Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Should a woman take her husband's surname?' - How one tweet sparked a massive debate

For better or worse, names included? (Stock photo)
For better or worse, names included? (Stock photo)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Should a woman take her husband's name when they get married?

Does a double-barrelled surname work best? Or how about the decision to give any potential children the mother's surname as a middle name, and the father's name as a surname?

Or you could alternate the surnames with every second child?

All options were thrown into the ring on the Twitter-sphere last night after our very own Irish Independent Legal Editor Dearbhail McDonald sparked the debate with the simple tweet: "Fair play @yvonnekeating going back to her maiden name, but should you take your husband's surname in the first place? *runsforcover*"

For better or worse: Should a woman take her husband's surname?

She added: "I mean, if women are all equal and all that, is it not outdated to take the husband's name or is dropping your 'maiden' name a good tradition?"

Twitter-users, both male and female, from Ireland and abroad, jumped in on the debate.

London-based business journalist Attracta Mooney said she didn't change her name when she married and it seemed to "blow the mind" of the Brits.

"Irish people seemed less baffled by my decision," she said.

Bimpe Archer joined the discussion, asking: "Should children automatically get the dad's surname?"

Reporter with the Derry Journal Claire Allan was thinking of the practicalities and tweeted: "If someone with a double-barrelled surname marries someone with a double-barrelled surname... what happens?"

One Twitter-user wrote: "Heard a story recently about [a child] in Dublin with a triple barrelled surname. And a double barrelled first name."

And another said: "Kept my name and kids have both, with mine as middle name, not double barrelled. Solves prob when travelling solo with kids."

Yvonne Connolly, formerly known as Yvonne Keating, also responded to Dearbhail's tweet and wrote: "It's lovely for families to have the same surname but when marriages break up it's difficult for kids to come to terms with their mother reverting back to her surname."

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