Pregnant women: Give your baby your surname not their father's, urges barrister

What are your thoughts on the issue? Have your say by voting in our poll.

Pregnant Black woman cradling baby bump. (Getty Images)
A barrister has taken to social media to plead with pregnant women to give their child their own name. (Getty Images)

Times have changed and babies are no longer automatically being given their father's surname, as was the case for many, many years.

However, there are still a vast number of couples who opt to stick with tradition - which a barrister has voiced her frustration over on social media.

Dr Charlotte Proudman, 33, went viral on X (formerly known ad Twitter) when pleading with pregnant women to give their baby their own surname.

With almost five million views and over 34,000 likes, the post generated raging conversations globally with some passionately agreeing to her views, while others rejected it.

Comments came flooding in quickly with mixed responses. One user strongly disagreed, writing, "My husband and I made a commitment and became one flesh. I love having his name and giving our kids his name. Men and fathers are the head of a family and indispensable and should be treated as such."

Another argued: "Another attempt to minimize [sic] the role of the father in the lives of children. If you don't see why they are doing this, or where it is going, you need to look closer."

However, other commenters agree. "I wish my mom [sic] did this, I’m getting my name legally changed to her maiden name right now but I wish she had given it to me when I was born," wrote one social media user.

Another replied: "100% - this should be the default."

What are your thoughts on mothers not giving their child the fathers surname? (Getty Images)
What are your thoughts on mothers not giving their child the fathers surname? (Getty Images)

Should children be given the mother's surname?

Modern day family structure is ever-changing, whether that is combining both surnames, hyphenating parents’ surnames or even creating a new one, parents are not restricted to follow a default name when choosing a surname for their children.

Some now opt to blend their names - an option for parents who already have a double-barrelled surname and do not want to bestow three surnames on their child.

Others may opt to give their baby their mother's name if hers is at risk of 'dying out' due to being an only child.

In the UK around 90% of straight married women take their husband’s surname which is traditionally passed onto their children.

According to a BabyCentre survey, only 4% of children were given their mother's surname with one common reason being to avoid regret if the relationship goes wrong.

Currently there is no law in place which restricts parents in the UK as to what surname can be given to a child. Surnames can also be changed after the birth certificate has been issued.