Name Changing...feeling semi-guilty, WDYT?

A few of the below posts really touched me...with the adoptive parents letting the birthparents help choose a name.  That is so incredibly sweet.

I had recently decided I'll most likely change my fost/adopt baby's name (after adoption of course), and now I'm feeling a little guilty.

Here's the issues that defend me changing the name...tell me what you think:

  • Baby was taken away from mom and dad (they had 8 other kids removed and adopted out). 
  • Baby tested positive to drugs at birth.
  • Baby was named by birthfather the day she was born, and he immediately signed paperwork relinquishing his rights - he did not want to parent.
  • Birthdad later bragged he named baby after his girlfriend (not the baby's mom)
  • Birthmom is THRILLED with the name and I hate to hurt her feelings by changing it - she will be totally caught offguard.
  • Even though baby has been going by this given name since birth, we recently found out the name never made it on the birth certificate (long story)
  • I'd definitely keep her birthname as her middle name.

The reason I'd feel guilty is because this birthmom is the one who brought this miracle into our lives, even if it wasn't by choice.  Also birthmom has been nice and respectful towards me.  I feel like I owe her in a way.


Re: Name Changing...feeling semi-guilty, WDYT?

  • You shouldn't feel guilty about changing the name at all - if you are adopting, it is your child. If you LIKE the name, keep it or make it the middle name. Just because the LAST name was given at birth, doesn't mean you would keep that and not change it to yours, right?

    I understand honoring the mother - I kept DDs middle name the same, but once I picked Reagan for DD, BM actually likes that more than the name she picked herself.

    Remember the name will be theirs for their entire life, if it has any negative memory for you (like the father's story about naming it after his girlfriend who is not the mother) then I would change it. Baby needs a good, fresh start with no negative vibe floating out there.

  • I don't think you should feel guilty about changing the name either.  My decision to keep my children's names is based almost entirely on the fact that they will be older, and will identify with those names.

    In this case, you have very little to worry about, except the birth mother's feelings.  I don't think your daughter will one day agonize over why you changed her name (especially since it never made it on her birth certificate), if that's the only name she's ever really known.

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  • I know this isn't a popular opinion on this board but IMHO, you have every right to name your child what you wish to name them. I think iti s nice that you will keep the same middle name but I don't think you should feel guilty. That is just me though.
  • this will sound insensitive, I already know, but - they had the chance to be parents and name the baby as they wanted. doing things to have this baby (and others apparently) taken away, have in a sense taken away their choice to keep the baby's name the way it is or to change it. you are going to be the one that raises this child, i think you should put a little of "yourself" into the child and give her the name you'd like.



  • If I was in that situation I would change it also. They had 8 kids to name. Once adoption is completed go for it.



  • imageMsBlake:
    I know this isn't a popular opinion on this board but IMHO, you have every right to name your child what you wish to name them. I think iti s nice that you will keep the same middle name but I don't think you should feel guilty. That is just me though.

    Well said!  Especially considering the story behind it.  If you have a good relationship with the BM, and want to, you could always mention it to her, but if she is against it and makes her feelings known that could be more difficult. 

    I want to name our child, I would consider input from the BPs depending on our situation.  I think choosing a name is one of the joys of being a parent and one that I want to enjoy.  (If we adopt an older child later then I would most likely keep their name)

  • I've been reading all of these recent posts because this is an issue that I feel very strongly about but haven't jumped in until now as I want to respect all sides of this view.  I am of the school of though where not only the name but also the meaning is VITALLY important to me and to DH.  I have struggled with my name throughout life because it's ALWAYS spelled wrong but I love the meaning of it and throughout different stages of my life have actually tried to 'live up to my name'.  I like to keep my real life private on here but the name has a strong character reference that I have chosen to aspire to.  Anyway....that is just me and not something that I expect others to take on if it doesn't sit with them, but DH and I have chosen several names because they fit with our last name and because we love the sound and even more because we love the meaning and we will be changing our child's name to one of these.  We are thinking of including the birthname as a middle name possibly and I think there's something beautiful about that as it keeps the child's heritage and identity but for us the first name - the one we call the child by needs to be one that we identify with and are even now bonding with when we work on the nursery etc and say 'can you imagine _______ sleeping in this crib?' etc.
    I guess more than anything I'm echoing pps in saying that you shouldn't feel guilty.  You are the child's parents and it is your family.  You can choose to navigate this much like you will have to choose to navigate other parenting decisions and while some with be easy and well supported, others will be drama and that's just something that you and your DH need to be on the same page about.  HTH
  • I'm almost tired of this topic (I'm not saying that to be snarky), I say it because clearly we all have different emotional and some practical beliefs about whether you should change a name or not. I'm mostly exhausted from it because there is NO right or wrong answer. It varies based on the dynamic of you and your family, and the dynamic of the relationship you have with the birth family. It also depends on the child themselves.

    You need to do what you feel right as a parent. My only advice is if the child is older than 18 months and you change their name you should consult with a child psychologist or other child counseler.

    With your situation, the idea that you 'owe her in some way' IMO ...while I know that you feel lucky to have the child in your life ... that child and that BM are TRULY also the lucky ones because otherwise who knows where that child and BM would be if you or someone else in the foster system were not there for them or perhaps they wouldn't have the same personality and thoughtfulness as you. So I don't think you owe her anything other than keeping your promise to be the best parent possible to her child.

    Good luck!



  • If you would like a birthmother's opinion, here is mine:

    The birth parents sign papers to give up all rights to the baby/child so while they can fill out the papers for a birth certificate & SS # in the hospital, once they sign papers, they have no rights to the identity of that child.

    I named my baby and filled out all the papers, then the next day I signed the adoption papers. I have a set of documents with the name I gave her for my memories. Her adoptive parents filled out documents through the courts with the name they gave her, completely different. They gained that right. I would have loved for them to have kept the name I gave her, but they had something else planned and I can respect that. She will always be in my heart and thoughts no matter what name she has.

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