A person's maternal name is the family name, or surname, from the mother's side of the family. The maternal name remains the same even if the mother legally changes her name after marriage and never uses the maternal name.
In many countries, babies are traditionally given the father's last name or paternal name. However, other options are available. Sometimes couples create a new last name by combining parts of their surnames to give to their child. In other cases, when both partners in a marriage keep their original last name, they select the mother's surname to pass on to their offspring. Certain couples decide to give their children the hyphenated version of both the parental surnames.