On April 13th 1977 I was born and named Brandon Marr Cashion, and thus I lived for 5 years through divorces and remarriages whereupon my Birth-Father, Tim decided to allow my Step-Father Ron to legally adopt me. At that time I made a very powerful choice. I was standing between two worlds and at 5, I decided that I wanted to retain who I had been while still moving forward to who I wanted to be, thus I was named Brandon Marr-Cashion Spratt. My previous last name became a part of my middle name and thus I retained my identity in all forms of who I was.
Now 24 years later, I am facing a similar identity. I am preparing to get married (2nd marriage for anyone who is counting), and My fiancee and I have been discussing what our names would be. We are not a couple who believes in convention and thus do not just accept the western (Euro-centric) viewpoint that my last name must overtake hers.
Thus I was prepared to take her name, .....new journey, new name......
Now I mentioned this to my mother, who literally broke down in tears and begged me not to "do this to my father who gave me the gift of his name". I truly respect my family and I am proud of who I am as a result of their upbringing of me.
So as a result of guilt, I am now confused over how to proceed.
1) If we take my name, I am asking my wife to set aside her values for the patriarchal customs of the society we were born into.
2) If I take her name, I risk losing my family based upon the shame I would bring to them by so easily throwing away my name. (Words told to me, by the way)
3) We both keep our own names, thus eliminating this issue but it does lead issues when trying to establish yourself as a family in the U.S. as some agencies restrict the definitions to those with the same last name.
4) We hyphenate our last names, but that actually carries all the issues of the above possibilities.
Problems foreseeable in any possible move forward include:
The absolute fight that exists for a man to change his name upon marriage, versus the ease for a woman to do the same due to customs, procedures, and policies already in place.
No matter what choice we make, what then should the children's surname be?
This is a perplexing discussion and so I want to see if anyone might have any advice.