CPW: Children's Names

lorifromwilorifromwi member
edited August 2014 in Adoption
The child you are adopting has a first name that wouldn't necessarily have been your choice...what do you do? (I always have the hardest time writing poll options...)


CPW: Children's Names 89 votes

The child is young, so they will never know and I change it.
28% 25 votes
I'd like to leave them something of their past, so it becomes their middle name.
46% 41 votes
It's an older child, so I let them pick a new name if they want.
5% 5 votes
Change it no matter what.
3% 3 votes
Don't legally change the name, but start using a nickname.
2% 2 votes
Other (please leave a comment)
14% 13 votes

Re: CPW: Children's Names

  • This is dependent on so many factors.

    DD's birthmom gave her a name just to have something on her BC. She was totally open to us changing it. And DD was a newborn.

    Friends who have done foster/adopt of older kids have traditionally kept their child's FN and either added or changed a MN. If the child had a horrible FN they'd change it, but if it just wasn't their style, they left it alone.

    Depending on the age of the child, I have heard of having them participate in the name decision.

  • We did not get the chance to know our daughter's name before we had to give the agency a name. It was very hard to choose a name with no information about our little girl. If we got to meet her birthmom, I would have liked to include her in choosing a name.
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  • DD2 was 3 months when she came home with us. So, obviously she had a name. Her name was NMS and actually the name of an uncommon Disney princess. We thought of keeping her middle name until we heard it (think along the lines of "Precious"). We chose to give her a new FN, a MN that had a meaning of her given MN, and because the given MN was important to BM, we kept it as a second MN.
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  • B came home with us at about 7 months. His given name was fine, with a youneek spelling. We still gave him the name we had chosen for our son way back before we got married. I think it can be a good way to take 'ownership', if you will and assert yourself as a parent.
  • edited August 2014
    It was SO important to me to give A one name only. I think for me, it symbolized her identity. I didn't want her to have an identity as my daughter that was wiped away to replace with her identity as someone else's in a different life. In my mind, she has always had one identity: her parents' daughter that I was blessed to be able to grow for them and share in a special way. That is what we tell her, and I wasn't about letting that be empty words. Her OBC has her current name exactly, their last name and all. It helped that they chose my last name as her middle name, so I still got to put a piece of me on her OBC. 

    I plan to one day foster to adopt and like to think I'll keep their names but replace my last name. If the name is awful and the kid is very young, I think at most I'd replace first name and make original first name as another middle name. I try very hard to think objectively about the well-being of the children; what will confuse, hurt, or belittle their experiences/life outside of me over what gives me the warm and fuzzies. I know that my experience as birth mom colors this, as I'm sure my experience as an adoptive mom one day will, so this is all hypothetical.

    edited for clarity
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

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  • I have actually been thinking about this lately and wondering what we'd do if we're matched with a child whose name I hate. If the child is young enough, I think I would change it. It's so hard to say right now, though, because we haven't been matched yet.  I really think it depends how how old the child is and how much we hate the name. The age range we're looking at is infant to 3 years old.
    Happily married Mom to 2 beautiful little girls, 2 dogs and 2 cats (all rescues), 2 fish and one 29 year-old firebelly newt.
    ~ Hoping to add to our family by adoption via Connecticut DCF. Application submitted on 2/4/14. First home visit on 6/23/14. Started class 11/17/14.~

  • We changed DS's first name since his BM had chosen a first + middle name that was exactly the same as one of my cousin's kids (not to mention a VERY popular first name choice for boys these days). We kept his middle name since it was also DS's birth grandfather's middle name and we all loved that he gets to carry on a tradition from his birth family like that.

    I agree with @GnomeSweetGnome that it was important for us to choose a name that fit our family.  At first I didn't feel like I fully had the right to do so and it took me a few weeks as we became more and more his parents to feel settled about it.
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  • We have nicknamed our foster son... He has three names and two last names so it's a mouth full. PJ is our nickname because his first name starts with a P and his middle with a J... But his family calls him Kevin... I'm like huh??? So no... Not feeling that.
    We will rename him if we adopt and will keep the PJ but change the names behind it... We like Paxton Jack
    Me 34 and DH 39 married in aug. 2002
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  • We selected the name in conjunction with our sons mom. At the day of placement, we decided to keep his last name as his second middle name.  And at finalization we added our last name to his name.
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  • I think that it depends on the age of the child and the circumstance. I changed my sons names on advice from our lawyer and counselor for safety reasons.

    Mother of two wonderful boys! Blessed through adoption.

