Bristol Palin Traded Child Support for Tripp's Last Name?

Rumor has it that Bristol Palin, the most famous teen mom in the country and daughter of pundit and politician Sarah Palin, may have changed baby Tripp's last name from Johnston (his father Levi Johnston's last name) to Palin.

According to Radar, Palin wrote on Facebook last week that she had changed the baby's last name.

“Tripp Easton Mitchell Palin… PALIN!!!” the 20-year-old mother of one wrote.

Just a few weeks ago, Palin left Alaska and moved to Arizona where she bought a five-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot home in cash ($172,000). The rumor also suggests that she traded the last name in exchange for no more child support.


The source says, quote, "Levi is so cheap and will do anything to get out of paying any money for Tripp. He doesn't care about spending much time with Tripp. Bristol wants to fully eliminate Levi from her life and Levi is making it easier than ever for her."

If it's true, then more power to her. It's a fair trade. But if it isn't -- and I doubt it is because it's very hard to get out of child support without a legal adoption -- and she changed the last name without giving up child support, then it's really unfair.

It's hard to imagine that any state would let him off the hook so easily, but if it's true, then the baby should have the last name of his only parent. In this case, that last name is Palin. But if he is still paying child support and she was able to change the baby's name, then something is very wrong. She can't have her cake and eat it, too.

Child support isn't an insignificant contribution to a child's life. He may not be the perfect dad and he has certainly done his fair share of inane things, but what 20-year-old hasn't? If he is paying his checks on time, then he is Tripp's father. No matter how often he sees him.

Having seen both sides of this issue and so many different variations in personal circumstances, the one thing I believe unequivocally is that regular child support checks are a significant contribution to the raising of a child. It makes me sad when women who are receiving $2,000 a month or more from the fathers of their children complain that their baby has no father (or fathers complain that a mother who pays the same isn't a mother). Money is a huge part of raising a child. It isn't the only part, but it's a contribution that matters.

My own parents' marriage was intact, but my father was gone three weeks out of every month. He brought home a lot of money that allowed my mother to become a yoga teacher and work when she wanted and not when she didn't. She sometimes called herself a "single mother" because she didn't have help day to day (except the people she hired), but she wasn't. When I think of "single mom," I think of someone who is truly doing it all on her own, both financially and physically.

If Levi Johnston is paying his support on time, then he is Tripp's father and Tripp should have his last name.

What do you think of this rumor?


Image via Getty

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