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dc names - did you change?(34 Posts)
My dc are adopted. One of the big questions before adopting is what do you do if you hate their names. I love my dc names, although we were told we could alter them slightly if we wanted too. They are not names we would have chosen ourselves but suit the children. We did add a middle name to tie them to us, the new family . Just wondered what others did?
This topic tends to end spiritedly on this board! There are people who think any change is unacceptable, people who think change is sometimes the right thing in cases of very high security risk, and all manner of people with their own opinions in between. If you read back over previous threads, there is a very broad range of perspectives and experiences.
Before we met dc we had a name in mind to add as an extra middle name. Astrid - which means "divinely beautiful" because both birth mum and our dc are.
And then we met dc and their name suits them perfectly. No safety issues. So we're leaving it as is.
BUT dc is going to get our surname. For me, I now think that's change enough. I have found myself freaking out though when post has arrived with her current surname (thank you foster carers) or realising that the Dr surgery is going to flash DC's full name up on the instruction board "Patient x go to room 1". (Love my surgery for sorting a work around)
Didn't change ds's name because he knew it, and could spell it.
Social workers really encouraged us to keep both his given names even though he did not like (or even know originally ) his middle name.
If I had adopted a younger child with a similar name I probably would have done the same thing.
Now, with hindsight, for younger children (our son was 3 when he came) I would probably seriously consider name change. For me it is the social media issues when older.
There are no risks with our son but with a child with risks I would name change and would let dc decide the name is they were old enough.
As said, lots of threads on here about this topic.
Been thinking about this recently myself. If you're a parent who changed your child's name or altered the spelling, did you share this with the child as they grew up? Obviously their name doesn't get changed until the AO goes through, but prior to that there's a lot of named items such as intro book, perhaps cards or presents from family etc. I'm just wondering how you continue to make these 'original name' things available to your child as part of their history when the child's name has been changed. Would be really interested to hear how people have handled this.
When there is a massive security risk, this is discussed well before intros, so the intro book for example could be written to the child and say "you" instead of a name. Many children come with absolutely nothing from birth family. It depends on the level of genuine risk, which needs regular review because things and people change, but the very latest point to talk about it would be in the later life letter, which is written by SWs and placed on file at the time of AO. Most families would hope to discuss it before then (that's usually handed over age 16-18) but given that it's human nature to immediately type it into Google, and the results will potentially be linked to hugely distressing information, whenever it's done there would need to be expert support available. I suspect it would be only natural that DC might fundamentally disagree with the path taken, no matter what it was. It's unfortunately a "least bad" line to choose, each family doing their best gradually to share as much as possible about their roots and early life, being open about adoption, and encouraging children to talk whenever they need to.
Re the PP's concern about the GP surgery scenario, talk to the practice manager - often they are able to display the adult's name instead, which gets round that safety concern. After the AO, the whole NHS record gets re-scanned with old name removed, and attached to a brand new NHS number.
I tweaked DD's name by two letters in the middle. She knows her original name but prefers her new one. She was only eight months when she arrived so she was never called anything else. Obviously it's a more difficult decision with older children.
I was asked this question by my SW during the home study and I said that if the baby was called something awful like (insert the name you most hate here) I'd change it. SW said to be very careful if I was asked that question at panel because there could be someone on it with the awful name which they think is wonderful.
DD's middle names are my mother's middle name which she actually uses all the time as her first name, and my late sister's first name. They are both names I really like. I had actually suggested my sister's name to my mother because I liked it so much and it connects DD to my sister who died six weeks after DD arrived.
Coincidentally my mother's actual first name and DD's name are variations of the same name, as was DD's original name, so it's almost as though she was named after my mother - which she wasn't.
we changed 2 out of 3 of ours......
with dc 1 the name was very common along the lines of thomas or james.....not likely to stand out so we kept it.
dc2 was oldfashioned - along the lines of derek or ronald......very identifiable these days and would be the only child in the school with the name. we therefore altered it - think ronnie, and used that name instead
dc3 was such an out-there name - think chardonay - yes really! we had no choice but to change it completely. we decided on a name that fitted in our family - and would blend in easily into where we live, the school etc.
it had nothing to do with hating the names or not, but everything to do with keeping our children safe
Did you discuss this with the SWs pre-panel, Cleo and boston? I'm wondering whether we'll need to tweak the spelling of one of ours as it's very unusual and would be very identifiable. Did the SWs raise this, or did you?
There's a recent thread on this board called 'Advise please' - read it leave. It can be a contentious issue with SWs.
