Woman sparks heated debate after saying babies should get their mum’s surname
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A woman sparked a heated debate online after telling all pregnant women to give their children their own surnames rather than their dad’s.
Dr Charlotte Proudman, 33, from London, urged expectant mums to give their own family name to their children rather than follow tradition by using the father’s. Writing on X on Friday (11 August), she declared: “A message to pregnant women - please give the baby your surname.
“You carried a baby for 9 months, gave birth, and will be responsible for that child for the rest of your life.”
She concluded her post by writing: “When you’re registering the baby ask yourself: Why is the father’s surname more important than yours?”
The tweet has been viewed over 60,000 times with people sharing their own thoughts on the matter.
One woman replied: “Mhm. Interesting. Completely traumatic situation forever engrained [sic] in my heart and mind--the day I was at the courthouse trying to get my maiden name back, too. Forced to go from floor-to-floor and room-to-room crying. Major fight to get my name back.”
Another mum agreed with Proudman and used the example of travelling abroad to explain why it’s handy for children to have the same name as their mum, especially if the parents are unmarried. She wrote: “I did this! If my babies’ dad and I get married we’ll reassess, but I figured I was more likely to take them abroad alone, and his surname shouldn’t be the default.
“Even my 2 year old understands that he has my surname but one day might have daddy’s and it doesn’t bother him.”
“Mine have both,” a parent said in the comments. “And I’m quite okay with them choosing to use either or both. Or if they want to choose a completely new one I’m also fine with that. As long as they know it’s up to them and they don’t have to just do what anyone else wants or expect.”
However not everyone agreed with Proudman, as one married woman stated: “I was happy with my maiden name, and happy to call it such, am also happy with my married surname, which we also gave our children. I’m also happy to make my own decisions rather than have someone tell me what I should be offended by.”
Another X user said: “Counter-argument: why is the baby's maternal grandfather's surname more important than the baby's father's?
A frustrated X user replied: “A message to you. Stop dictating to people. Advocate rights and choice. That’s what women deserve. Options based on their values and desires.”
A third tweeted: “Fathers are also responsible for their children for the rest of their lives.”
Someone else chimed in and said: “The point is to make the father feel responsible for the child.”
Proudman appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (14 August) to debate the topic further and said she feels 'really encouraged' by some of the responses she's had from mothers who have given their own surnames.
Proudman said double-barrelled surnames are ‘problematic’ and are becoming increasingly popular as a ‘compromise’ to include the mum’s surname.
“We have our own name and we have our own identity and I think it’s important to recognise that rather than it being erased as result of taking the father’s.”
Where do you stand on the matter?