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Barrister sparks debate after saying pregnant women shouldn't give their baby the father's surname

Keryn Donnelly

| Last updated 

Barrister sparks debate after saying pregnant women shouldn't give their baby the father's surname

A British barrister has urged all pregnant women not to give their baby the father's surname.

Dr Charlotte Proudman, a 33-year-old barrister from London, made the claim on Twitter and it has sparked a very big debate.

“A message to pregnant women - please give the baby your surname,” she said in her tweet.

She continued: “You carried a baby for nine months, gave birth, and will be responsible for that child the rest of your life.


“When you’re registering the baby ask yourself: why is the father’s surname more important than yours?”

Several women in the comments agreed with her and some even said they regretted giving their children their father's name.

"I made this mistake. When I got married I wasn’t sure whether to change my last name or not to my then-husband’s last name. I really wanted to have the same last name as our potential children so I just changed my last name to 'make things easier' so all of our last names would match," one woman wrote.


She continued: "I just went with the norms because it was 'easier' (easier for who???). In hindsight and with all that transpired, my kids would’ve been much better off if I had kept my surname and given it to them as well."

Another woman added: “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."

While others were quick to criticise Proudman's argument.

"I think it’s my choice what surname I give, rather than feeling some obligation for my maiden surname," one woman said.


"My husband’s surname became my surname upon marriage. Problem solved," said someone else.

A third added: "I'm so glad I did not do this, and am even happier to be rectifying my mistake in not taking my husband's name decades ago. I mean no offense, but the constant messaging to women that we should destroy the family and our own standing and respect in the process is damaging."

And some men saw this as an opportunity to get out of paying child support. Yes, really.


"So no more child support then? Seems fair since your assertion implies the man is not important or responsible," one person commented.

"Kings, if she gives your child her father’s name, the child automatically becomes her father’s responsibility," another person wrote.

"Don't stress it or spend a dime on a child who isn't carrying your surname."

A third quipped: "If only this energy was kept when it came time to support said child."


Dr Proudman later doubled-down on her comments.

“I urge all mothers to give your baby YOUR surname not the father’s. It’s called redressing centuries of inequality," she tweeted.

Featured Image Credit: Justin Paget/Getty Images. d3sign/Getty Images

Topics: News, Australia

Keryn Donnelly
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