The pros and cons of adopting a new surname

For centuries, surnames have been used as an essential identifier of an individual. It represents a person's heritage, ancestry, and family connections. However, in some cases, adopting a new surname has become a trend among individuals. This decision can have various motives, such as marriage or personal preference.

In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of adopting a new surname and what you should consider before making such a significant decision.

Pros of Adopting a New Surname

1. Creating a New Identity

Adopting a new surname can help individuals in creating a new identity, especially if they want to distance themselves from their past or family. In this case, changing one's name can be a symbol of personal growth or a fresh start.

2. Uniqueness

Adopting a new surname can also enhance an individual's uniqueness, bringing a sense of individuality to their personality. This uniqueness can be especially helpful in specific careers such as modeling, music, or acting, where having a distinct name can set an individual apart from their competitors.

3. Marriage

In many cultures, a woman assumes her husband's surname once she gets married. In some cases, the couple may decide to adopt a new surname, creating a new identity together. This gesture can be a symbol of unity and love between the entire family.

4. Combining Surnames

Some couples decide to create a blended surname by combining both their last names. This decision can be a middle ground between spouses who want to maintain some sense of their identity and create a new one together.

Cons of Adopting a New Surname

1. Cost

Changing one's name legally can come with significant costs, such as obtaining new identification documents, changing legal documents, and updating multiple accounts. In some cases, it could even affect an individual's credit score if not done correctly. All these costs should be considered before committing to a name change.

2. Identity Confusion

Adopting a new surname means creating a completely new identity that some family members, friends, and colleagues may struggle to adapt to quickly. It can lead to confusion, especially if an individual has a long history with the old name.

3. Familial Connections

Changing one's surname can be perceived as a rejection of a family, heritage, and ancestral ties. This decision can cause rifts between family members, especially if they are still attached to the old surname and value the importance of family and ancestry.

4. Professional Consequences

In some cases, changing one's surname can have various professional consequences, especially when one has already established their career. For example, it could lead to confusing records, certificates, publications, and past work. It could hinder potential employers or possible recognition for previous work completed.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a New Surname

1. Research

Before officially adopting a new surname, research the processes and legal requirements in your country or state. Getting a legal name change can be a lengthy and complicated process requiring significant documentation and fees.

2. Communicate with Family Members

It is essential to communicate extensively with family members before deciding to change one's surname to avoid any tension or confusion. In some cases, family members can be an excellent source of alternative perspectives, ideas, and support.

3. Professional Considerations

Before committing to a new surname, consider the potential implications on your career, such as legally-binding contracts, professional reputation, intellectual property rights, and even your industry recognition.

4. Personal Motives

When making such a significant decision, it is crucial to reflect on one's personal motives and evaluate whether a name change aligns with their values and goals. Ensure that it is not a decision solely based on emotions, but rather one with logical and thoughtful reasoning.


Deciding to adopt a new surname comes with significant pros and cons, from creating a new identity and uniqueness to familial connections and professional considerations. Ultimately, the decision revolves around an individual's personal motives, reflecting on their values and goals. It is essential to thoroughly research the processes, communicate with family members, acknowledge professional and personal considerations before committing to such a significant change.