Mummy Buzz


Parents Fight For Right To Decide Baby's Last Name

From hyphens to hybrids

Over the years I've delighted in reporting the most ridiculous, outrageous, and truly awful baby names. But what about surnames? Beyond hyphenating mom and dad's family names, parents have precious few choices. One couple is fighting for the right to determine their children's last name.

When their children were born, Dr. Carl Abramson and Kimberly Sarubbi weren't content to simply hyphenate or choose between their surnames, so they created a new one—the hybrid, Sabr. So far so good for their first two kids, who were born outside of Tennessee.

But when their third was born, the state rejected "Sabr" and instead issued a birth certificate in the name of “Abramson.” Now the couple is filing a federal civil liberties lawsuit claiming their First Amendment right to name their own children was violated.

“Parents have a fundamental right to make decisions for their children,” said acting attorney, Carolyn W. Schott, in a press release. "Naming our own children is not only a very personal decision, it’s also an act of free expression, protected by the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions.”  

The couple claims it thought long and hard about the name it would bestow onto its children, and the fact that two states have already recognized Sabr seems to make the issue a moot point.

Though I personally held little attachment to my maiden name, I know of many women who retained theirs after marriage for personal and professional reasons. So why should it be any different for a child? 

This mama isn't a big fan of the double-barrelled name, which can become a real mouthful when you start adding up all those syllables. There is enough red tape when it comes to official documents. Some tradition and uniformity in last names just keeps everything easier to manage, no? With the baby's first name, parents get their chance to wave their free flag and be as wacky and creative as they want. 

You tell me: Should parents have the right to choose their child's last name?

A Tennessee court—again—ordered parents to change this baby's given name.