  • I couldn't choose. For me, it would depend on the exact situation, but my bias is to keep as much of the child's original name as possible. I am incredibly grateful that DS's birth mother liked the name we wanted and put it on his original birth certificate. 

    Variables include: age, safety, meaningfulness to the birth family, possible impact on perceptions of the child. 

  • We actually planned on changing our sons' name....until we heard it, and we actually really like it!  It has a nice meaning too.  We're doing international adoption though, and I'm not really concerned about legal or safety reasons.  
  • My kids' names are not ones I would have ever chosen but they are good, solid names.  We kept all of children's first names the same as homage to their birth mom and respect to their identity at birth. 

    One middle name we kept b/c we loved it (and it was the name of the city where we honeymooned!) and gave the other two children family middles. and then they all have our last name. 

    I think the blend of old names plus new is a great representation of what adoption means to us and is representative of who the children are. they had an identity before we adopted them and that will always be with them, but they also have taken on a new identity and family through adoption which is represented in their names as well. 
  • My children were older, so we kept their first names and let them help pick new middle names (neither had middle names to speak of before).
  • Our girls came to our home at 3 weeks, and their names have given us nothing but trouble since then.  In fact just today in court the judge had to do a double, then triple take to figure out why he got the same child's info twice.  It wasn't the same info, the girls just have names that are one letter apart from each other.  It causes issues with prescriptions, doctor appointments, WIC, everything.  Every person who has heard their given names tells us they need new ones!
    DCF knows we call them by nicknames, and is fine with it. We cannot wait for them to legally have new names!

    5/10 - Gideon 6/12 Warren
    4/11 Started adoption process for 2 siblings through DCF. 10/12 Found out we are licensed! 12/14 Brought 3 week old identical twin girls home from the hospital.  Could be at least until Summer 1015 til we know if they are forever ours
    [Deleted User]
  • msditz00msditz00 member
    edited September 2014
    @spooko Things have been nuts with the girls.  I don't even remember the last time I posted here, but Jules was hospitalized in May, and Jules and Liz were hospitalized in June (yet another time when their almost identical names proved to be an issue - we were triple checking meds constantly!).  They have asthma and are now deemed medically complex.  We spend way too much time giving them nebulizer treatments.
    As far as the case, family members have filed motions to intervene.  DCF has filed objections to both motions, and one family member who filed didn't even bother to make it to court.  The judge seemed not amused when he found out the grandmother who filed has met the girls 3 times, and originally declined to take them when they were born.  (I already dealt with a crazy grandmother case, why is history repeating itself?!
    As of now DCF says they will not move the girls, since they are bonded to us and have no relationship with any bio family.  And TPR should be relatively easy since dad isn't getting out of jail anytime soon and mom is only getting out a month before DCF says they are filing (although she hasn't been sentenced, she just THINKS she is getting out then).  But our hopes of the girls being legally ours by the time we leave for Disney in April have vanished.  The family is just going to make this have to drag out for a while it seems.

    Hope your family is doing well!!!
    ETA - for 9 months now I have tried to change my siggy. Why won't it work??

    5/10 - Gideon 6/12 Warren
    4/11 Started adoption process for 2 siblings through DCF. 10/12 Found out we are licensed! 12/14 Brought 3 week old identical twin girls home from the hospital.  Could be at least until Summer 1015 til we know if they are forever ours
    [Deleted User]
  • msditz00 said:.

    Hope your family is doing well!!!
    ETA - for 9 months now I have tried to change my siggy. Why won't it work??
    Try this:

    ***Lurker out***
    9 months and it turned out to be that easy???  THANKS!

    5/10 - Gideon 6/12 Warren
    4/11 Started adoption process for 2 siblings through DCF. 10/12 Found out we are licensed! 12/14 Brought 3 week old identical twin girls home from the hospital.  Could be at least until Summer 1015 til we know if they are forever ours
  • In China, children who have been abandoned are assigned names as their information is entered into the government system. Their surname/last name is given to all children in the institution, their first name (which is actually used more like we use our middle names) denotes the date that they were entered into the system, and their middle name (used like our first names) is something unique.

    For our son, his surname denotes the province where he was found, his first name is a nearly meaningless syllable (a word to denote counting items... a bit like "of") that was given to all children who were found in the same month, and his first name Xin (pronounced like "Sheen") means happy/joyful.

    We want to honor his birth culture and the name he knows and answers to (he's almost 2). We also want to separate him from his government-assigned identity so he'll have a name given to him in love, rather than just by location and date. We are dropping his surname and first name and keeping Xin as his middle name.

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