Naming laws – argh!

So.. I’ll be keeping my maiden name. I’m (as Beloved calls it) a very ” liberated woman”, by which he means I get angsty when I don’t get to pay 50% of everything (meaning that this wedding makes me want to go “AAaaaargh!!”  because I simply don’t have that money and while I do contribute, it’s not 50%), and that we share household duties, that I want a career, and do not meet a whole host of feminine stereotypes.

And all that has nothing to do with it :(. For the repeat visitors, you may have seen me announcing the opposite here. I had honestly planned to work around the legal bits regarding name use. I thought that ‘ using’  it, meant I could put his name on my passport. But I can’t. As long as I keep my own nationality, I will have my maiden name in my passport. And therefore also on all papers having something to do with US immigration. And therefore on my Green Card, once I get one, and on my US passport, should I get one of those.

Now had I had a different career, I wouldn’t have minded this whole ‘have one name but use the other’, but unfortunately is is very likely that I will have my name on a book somewhere soon. If I want people in my future career to find me (or rather, find all the awesomeness I have produced), I better make sure I only have one name. Mine, since I can’t get rid of it.

I’ve looked at ways to get around it, like doing another ceremony in the US (which would then let me change my name, meaning I could argue with my local authorities that I lost my maiden name, and they’d have to register me under his. Except that getting married in a way that is legal enough to change your name, becomes illegal once you’ve had a civil ceremony. And my government would simply refuse to acknowledge my losing my name, since I would still be  a citizen here, meaning that their laws apply, and not those from the US. I’ll need to contact the local authorities to undo the preference I indicated before I fully understood these laws. Meh.

I am sad. I don’t like it. My name just doesn’t work in English. Not my (informal) first name, meaning I’ll change that to what’s in my passport too and my last name just sounds completely stupid. The pronunciations makes no sense. And I don’t get to be Mrs. Hislastname, which is too bad because Hislastname is Awesomelastname and wel.. it’s his name, and I had planned to indulge myself regarding the few wedding/ marriage traditions that I value (as a reward for going along with all the ones I don’t give a rat’s ass about).

For comfort, I bought myself a 100 gram tablet of Swiss Finest Extra Noir. That makes everything a little better.

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3 Responses to “Naming laws – argh!”


  1. 1 Alice November 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    This is an ancient post but I went through this very thing… except I emigrated from the US to another country. And when I got married, I couldn’t change my last name due to local regulations and it made me sad at first… I have a complicated last name and I’m so sick of spelling it out all the time. I was looking forward to adopting my husband’s super common last name but alas… no… I’ve gotten over it. It’s just a name. And it’s mine.

  2. 2 thesmittenimmigrant November 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you, Alice!

    I’m sure I’ll get over (have maybe already gotten over) not being allowed to change my name. Still, I’m very happy to hear from you – I have definitely felt a little lonely with regards to the legal limitations, so hearing your story helps a lot.


  1. 1 Names and IDs and little bits of sexism | The Smitten Immigrant Trackback on May 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

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