Couple’s 'blended' baby name sparks furious divide

 

People love a good mash up.

Avocado and Vegemite is one combo you'd never consider putting together, but those two smeared across warm toast have become the epitome of Australian culture.

Now there's a new mash up Aussies are loving - and it involves baby names.

While double-barrel surnames were once all the rage, a new trend is seeing parents give their offspring a mix of both parents' surnames to create a new family name.

A Sydney couple are among the few that have done a "blended" surname and it's been met with mixed reaction.

New parents Laura Sheldon and Courtney Cassar have blended their surnames to create a new name for their four-week-old daughter Lyla. Picture: Toby Zerna
New parents Laura Sheldon and Courtney Cassar have blended their surnames to create a new name for their four-week-old daughter Lyla. Picture: Toby Zerna

Courtney Cassar and Laura Sheldon are new parents to daughter Lyla and after long discussions that happened before Ms Sheldon was even pregnant, the pair chose to "mash-up" their last names.

The parents opted for the last name "Casseldon" for their daughter, explaining they loved the modern moniker.

"I like the idea of our daughter having a part of both of us," Mr Cassar told The Daily Telegraph.

"With hyphens I find a lot of kids end up choosing one name because it is easier.

"We played around with a few last names and found one that we like and sounds like a last name."

However they admitted the decision to give Lyla a fresh surname had divided friends and family as some weren't even sure if the move was legal.

Online, opinions were divided too - some labelling the decision "ridiculous" while others thought it was "lovely".

"Why? Bit ridiculous really," one wrote.

"Family trees are going to get much harder in the future," another said.

"Previously surnames were a sense of pride, indicating where your family came from and your heritage. This will indicate that your parents are hipster bogans," someone commented.

While one scoffed: "This is peak stupid."

But some defended the decision, saying, "It's the parents right to name their children anything they like."

In order to officially name a baby in NSW, where the couple are from, parents only need to inform Births, Deaths and Marriages of the child's full name, according to Service NSW. Other Australian states follow similar guidelines.

While Lyla has the surname Casseldon, her parents are keeping their own surnames. Picture: Facebook/Courtney Cassar
While Lyla has the surname Casseldon, her parents are keeping their own surnames. Picture: Facebook/Courtney Cassar

Little Lyla Casseldon isn't the only baby to be given a blended last name this year, with statistics from New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages revealing that children who share the same last name as their parents has dropped by more than 50 per cent since 1980.

Only 3 per cent of children in 2019 were given a hyphenated last name, compared to 0.7 in 1980, while the proportion of kids with last names that belong to neither parent has increased from 3.4 per cent to 9.4 per cent since 1980.

Even with the modern takes on surnames growing in popularity, the traditional practice of a child taking their father's last name still remains the most popular with 85.5 per cent of children in Australia.


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