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Adopted child baby name

(31 Posts)
Hitchyhero Wed 15-May-19 18:49:33

I've been potentially matched with a child, and I feel awful for saying this, but I don't like the name.

I didn't expect to like the name but this is worse than I expected. Everyone I have mentioned the name to had the exact same reaction as me.

I don't mean to offend anyone when I say this. Everyone's reaction when I have said the name is: is the child black?

It's such a distinctive name from that culture even though the child isn't of that ethnicity.

Throughout the training we have been told over and over how important it is to keep the child's name. So this makes me feel terrible. I feel if we can just knock off two letters at the start it would make the child less identifiable and more palatable... But still recognisable (he's just over one year old)

OP’s posts: |
stucknoue Wed 15-May-19 18:51:42

At that age (1) altering it to a similar but more traditional version is going to be fine (very different if they are already 6 years old). Talk to your social worker but there's flexibility

Gran22 Wed 15-May-19 18:59:19

What stucknoue says. At 1, a similar sounding name, or a shortened version like a nickname should be acceptable. Hopefully all will go well with the adoption.

Leobynature Wed 15-May-19 19:38:01

This is offensive and a little racist.

1. You don’t like the name
2. everyone around you dislikes the name
3. They ask if his black?

It would have read better if you just said you didn’t like the name and whether it was possible to change it. God forbid anyone should think your child black 🙄

Hitchyhero Wed 15-May-19 19:50:45

I don't like the name, not because it's a "black name". I dislike it because easily identifiable.

It would be like an Chinese person being called Muhammed or a someone from an African country being called Wang Wei. They are fine names which I have no issues with, but they are uncommon for some ethnicities, that means they are easily identifiable.

OP’s posts: |
WhoKnewBeefStew Wed 15-May-19 19:54:36

At that age OP, if you don’t like the name I’d change it. Thankfully our dd had a ‘run of the mill’ name. If yours is quite identifiable then I’d push to change it. Your SW will push back on this, but they can’t drop you. Yes it’s better to keep the name as it’s all part of their history. Maybe give the name as a second name? however once you’ve had your celebration hearing, all of a sudden the SW disappear and you can do what you want, they won’t have a say in it any longer.

teachingiswank Wed 15-May-19 20:01:43

Don't feel awful.

The name thing really put me off adoption - had IVF in the end.

Troels Wed 15-May-19 20:18:18

We changed Dd's name (we all disliked it only one SW thought it was cute) and finalized her adoption when she was just over 1.
Once she lived with us we never used her name, just things like sweetie, baby, pumpkin, sweetheart. Then picked a name that happened to have a song with it in and used to sing it too her and make her laugh, then changed it completly before the adoption was final.
Some of our adoption friends did something similar, they were told to change it for safety reasons, child was already three, started with calling her Princess, then Princess new name and kept the old name as her middle name. She also transitioned with no problem.

Sillyshell Wed 15-May-19 21:28:11

Our daughter has a name we wouldn't have chosen in a million years, think of something you would use as a term of endearment and my heart sank when we were told what it was. She was 2.5 though and knew what her name was so although we discussed changing it decided to keep it and now I can't imagine her being called anything else.

I used to cringe every time I said it in public but it's fine now and I don't think about it at all. You will get used to it and if other people don't like it that's their problem smile

Ted27 Wed 15-May-19 23:16:46

If its a potential match I assume you have limited information ? Are you quite sure about the child's ethnic background. If you are certain that the name is associated with a particular culture maybe there is a reason why that name was chosen.

Hitchyhero Thu 16-May-19 08:05:42


I have the child CPR with a DNA test has been performed on the child who is white British.

I have contacted our social worker who agreed it's more commonly associated in other cultures and that we can discuss it further at a later date.

OP’s posts: |
Scarfonthestairs Thu 16-May-19 16:40:47

My ds has a name that we had never heard of before. Lots of people asked if he was black (he's actually mixed race but from another culture)
He was 20 months old when we adopted him.
Strangelynweve now heard 5 other people in our local area called the same name! All are white British.
We kept the name bevause it is part of his identity. I think you need to think very carefully about how you will tell him when he's older why you changed his name. "because everyone thought you were black" is not enough IMHO.

churchthecat Thu 16-May-19 17:32:20

Surely you can change a 1 year old child's name?

Tishtash2teeth Thu 16-May-19 17:59:44

My son was a bit older when we adopted him a and were told not to change his name - it was part of his identity etc etc. We took their advice (against our own gut instinct) , fast forward 6 year and our son has begged us to change his name as he hates his name now. Also in this modern social media age it makes him totally vulnerable. We wish we had changed his name and kept birth name as a middle name now x

boheateas Fri 17-May-19 10:24:47

tishtash2teeth but you can change it now, if he wants, day to day, and he can change it formally when he is an adult. I hated my name when I was 8 until I was 14 and then loved it.

