All three of my kids have hyphenated last names so both of our last names would be represented. As far as birth certificate, you fill that out however you want. So if you want two last names, then that's what you fill out on the birth certificate application form.
We are in Dallas too! Our friends that had a baby through CCB ~ 2 1/2 yrs ago did a lot of research & found that San Antonio was the only place to get the adoption done at that time. I haven't done any research myself to see if anything has changed since then.
We have some friends here in Memphis and one of the girls actually changed her last name to match her partners last name. You just have to fill out a change of name request and legally change your name. I had no idea it was that simple, but an adult can do that in any state I believe.
This allowed their son to have one last name and they said it helps them feel a bit more like a family, by all sharing the same last name.
My partner and I have talked about that but it's such a hard decision. I have a professional career in a fortune 500 company and have been there for 13 years and I'm fortunate enough to have a good reputation. Her story is the same so we are in a quandary because we're both attached to our last names!
I know straight women do it all the time, why does it feel so foreign to think of changing my last name?
I think my partner and I are going to keep our own names, but if we have a child (would be born in Illinois or Iowa, as we live in a metro area that spans them), I would have the baby and we would use my partner's last name. So, could I just put a last name down on the birth certificate that is not legally my own for my child? And that would take care of it?
The second-parent adoption would happen later, I guess. No immediate need in terms of health insurance.
I believe that the birth mom can put any first, middle last names down on the birth certificate along with the birth mother's legal first middle last name. Depending on state and intentions for second parent adoption, the "father" is usually left blank. After a second parent adoption goes through a new birth certificate is issued with both parents names. So if you want to put your name as your first with your partner's last name, you should legally change your name to that prior to the birth of your baby.
Our daughter is FirstName MiddleName MyLastName Partner'sLastName. Two words, no hyphen. I can't recommend this method, because it confuses everyone's computer. SSA got it right, but for tax purposes, her last name is just Partner'sLastName.
Our midwife said that without a marriage license or affidavit of paternity, state law required she use my last name as the baby's last name. "So you go by MyLastName Partner'sLastName, right?" (In most states, changing your name by use is perfectly legal, so you can go by whatever name you want, so long as you aren't trying to defraud anyone.) This is going to be very state-specific, and if you're planning a hospital birth, the hospital bureaucracy may have opinions that restrict you more than state law does.
I've got all my professional certifications in my last name, and my partner has a very ethnic last name that doesn't match me at all. So I'm in no particular hurry to change my name. I wouldn't mind if people called me by DD's last name, but unfortunately, they tend to call her by my last name. (Which she is not a fan of, because if she were to drop one of the two last names, it would be mine she'd drop.)
Allyphoe and Jamu, thanks for your feedback!! I need to look into Illinois law on this. I haven't moved out there yet, so I haven't had a lot of occasion to do this. We're waiting to see if gay marriage goes through, even for a couple years, in Iowa, before we decide which side of the Mississippi to buy a house on, so I may need to look into both Illinois and Iowa regulations on this. Hopefully the ruling will come out soon, (oral arguments were in December). But yes, we're planning a hospital birth, and I do expect the hospital's rules will make the biggest difference. I don't think it's a huge problem to change in court later, though I'd guess we'd want to do that at the same time as 2nd parent adoption.
We have friends, a straight couple opposed to marriage, who just picked a random third name for their daughter. Kind of cool, but we are set on using my partner's name.