Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a rose by any other name

Dear reader,

I want to know what you think about names. Specifically, changing the name of an adopted child. I have been pondering this subject for some time now. I go back and fourth. Sometimes I feel like the child has been through enough, who are we to go changing their first name.

Then I think, if they are under a certain age, it may be ok. Like if they cannot spell their name yet, it might be ok.

I've also heard of older children who want to pick a new first name because they associate their given first name with bad things, and their former life.

With some names, it's just a matter of um, well, correcting the spelling, and I don't really see that as a problem, unless of course, the child is old enough to spell their name, then it may be a problem or not an option.

What do you think? I'd like to hear from you.


BNHMAMA said...

We adopted two from the foster care system. But we got them at 3 months and 1 month. We chose to give them a new first name and then used their birth first name for their middle name. We felt that it was a part of thier history and wanted to keep part of their name for them. I think up until around 4-5 years it would not be a problem to change their name.

snickie said...

I think it depends, on a lot of things. But let me tell you about my personal experience.

I'm adopting my girls. My oldest was named after her birth father and his mother and grandmother. Aside from not liking the name, it turns out the man is NOT her biological father. He signed her birth certificate though, and that is not going to be changed (her birth father is unknown) I don't want to confuse her later by having her think she was named after her birth father, when she wasn't.

This is an example of what we did, since she's not adopted yet I can't use her real name.

Take the legal name Joanna, we give everyone nicknames, so we'd call her Annie. When the adoption is final, we'd change her legal name to Annabelle, but we'd still use her nickname Annie.

My youngest daughters legal name is not changing. She is named after her biological grandmother, and my husband and I picked out her middle name. She also has a nickname.

I want to add that my oldest daughter is keeping her iddle name (one of them, she had several).

It was very important that they each have a name that their birth mother gave them, and a name that we gave them. I think a part of claiming a child as your own (for lack of a better phrase) is being able to give them a name that you chose as their parents.

Sorry for such a long winded comment, I actually shortened it from what I originally typed :)

Julie said...

B & S,

Thank you for your comments, it's greatly appreciated and very insightful. (S, never worry about comment length silly putty! It's all good!)

Thanks again!

Stephanie said...

I think I would want to change the child's name. If they are old enough to decide themselves, like 5 or 6, then they can probably say if they would like a new name. I like the idea of the nickname. That way they have some transition time.

MJ said...

We just adopted four kids from foster care. At the time of adoption their ages were...twins age 5, boy age 3 and boy age 2. We knew from the start that we wanted to change their first names due to the fact that their birth family lives 35 miles from us and for security reasons. After visits with their bio mom, we started talking to the twins age 5 about changing their names. The boy wanted to be named after his new dad and the girl wanted to be named after myself. We did try to give them some input on their names and the girl wanted to be named Cinderella. I also thought that if they could pick their own name..would they think they could keep changing it every so often. Anyways we just explained to the children that we had special names picked out for them and was it okay for us to name them. They were fine with that. After about 2 months all the kids were calling each other by their new names without slip ups. Last year at school they were called by their old names and then this year they started school with their new names. In our case it has worked out wonderful.