Thanks tldr - will take a look. Was wondering whether this was why they've not mentioned it so far.
I initially read your message as "read it and leave" - I was wondering what on earth I'd done wrong!
We tweaked the name - slightly shortened it and made the unique spelling more conventional. This was done for security reasons. We carried on using the same nickname used by fc.
We also added in a middle name, as she didn't have one. I found out some time later that her birth mother's middle name is one of my favourite names - I would have used it if I'd known.
Hi Leaveamessage, I discussed it in theory with the SW during the home study, and I think she raised it, but that was all. After she arrived DD was always called by her new name and the SW never mentioned anything about it. The names are so similar I doubt if DD herself noticed the difference at the time. I think my version is just a bit prettier. It's totally subjective. I told DD she could go back to the original if she preferred but she prefers her slightly changed name too.
Thanks Cleo - good to hear your DD had an understanding of both names. My main concern was whether this might confuse our DC, particularly if personalised presents from family etc had the old spelling and then that changed later. But I think they're of an age where we could discuss it with them and they could have an awareness of their old spelling but also understand why they've got a new one, particularly as they get into the teenage/social media years.
Sorry if I've highjacked the thread!
Leave re " My main concern was whether this might confuse our DC, particularly if personalised presents from family etc had the old spelling and then that changed later. But I think they're of an age where we could discuss it with them and they could have an awareness of their old spelling but also understand why they've got a new one, particularly as they get into the teenage/social media years."
You could avoid this by asking for presents not personalized with name, they could contain a photo of your dd, the date of birth or the date your child came to live with you or the date or legal adoption, whichever is special to you, ours is the date our son came to live with us.
Wjatever you do, do not allow presents given by others to dictate whether you keep or alter or totally change your new child/ren's name/s. This is far to important an area to be influenced by such things.
If it is a concern, please ask for things/gifts not named to the child and store or 'lose' any items where the sender ignores your wishes.
mail did you find the please advise thread?
I was just wondering what others did, thanks. I'm glad we kept our dc names even if they are quiet identifiable - they are perfect names for them. Luckily we have a very common surname so it's not too bad
we changed all the middle names by the way.
with dc1 &2 who came together we changed the names at the adoption order, and as we called the name 'ronnie' as a nickname we only told the sw when we went to court - it wasn't planned, it sort of just happened.
dc3 we asked sw during matching as no-one knows the legal name - too identifiable and dc1&2 would tell friends etc and give away the name, and its not their secret to have to handle.
so FC called dc chardonay-X, then on moving day we just dropped the chardonay and called dc3 X.....so our kids don't actually know the legal name at all.
SW was fine, no probs at all. made sense for our family, and for our baby.
We changed ad's slightly as it was quite identifiable.
She had two quite common names joined as one for her first name and then a middle name, so we split the first name making that her first and middle, and dropped her middle name.
So (for example, not her name), it was Annierose Poppy - we made it Annie Rose Surname, dropped Poppy and just call her Annie.
Our SW and hers were fine with this. We searched an online database of baby names for the year she was born and she was the only 'Annierose' registered that year.
She was 13 months and adjusted to the gradual dropping of the second part of her name easily. We have only ever introduced her as 'Annie'.
My children are Russian so there is obviously not the same issue with privacy.
For my son we kept his first name and gave him a middle name and our surname. His name is not a name I would every have chosen. It's a bit exotic but at the time we felt that we should keep it and I'm happy we did. It suits him. We're not sure if his BM named him but someone in his early life did. He was 8 month at adoption. His name is pretty common in Russia and whenever we go to adoption events there are loads of other boys with the same name. It's nice.
For our DD we kept her, very pretty, first name and gave her a middle name which is a female variation of part of her Russian name. Also very pretty. I love both her names. We're pretty sure her BM named her as she lived with her birth family for a few weeks. She was 2.5 when we adopted her so it would have been a bit more difficult to change her name at that stage.
Personally I think it's nice to keep the child's name if possible. Although in our adoption community there are children from all over the world some whose first names are very difficult to spell and pronounce so I can understand why people change them.
I changed my son's middle name because his first name is not at all common and his middle name is quite rare and I felt that the combination of the two was very identifying. I have to admit that I didn't like the original middle name either!
The middle name I have given him starts with the same letter as his original middle name and it was my Dad's name (who sadly died a few months into placement) so I am hopeful that he will understand why I did that when he's older and he still has his original first name (named after Birth Father).
I was adopted as a baby. My Mum and Dad changed my name but gave me my birth name, which was also my birth mother's name, as a middle name.
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