Here's something a friend of mine is doing. She's Amy Adams, and she's married to Bob Barker. When she got married, she chose to keep her original name. Okay. So they have their first child, and his name is Carl Barker (dad's surname). Now they're having their second and final child, and they plan to name him David Adams (mom's surname). Actually they don't know if #2 is a boy or girl, but regardless, its surname will be Adams (mom's). So in the household will be an adult and child named Adams, and an adult and child named Barker. What do you guys think of this plan?
That sounds more confusing than anything else. Like a previous poster said, you're left wondering if they're full sibling and stuff like that.
Hyphenating is not always the best solution down the road ( If Mary Smith-Johnson and Joey Barker-Turner have a kid, is it Ethan Smith-Johnson-Baker-Turner?) but with two 'shorts' name it does seems better. Then the kid/adult will decide by what to go when he'll have to.
I kind of feel the same way. Certainly these days there are many families where everyone in the household doesn't have the same last name, and in most cases it's not anyone else's business exactly how they're related (married/not, step/half sibling, etc.). So there's that. But, it seems disharmonious to me, to deliberately give your children different last names, even though they have the same parents with the same marital status.
I feel like an adult should be able to handle having a different last name from the rest of the household, but it might be strange, confusing, and perhaps worrying for a child. Although, I do think a lot of feelings like that have much to do with parental attitudes growing up, and aren't solely influenced by the names given.
On this subject, but historical, something that was terribly confusing for me in my family history work: Elizabeth Aston marries Robert Brown, becomes Elizabeth Brown per usual at the time. They have some kids, surname Brown. Robert dies (in the Civil War, actually). Elizabeth takes up with another fellow, Joseph Calder, and lives with him and has some kids, but they aren't married. (Must have been quite a scandal at the time!) The surnames of these kids? Brown. Her previous (dead) husband's name. Wha...?
I suppose the idea was, Mrs. Brown had a baby, it must be Baby Brown, even if Mr. Brown has been dead for years. She's no longer Miss Aston but definitely not Mrs. Calder, so Brown is the only other option. Later, Joseph Calder and Elizabeth DID get married, and kids born after that were automatically Calder. And later in life, all their bio-kids tended to migrate towards the surname Calder, even if it was Brown on the first few censuses. Spelling and naming were rather more fluid back then, I think.