That's the battle the Sabr family is facing with the state of Tennessee. Parents Kim Sarubbi and Carl Abramson decided to give their kids a name built from parts of theirs: Combining the Sar and the Abr from the beginning of their surnames to make Sabr. Their plan worked out fine for the two kids who were born in California, but apparently, their new son who was born in Tennessee isn't so lucky: His birth certificate was returned with a big red line through Sabr. And they're supposed to either pick one of their surnames for their son, give him both surnames—or pay $150 to change his name to whatever they want.
But the couple is opting for none of the above, and intends to take their fight to court, to help prevent this from happening to other name mashers.
(For the record, Tennessee seems to be a very tough place for baby-naming freedom—this is also where a judge denied one mom the right to give her son the name Messiah.)
Personally, I'd just pay the $150 and be done with it. (Or I'd just do what I did, and give my daughters my husband's last name, and just keep my maiden name. Done!)
But I'm intrigued about what you think: Did you give much thought to which surname you'd give your baby? Did you follow tradition and give your baby his/her father's surname, give your baby a hyphenated last name, or choose yours? And would you ever consider creating a mashup surname like the Sabrs?