DEAR ABBY: Several months ago, I left "Bill," the man I had lived with for almost four years and with whom I have a daughter. I left him to move in with "John," someone I met on the Internet. It was a big mistake. John turned out to be a pathological liar who used me for my money. I was deeply hurt.
Abby, during our six months together, he was hired twice, but was fired from each job within two weeks. I bought him everything he had. He promised to repay me, but I haven't received one red cent from him. I am now filing for bankruptcy.
John told me he loved me and wanted us to marry and have a family. He talked me into going off the pill. I agreed because I loved him and wanted another child. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I realized that John had lied to me about everything, so I broke up with him.
Bill and I are back together now, and getting married soon. Since he will be raising the child, he wants his name on the birth certificate instead of John's. John is leaving the state and I don't think he will be back.
My question is: What last name should my child have? John feels that the baby should have his last name because he is the biological father. He threatened that if I didn't agree, he would get a court order. Can he do that since we were never married?
Abby, should I put Bill's name, John's name or "father unknown" on the birth certificate? -- UNDECIDED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR UNDECIDED: I see no reason why you should put Bill's name on the birth certificate since he is not the child's biological father. However, since what you put on the birth certificate could have unforeseen consequences in the future, I urge you not to make this decision without consulting a lawyer.