Ask Amy: Grandparent seeks connection to baby

June 2, 2014 

Dear Amy: Our daughter and her partner are expecting a baby this summer. My husband and I are thrilled, but I'm struggling with an issue.

Our daughter's partner, "Candace," is carrying the baby. We knew that having children would be other than "traditional" for them, and we accept that.

We feel tremendously fortunate that our daughter is happy and that we like her partner very much.

However, not only is Candace carrying the baby, but they are planning to give the baby Candace's last name. I was hoping they might give the child our last name to give us some connection to our grandchild. Now I'm feeling very left out.

I briefly expressed my dismay to my daughter, but in the end it is their decision, and I don't want to meddle.

How can I resolve these feelings of sadness? I so want to cherish this new little one without resentment.

— Feeling sad

Dear Sad: Regardless of the child's name, you do have a connection to your daughter's baby — the baby will be your grandchild. That's a solid gold connection.

If your daughter was in a very traditional heterosexual marriage, the child would bear the husband's last name. I understand that because your daughter isn't the pregnant partner, you may have no DNA connection to the child, but the fact is that this child will be hers and by extension also yours.

An adopted child wouldn't share your DNA but that child would be a "real" member of your family — and you would love that child, just as you will love this child.

Dear Amy: Your reply to "Happy Father," in which you questioned his definition of "sexually pure," was condescending. It was the written equivalent of an eye roll.

It made you seem less than sincere. Even the high school and college age kids who work for me know exactly what "sexually pure" means, though some of them also roll their eyes at the term.

What I find remarkable, though, is how many of these kids intend to remain sexually pure until marriage.

It's heartening to see them behaving in a way that is both countercultural and emotionally healthy. You should grant the term "sexually pure" a little more respect. A lot more, actually.

— Bradley

Dear Bradley: I always applaud people making healthy choices. In terms of granting the terminology "sexually pure" more respect? No, I don't think I will. I would consider throwing some respect its way if this term were equally applied to boys (as well as girls), but it never is.


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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