I think that parents who given their children a hyphenated last name are doing them a great injustice.
First, it's hard to put a hyphenated last name on forms. And what do you do as a kid? You spend half your time filling out forms. Even these days, when you may not be dealing with scantrons, it's still got to be a pain in the ass.
Second, think about what happens when you give your last name for an appointment or whatever. Nobody ever knows how to spell it, so you have to spell it out. Then you have to tell them there's a hyphen. Then you have to spell the second name. Think about doing that your whole life.
And if you do this to a boy, what happens when they get married? Does the wife drop her own name and taken on both her husband's parents' names? I wouldn't be thrilled about doing that. And what if she wants to hyphenate? Will she now have three names? And what if her name is hyphenated? Will her new hyphenated name now have four parts?? And what about the children? Will they each have four hyphenated names???
I think it's selfish to hyphenate. To me, it means that neither parent was willing to compromise their precious last name in order not to saddle their child with that burden. Especially when the two names sound awful together. Like I knew this guy whose last name was O'Malley-Goldstein. Seriously??
Options that I think are okay:
--Making one parent's last name the child's middle name
--Alternating which child gets which parent's last name
--Creating some new last name that's one word but somehow a fusion of both names
--Anything that doesn't involve a freaking hyphen!
And don't get me started on hyphenated first names, Mark-Paul Gosselaar.