OP names are a very complicated thing, and in terms of identity, when you say child is one years old, do you mean 12 months or 23 months? Because it would make a huge difference in terms of his awareness. Though my dc at at 12 months would have most certainly been aware of a change of name and it would have caused confusion.

Have a look at what the law says about changing names generally and why - the cut off for a formal change of name on the birth certificate is I think 12 months and the child must have been known by the new name day to day before that.

Find out what the child is known as day to day as the nickname may be different from the name on the passport. In this day and age it is apparently quite common to have the name on the passport different from the day to day name (not related to adoption)

Have a google to find out what adult adoptees think about having had their name changed. There are a variety of views out there.

And talk to the social workers to find out what their views are, ask lots of questions such as how the child may feel in a few years time and so on and ask for their opinions.

You wouldn't refuse to go out with someone or be friends with someone or rent a room to them or give them a job based on their name, I assume, so bear that in mind. (Though I accept, some people would).

I am an adoptee, in terms of context of my advice above.

boheateas Fri 17-May-19 10:39:40

Sorry about all the grammatical errors, posted in haste!

Dirtyjellycat Fri 17-May-19 11:37:40

Great post @boheatas

Corna Fri 17-May-19 11:56:14

I work in an adjacent area to adoption, the key phrase you need is that you are concerned about the child being easily identifiable, not just now but as a teenager using social media like fb where it will be possible for them to be identified by biological family. I would pick your moment to bring this up and obviously listen to the response of your sw, but it is a very reasonable concern and you are not horrible for worrying.
If you do change the name then how about you choose something that would fit across both cultures and use the original name as a middle?
Best of luck with your adoption! I hope it all goes smoothly.

EightWellies Fri 17-May-19 13:12:26

Honestly? I wouldn't speak to your SW about this. They tend to have very fixed views on this issue, it's not their decision and they won't have to live with the consequences. I would keep your own counsel and just drop the two letters on the Adoption Order.

I know there's someone on here who lost a potential match because they asked about the possibility of changing a name. We were threatened with this happening to us also.

PopcornZoo Fri 17-May-19 14:26:02

So how do you change the child's name on the adoption order? (We are Going through adoption process, but not matched, asking just in case)

boheateas Fri 17-May-19 17:37:07

It is extremely easy, popcornzoo. You simply fill in the new name on the form and send it in. You would no doubt have called the child the new name at home for many months, and so that will make it more likely you will get what you want. The SWs won't know as you will send in the form without them seeing it first, so they won't get a chance to challenge, and you now also have the "phrase you need" from @corna. You have also been told to keep it secret from all concerned by @eightwellies

I wonder if this post sounds satirical. As you see, it is your choice. Whether or when the process gets reviewed, who knows.

Apart from the AO situation, if a parent (any parent) wants to change their child's name after 12 months from the birth certificate (or thereabouts) the parents need to supply the court with an affidavit giving the court reasons as to why they want to change the child's name and how it will benefit the child, and case law indicates that a change of name is taken very seriously by the courts. But these rules don't apply to adopted children at the point of adoption children at the moment.

The above is as far as I know the case.

EightWellies Fri 17-May-19 19:07:01

I think you'll find boheateas that I didn't advise keeping it secret from all concerned. I suggested that it may be a mistake to discuss it with the OP's SW.

Your post is quite strange.

Yolande7 Sat 18-May-19 00:21:04

Sw will only agree to this if there are safety concerns. If you just drop the two first letters and turn eg. Tesean into Sean, they might go along with it.

We changed the name of one of our daughters and changed the spelling of her sister's name, both for safety reasons. Sw strongly advised us to do so. However, we did not freely choose a new name, but stayed very close to her original name. I think that is very important. I would not turn a Teshaun into an Alexander.

MeDented Sat 18-May-19 00:40:45

Our DD was 22 months when we came to us. She had a name I would never have chosen and would not have liked to live with. We also have a very common surname and by chance DD's birth surname was the same as ours so her name would not have changed at all making her very identifiable. Social workers agreed it made sense to change her first name. We chose something with a similar sound to her birth name, so not something I would normally have chosen but it's more 'normal' and suits her. Her foster careers started using her new name in the transition period and said she didn't seem to notice and answered to the name straight away. I remember taking her to a party not long after she came to live with us, there was a child there with her birth name. I watched to see if she responded when the name was called out but she didn't seem to recognise it. My DD is now an adult, she has always known what her original name was and often thanks me for changing it.

clairedelalune Sat 18-May-19 22:21:17

On a child that age, as soon as you are looking at it being remotely identifiable I would be changing it, but keeping it as a middle name. SWs aren't the people living life always looking over their shoulder.

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