So, I'm thinking about changing my last name from Martinez to Daniels. Daniels is my original birth name. My father's name was Gary Daniels, but he and my mom got divorced when I was about six months old and then I was later adopted by her second husband, thereby giving me his last name of Speeks. I married way too young and thankfully divorced within a few years, but kept my married last name of Carter, to make it easier with paperwork and everything for my kids' sake (who were/are both Carter). Four years ago I married my long-time boyfriend of eight years (now together 12 years) and assumed his last name, Martinez. He is about as Hispanic as I am - it's all in the name. Well, after marrying him and changing my name, I was going through a career change and was looking for jobs. I seriously sent out about 50 resumes and never got one call from them. Given that I'm an experienced professional, I could not contribute it to my lack of experience, education or skill, the only conclusion I came to was that is was my last name. I think people read my last name on my resume and made certain assumptions - like I wouldn't be able to speak English or something.
Even though I'm not currently looking for a job, there are still repercussions for not having an "American" last name. I know we could go into the etymology of Daniels and last names, but you know what I mean. So, because I now get several mailings (junk, snail mail, and email) all written in Spanish, plus people continually asking me about my Hispanic background and/or upbringing, I'm seriously considering adopting the name I was originally given at birth. I know there will be lots of paperwork, but I'll deal with it. Plus, I also like the thought of returning to my true identity--there's something a little empowering about that. I haven't made a final decision yet, but I think I'm getting close. My name would change from Paula Renee Martinez to Paula Renee Daniels. Any thoughts?