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A rose by any other name, would smell so sweet!

(122 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Wed 29-Jan-14 12:32:39

Please, if you feel willing and able, come and share your thoughts on names.

Please, please be aware this will be a sensitive and emotive topic so please:

Only share what you feel comfortable and no real names or nick names at all, please.

We were told we should not change a child's name. But I know some people do, have done, will do. I know that it used to be common practice.

Does anyone use nicknames or pet names or change things round?

Have any people adopted as children experienced name change either by their choice or adopted parent choice and how does it feel.

How do birth and adoptive parents feel?

Sorry, I know it will be emotive so let's all be nice to each other! after all this my thread will probably be empty!

Italiangreyhound Mon 03-Feb-14 14:17:10

Thanks for posting all these great comments.

Italiangreyhound Mon 03-Feb-14 14:18:01

Can I ask, people generally find social services are good at talking about any risk factor?

Please no identifying comments, and please no scare tactics for those of us newbies!

Really are social services good at this issue?

What can prospective adopters do to consider security ourselves?

Thanks again, it is very helpful. I really want to whatever is best for whomever we adopt.

Moomoomie Mon 03-Feb-14 17:23:36

in any adoption there is risk. Our birth mother actually move to the town in which we live between the adoption of the o,der two and dd3. I wasnt aware of this before dd3 was born,so we could have passed in the town centre. In fact i was working at the same hospital on the day dd3 was born,
I suppose if you wnt lower risk you need to adopt well outsixe your local area, but even then there is no guarantee that birth fami,y wont move.

Italiangreyhound Mon 03-Feb-14 18:26:14

Moomoomie the way adoption has been organised up to now is by county so that encourages adoption from within county, do you think that makes it harder?

Moomoomie Mon 03-Feb-14 19:53:38

I suppose it depends on how big the county is and how transient the population is. In a way I reckon it s one of the downsides of adopting through your LA, as they will want to place their children with their adopters.
One family I know adopted through an agency and their boys come from miles amd miles away, so she does not have that worry.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 03-Feb-14 21:06:56

London boroughs won't approve adopters who live on their borough, for security reasons, though London is densely populated enough that a) you can find a neighbouring borough reasonably easily to approve you; but b) it can sometimes be too close for comfort. Many of them now work as consortia to approve parents and place children to make the whole process easier.

Italiangreyhound Wed 05-Feb-14 09:52:44

Somebody suggested elongating a name, or shortening it, maybe if it is hyphenated removing part of it and having that part as a middle name. What do people think generally of that. E.G. turning Samuel in to Sam or Sam into Samuel, or Derek-James in to James (middle name Derek) or Derek (James middle name), Pennylosomina into Penny.

I wonder if the chid is called one thing but it is written as their offiicial name another way, e.g. called Andy or Andi and they were named only Andy but you give them Andrew or Andrea (depending on gender of course!).

For a child who could not write yet there would be no difference in sound.

Would you feel the need to tell birth parents?

Just curious. Does this 'count' as name changing.

All made up examples.

Birth parents reading this, please do not be offended, it is just a dicussion around this theme. I know people who have kept the name unchanged, others who have changed it a bit and some who have totally changed it. If I am honest I would have no idea what practice was more common now, I think a lot of people do keep it the same.

I just wanted to get a few views on the subject.

Thanks so much.

Moomoomie Wed 05-Feb-14 10:41:13

To be honest, until you actually hear the name of a child you are considering it is easy to get all worried and tied up in knots about it.
The child may have the same name as your dd, then you would need to ask the SW about changing it.
The majority of adopted children I know have very nice, general names, I agree, often not the adopted parents themselves would have chosen, but i would have not changed a child's name just because I would not have chosen it. Security reasons aside.

Italiangreyhound Wed 05-Feb-14 12:04:37

Thanks, Moomoomie. Certainly when we are sure of the name we will know what we feel but the principle is one I want to understand better. I am not worried about naming the child or even particularly worried about it being a name I like. I will grow to like it because it is them. I am concerned that an unusual name will single them out or identify them as being adopted.

The examples I gave above were purposley bland examples. Except for Pennylosomina which was totally made up! If they were called Sam or Andy it would not matter at all (to me) as they are relatively common ones.

I guess I am thinking of slightly unusual names. What counts as unusual? A ranking of 500, 1000, 2000?

I found this site useful I was surprised to see some names I would have considered quite unusual are now less unusual!

drspouse Wed 05-Feb-14 12:29:07

As I said above, our DS' name is around rank 125 and there are only 3 children under 10 with his name in our town. However, the name itself wouldn't mark him out as being from any particular class, or ethnicity (though it is a name that exists, and is actually slightly more common though not much, than in the UK, in his birth country. We chose it from our UK family names, it's just a nice coincidence that it's also in existence in his birth country).

But that's the kind of number of children in your area you will get with that kind of ranking. The name ranks seem to mean that at the top you get 100s of children with that name, and likely at least 2 or 3 in their class, and they fall off very quickly so that once you get down to 80 or 100 you will only come across a very few with that name. You don't have to go far down the list for it to be unusual.

I'd worry more about "unheard of" or "culturally inappropriate" (say, Beyonce for a White British child!) than "unusual". People ask us how we chose the name and we say it's a family name. I know a lot of adopters, with an unusual but not unheard of name given by birth family, who just say the same.

