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July 18, 2017

Mix-and-match: Some couples forge a creative trend in naming themselves

Rather than default to a husband's last name, American couples are increasingly experimenting with an egalitarian concept: toy with the last name.

Choreographer and Brown University lecturer Sydney Skybetter is a perfect example, as highlighted Tuesday in a piece over at Glamour. Skybetter's parents are named Christine Ledbetter and Dean Skylar. When the couple had their son in Florida in 1982, they decided they wanted to give the family surname a new identity, one that represented their feminist viewpoints.

At the time, Florida statute required that children must inherit the surname of their father. It was months after Skybetter's birth that a judge gave legal validation to the name by ruling that statute unconstitutional.

Years later, as a father himself, Skybetter made the same move with his wife. He combined his own name with hers, Alvarado, to give their children the last name Skyado.

Newlyweds appear to be taking notice that there's an alternative to hyphenation, keeping a maiden name or going with the groom's last name.

"Whether to buck the patriarchal power dynamics behind the woman-takes-man’s-last-name tradition or to start a unique branch on the family tree, many see merging last names as another way to maintain equality within a partnership," Allie Volpe writes for Glamour.

The story notes that there remain legal hurdles to pulling off a name change in some states, but several couples have successfully navigated the process and shared their experiences.

Check out the full story at Glamour.