Lawyer Sparks Debate by Saying Babies Should be Given their Mother’s Surname at Birth


    A lawyer’s assertion that babies should be given their mother’s surname at birth instead of their father’s has ignited a substantial online debate, challenging the conventional practice of children inheriting their father’s last name.

    Dr. Charlotte Proudman shared her controversial perspective on Twitter, offering advice to pregnant women. Her tweet, which has garnered over 4.8 million views, read, “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 further questioned the common practice, stating, “When you’re registering the baby ask yourself: why is the father’s surname more important than yours?”

    While it remains customary in Western societies for children to automatically adopt their father’s surname, Dr. Proudman encourages mothers to reconsider this tradition and explore alternatives, including using their own last name.

    This post elicited a range of opinions in the comments, sparking intense discussions. Some users challenged the concept, stating that a child’s surname is often derived from their paternal lineage or questioning why the maternal grandfather’s surname should hold less significance.

    Others declared their pride in carrying their father’s name and suggested that if a child bears their mother’s name, the father should relinquish responsibility for the child’s care. However, this notion was met with skepticism due to its oversimplification of parental roles and relationships.

    Yet, several users supported Dr. Proudman’s viewpoint. One commenter expressed full agreement, asserting that using the mother’s surname should be the default choice. Another individual shared their personal experience of carrying their mother’s maiden name, which resonated with those who hold reservations about paternal surnames.

    On the other hand, some suggested that the decision should be individualized, allowing parents to choose what aligns with their beliefs and values. They urged a flexible approach rather than making it an overarching debate.

    Amid the ongoing online discourse, it’s worth considering that this topic mainly pertains to Western traditions. Many cultures and religions, such as Islam, have distinct norms for assigning family names based on gender. For instance, in Islam, males often adopt their father’s last name, while females take their mother’s, offering a practical and balanced solution that diverges from the Western narrative.

    In conclusion, this debate underscores the importance of acknowledging diverse cultural norms and the need for open dialogue about evolving practices. The traditional conventions surrounding surnames could benefit from broader perspectives, allowing families to make informed and meaningful choices that align with their values and identities.


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