ish. When I was about 13, he finally adopted me. It was always the understanding between my mom and the step that I would take his name once I was adopted. When court came and the judge asked if I wanted his last name, I immediately said no. So the judge let me keep my name.
The step was pissed off but he couldn’t do anything and my moms understood why, it was the only thing I had from my dad that connected me to him.
Your kids still have their dad alive but coming from a child’s point of view, they might not be able to completely explain their wants and desires on keep or changing a name but by giving them the opportunity to choose for themselves, it leaves the door open to one day feel like they can have a connection to their bio dad, if he ever decides to clean up and have a relationship with them. I know you said that you won’t keep them from his family or him if he choose to see them but in my experience it wasn’t the family that connected me to my dad it was the name, the name that I carried and showed off on my chest when I joined the Army.
They may choose on their own one day to change and honor their stepdad/adopted dad or keep their name and still feel connected to their dad.
I never changed my last name, not even with my 2 marriages. It wasn’t till my 3rd husband when I finally changed it, it finally felt right.
I completely understand legal reasons on the need for adoption but the name doesn’t stop your husband or your kids from loving each other and feeling like a true family.
I would only change their last name if that’s what they want. You could always talk to them about hyphenating it so they still have bio dads last name but I wouldn’t force a child to change their name. To that child, that’s his name, the name he’s always had. I doubt he references it to his bio dad.
This needs a whole lot of therapy first. My gut says do the adoption but he gets to chose what name he keeps.
If they don’t want there name changed I wouldn’t change it, they can always change it themselves when they are older if they want to, I changed my name when I was 16 to my mums maiden name
Let them choose why create a problem where is not you seem to have a good partner who only care about they’re well being and doesn’t care about name
Don’t forget LOVE have no name
I’d hyphenate, and let the child decide whether or not to use the new name. Legally they would be known by it, but for school, sports etc could just use the name they have always had.
Hyphenated that gives you more options if they change their minds
Let them make that decision! It’s their last name and something THEY have to live with. Everything else I agree with such as the adoption… but definitely let them make THAT decision for themselves
My child did a step parent adoption. Explain to her that a name name change isn’t erasing her family connection. Have her keep both names! First middle original last and new last. It’ll change when she gets married later in life and then she can choose to drop one if wanted!
Changing their name shouldn’t be necessary, especially if there’s a girl, whose last name will change after marriage anyway, at least traditionally.
Let your children decide… they can always decide to change it in the future. They are young but old enough to have a say. Forcing the change may bring more harm than good.
I would let your children make that decision. They can choose to change their name at any point in life, doesn’t have to be right away and there is no right or wrong choice
It’s there name . They should be able to keep it.
I think it should be their decision not yours…2 of my kids chose to change their last name while 1 chose not to because he likes his last name. If your kids feel like they are comfortable enough with your new husband and their relationship is that bad with their own fathers then they should have that choice
No you do not change the name. It should be there decision if they want to be adopted not yours. It does not matter how there father sees them really that is still there father.