Have a look here:

Olivia was the 2nd most common girl's name in 2012, and 0.65% of girls (so just over 1 in 200) girls had that name.
Jack was 3rd, and 0.8% of boys (about 1 in 120) had that name (people are less adventurous when naming boys).
Olive, however, was 260th and 1 girl in 4000 had the name and Jackson was 113th with about 1 in 1000 with that name.

And in between, Henry was 24th with 0.4% of boys having that name (so 1 in 250) and Maya was at no 53 and that was .14% i.e. 1 in about 700.

But all of those names are ones that people will have heard of and won't say "wow, where did THAT come from". (though they might be a bit judgey with Jackson, wondering if you were an odd Michael Jackson groupie - that's all I can think of really!)

So around the middle of the first 100, you do get a rapid fall-off and you are unlikely to have another child in your child's class or even year with that name, which is kind of the same as having a name around the 150 or 250 mark - as long as it's a name people have heard of, and that doesn't have unfortunate connotations.

Italiangreyhound Wed 05-Feb-14 12:38:21

Thanks drspouse that is very helpful. How do you extrapolate all those facts from the site. It is the one I was looking it and all I could see was the rating.

drspouse Wed 05-Feb-14 12:42:10

The percentage is on the graph.

Italiangreyhound Wed 05-Feb-14 12:48:47

I wonder if anyone has adopted a child with a really unusual name (not weird or wacky) just not at all common and found it OK. Please do PM me. I know a lot of people don't think about this because probably for lots of people unusual names are rare.

SorrelForbes Wed 05-Feb-14 12:53:32

Our FC's name doesn't appear on any web sites including the ONS or the dark green one. That's because it's ridiculous! Sorry, but it just is and I hope that when the adoption takes place, everyone is sensible and just lets her change it!

Moomoomie Wed 05-Feb-14 17:26:24

Dd1 has an unusual name. Only three registered the year she was born, I don't think a name alone will single them out as being adopted.

Italiangreyhound Wed 05-Feb-14 17:49:58

That's a good point Moomoomie. I guess maybe I am being a bit paranoid.

I guess I want them when they are older to tell whomever they want and have the freedom not to tell.

Italiangreyhound Fri 07-Feb-14 14:38:35

I just wanted to thank all who had taken part in the discussions about names.

I feel a name is very important.

Adoptive parents-to-be can find it beneficial to discuss this area, the importance of a name, any security issues, and of course any other things such as very odd names which could make life hard for the child.

For regular names I now feel a lot happier and more relaxed and it was through taking it through. That I think is one thing the mumsnet adoption boards do very well, allow us the space to talk and learn from others.

I feel now much more confident (and relaxed) about the whole subject.

Thank you.

StupidMistakes Mon 10-Feb-14 19:08:32

I was very keen for my son to keep his name and his adoptive parents have promised they will yet to me he will always be mummys miracle, he has a proper name, but I plan on getting a necklace with his name and date of birth one side, and mummy's miracle the other.

My sons name though not a extremely common name, is a normal name and if I were to look for one child his age across the country and travel there I still probably wouldn't have found him at 19 tbh. I was very keen for him to keep his middle name as well as it has family significance.

I think that for my ds that was already a part of his identity <he was 3 at placement> and he would say "I am mini-me" <yes mini me is instead of his name> so changing that would be confusing for him now. I also haven't dispite knowing where he was in foster care turned up and disturbed him, I would occasionally see his foster carer driving down the road as I was walking to contact centre and they would BOTH wave at me, but he was coming to see me. If I was to bump into him and he was to run up to me and cuddle me, be it right or wrong I would cuddle him back, kiss him, tell him I love him and then turn him around and send him back to his mum where he belongs, not saying that would be easy and I don't doubt tears would run down my face but that's what you do as a parent, you put your child first, and for me that's letting him go,

Italiangreyhound Mon 10-Feb-14 22:15:59

SM That is so lovely and so sad. Thank you for sharing. I am sure your son will grow up with a real sense of who he is.

MultipleMama Sun 07-Sep-14 13:21:37

I know this is somewhat an old thread but was linked here, so posting here in hopes to give my dad differed opinions and advice.

My dad is adopting a little boy (2), the circumstances he came to my dad were horrific, in the politest term possible, and a lot of the bio family were involved. DB has quite a few trigger words (which is heartbreaking at his age) and let's just say he would not be safe if his name were kept. Dad is very worried and concerned and wants to change his name (DB has expressed very timidly to dad that he wants a special name like my dad).

Dad is conflicted as when to do it, and now whether or not the SW will say/do anything (so far she doesn't know he plans to change it but due to circumstances he thinks she may agree with him). Also, his court date won't be until late November.

Any advice? (He will be reading this).

Devora Sun 07-Sep-14 14:10:54

Hi MultipleMama, I would suggest your dad talks to his SW about this. I"m not sure the expressed wishes of a two year old would be given much weight, but the circumstances you allude to could well lead the SW to agree that your db's emotional needs would be better met with a new name. And then I think it should happen as soon as possible, not wait till the final court date.

smokeandglitter Sun 07-Sep-14 14:18:09

My name was changed when I was adopted as a baby. I changed it back to my birth name (as preferred name) age 11. My adoptive family and a couple of friends call me 'adoptive name' everyone else, including dh calls me 'birth name'. My birth name was also kept as my middle name.

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