If your child has had a fairly stable relationship with his/her bio-dad (your ex), and the ex- has and probably will remain an interested party as a parent to the children, then why change the name?
Somethings I can share…
My dad found out at age 58 that he had never met his real father. The man that was truly his father was a secret because my grandmother was affraid of what others might think if they knew that she was pregnant prior to being married…she rushed into a marrage with the man I knew to be my grandfather even though he was not. Their marriage was pretty horrible. Even as a kid, I knew that my grandparents did not seem to like each other very much.
When my grandfather died, my grandmother started to “date” this guy from her past named Frank. We all questioned who he realy was, seeing that they already knew each other, yet nothing was ever mentioned of him before. She explain that our grandfather knew Frank but forbid them to be friends (which made all of us even more interested). When pressed by my dad, she almost admitted that Frank was the father but knowing how upset everyone was getting ,she somehow managed to not speak of it ever again. No one ever heard from Frank again and a year later my grandmother died taking the truth to her grave…I don’t even know my last name or anything about my heritage. I thought I was German…I probably am not.
Another thing to share with you…
I have been divorced for a little over 8 years. I have a son, age 11, and a daughter that is 8 - soon to be 9. Needless to say, the kids were VERY young. My ex- has made her opinion very clear - in front of lawers and all - that she does not think it’s fair that these kids should be made to have a relationship with me and shlep their lives back and forth from their home just to visit with me. She went on to state that no judge should be allowed to force them to even keep my last name…again, it only confuses them more (her opinion). She is insistant that her new husband (she remarried 3 months after the divorce) is the only father that these kids have ever truly known and that some day when they are older, they will recognize this as fact. Keep in mind that I have seen my kids every single day that I am lawfully allowed to (dinner per week, weekend overnights, holidays, and extended time in the summer) and we are very close. I am involved in every aspect of their lives…never missed a support payment, I take them to doctors if asked, I volunteer at their school when I can…I am there for them. And her opinion on this matter was given only three years ago (pretty well into the kids relationship with their parents).
My children, on their own accord have recently confirmed what I thought to be true. Their mom makes my 8 year old call her husband “dad”. My 11 year old will not do this; he is not willing. And, when she converses with the kids about me, I am refered to by my first name; I am not called “dad”…example, “Frank is coming today to have dinner with you”…“Frank is bringing you to me at the movies so that you dad and I can see a movie together”. I thought that something was not right because I haveseen her give hand-written notes to the kids that referred to me by name and I overhear her call the kids to the phone to talk to me…she calls me by name. Her actions are in contempt of court and more importantly a really bad thing to do to kids that love all of their parents. I have no plans on going to court over this…I have to choose my battles and this one is minor compared to other things I deal with.
If I have missunderstood your situation, then please forgive me. I just hope that you have given this alot of thought. A child’s history matters. Even if their past involves people that you or they don’t even like. Yes my opinions are biased but all opinions are - from anyone. Maybe if you read my thoughts and hear from others, you can feel better about whatever action you take…I wish you luck.