If You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption, Do You Name Him/Her?
Understanding Naming in Adoption
Naming a baby when he or she is born can be an important way to start a life. When you’re placing your baby for adoption with their adoptive family, the rite of passage of giving a baby their name may seem a little more confusing. You might be wondering, “Do I name the baby, or do the adoptive parents? Do we name the baby together? Once you give your child up for adoption, can the other person change their name?”
Here, find the answers to these and other common questions you may have about naming your baby in adoption.
If You Place Your Baby for Adoption, Who Names the Baby?
Many expectant parents wonder if they’re the one who is in charge of naming their unborn baby. For some, this is a source of excitement. For others, this is an unwanted responsibility.
If you’re asking, “If you give your baby up for adoption, do you name it or them (the adoptive parents)?” know that you can have input about your baby’s name if you prefer. Sometimes, adoptive parents are happy to let you name the baby. Other times, they may prefer that you help choose or contribute to the name in some way. Sometimes, the adoptive family will name the baby themselves.
While the prospective birth parent is the one in charge of all the decisions in every other aspect of the adoption process, the baby’s name is the one choice where the adoptive family usually has the final say.
A common way to name a baby in an adoption situation is for the birth and adoptive parents to name him or her together in some capacity. We’ve listed a few ways that you can do that at the bottom of this article.
If You Name Your Baby, Can His or Her Adoptive Parents Change the Name?
In adoptions, there are two birth certificates. The original birth certificate will list the biological parents. The amended birth certificate will list the adoptive parents. Both birth certificates will have a place for the baby’s name.
When filling out your baby’s original birth certificate, you can include a name for him or her if you want to. This can be a name chosen by the adoptive parents, a name you choose together or a name you choose yourself.
When you sign your consent to an adoption, you’re voluntarily terminating your legal parental rights and placing your child with their parents. If you’d already named the baby on his or her original birth certificate and, for some reason, the adoptive parents decide to change the baby’s name, the amended birth certificate will reflect that name change. At that point, the adoptive parents would be legally within their rights to do so. However, out of respect to birth parents, adoptive parents will rarely change a baby’s name without consulting the birth parents.
To avoid hurt feelings or confusion, it’s always best to discuss these things together with the adoptive parents and your adoption specialist as soon as possible, preferably early in your adoption planning process. Here are some other ways you can reach a naming decision:
How Do You Decide Who Should Name the Baby in an Adoption?
When in doubt, ask! Talk to your baby’s future parents as well as your adoption specialist. If you feel really strongly about being involved in naming your child, let them know that.
Maybe the adoptive family is the one who feels strongly about naming the baby. If you’re fine with letting them choose a name, let them know that, too. Many prospective birth parents feel that, as the parents who will be spending every day with their child, it’s alright if the adoptive parents name the baby.
However you feel is perfectly fine. Just be sure to check in with the adoptive parents and let them know how you feel about naming the baby, whatever those feelings may be.
If you and the adoptive parents both wish to have a part in naming the baby, there are several solutions that you might discuss together, even if that means reaching a compromise together. Consider:
Choosing a name that you all like together. This could be a fun way to grow closer.
Letting the adoptive parents choose the baby’s first name, while you choose the middle name, or vice versa.
Choosing a family name from either your family or the adoptive parents’ family that you all like, and that’s meaningful.
If you and the adoptive parents are both of the same faith, choosing a name that has religious significance to you both, like the name of an important religious person, saint, etc.
There a many different ways you can approach naming a baby in an adoption situation, but one of the most fulfilling ways to do so is together. That way, your child will always have a special story behind how he or she received their name from both their birth and adoptive parents.
At the end of the day, remember that your child’s name is a minor detail compared to the big picture — that they’re able to grow up safe, provided for and loved. To learn more about how to place a child for adoption, or to ask questions about how naming works in adoption, contact us online or call us at 1-800-ADOPTION now.
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