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Tuesday, 05 May 2009


Name Game Rules: Just don't call her Dawn Marie. Ugh. When I parent's moved out of my childhood home in 1992, I was looking through all the cards my parents received when I was born. They all said - glad to hear you finally got your Dawn Marie. I was what? Who's Dawn Marie? My mom said that was her "girl"? name for all 4 pregnancies until she was about 7 months along with me. Thank you, Lord they changed their minds. I knew several Dawn Marie and they were all snotty. Me - I'm an angel. :-)

the name game is hard. hard. granted i didn't adopt - but my mister didn't even start thinking about names until my water broke. i'm showering and packing my bag - he's on the computer looking at babynames.com or whatever. granted we are much more the procrastinating type than you are. . .

and the original daisy mae was "baby girl" until the day we left the hospital. when the hospital administrator told us of all the woes we would go thru if we left the hospital with a birth certificate that said "baby girl". the names we kinda agreed on during labor - well dd just didn't "look" like any of those names.

You're in foreign territory to me.

When we were picking a name, I made a list and DH scrapped names from it. A clear division of labour. :-S
Our main rule was that the name couldn't figure on the top 100 list of the last decade.

In an open adoption, I think that is GREAT policy. Names are sensitive and this is a nice, and not insignificant way, to help the transition along. And leaves a lasting connection to the birth mother as well as you guys.

I would understand parents who didn't want to do this, but it seems right in your case.

Glad things are moving along!

We have an open adoption, our son had a name picked by his birth mum, he was called that for the first 6 weeks of his life (long story short, she was not sure if she wanted to go through with the placement & over here the baby cant be placed & the papers signed until 12 days after the birth). We didn't like the name, his middle name was a family name that all the boys have & we didn't think it fitted seeing as he was being placed. So we chose a new first name for him, birth mum liked it, we then gave our son his birth mums surname as a middle name, to keep the connection & so that he would always know what his birth families name was. We are hoping to adopt again and will do the same thing, use the family name as a middle name.

So I'm adopted and I'm sort of glad that my name was changed. I found out my birth name for the first time I believe in my 20's. Not that the adoption thing was kept hidden or a taboo subject at all, it's just the name wasn't discussed. My name had been Doreen. Which just doesn't fit me at all.
I also have to admit that this might be one of the hardest things about adoption for me. I have had various names picked out since I was a teenager. They have changed through the years but I still have names I have my heart set on. To have someone veto that would really bother me. I guess that's one of those things that tells me I'm still not ready for adoption.

this is all so very fascinating. you know how we're handling it, and it's gone more smoothly than your process so far.

it is so hard when it's such a personal thing and you feel like you've given up so much already along the way. and you DO deserve a few rounds by yourself. absolutely. it's one of the joys of impending parenthood to even be considering names. nothing should get in the way of that.

of course it would be nice if you can all agree beforehand. or maybe give her more input into the middle name and veto power over the first name. explain your personal rules and your family traditions and hope she respects that part of it while you try to honor her too.

this can be so hard. good luck!

It's funny, when I stumbled into the adoption parenthood world I knew nothing of the anxiety surrounding names. I came up with two names while on a walk by myself - Lydia and Celia - and ran the by my mister and he liked Celia. Our birth mom asked about the name and I shared it with her and she didn't like it. I went back to the drawing board and remembered she had mentioned Elena as a name she considered for her older daughter. We liked that name so we told her we would be happy to go from Celia to Elena. She laughed and said don't change your kid's name on my account. She put Celia on the original birth certificate and now seems comfortable with it.

Like I said, I didn't know the name was a big controversy, and for me it's never been that big of a deal. My mother named all of her kids whatever was the popular name at the time: Susan, Julie, Patti. My husband's name is Jason, the popular name in 1970. I didn't know much about domestic adoption when we started. We were just given our birth mom's name and number by our attorney, told she liked our profile and we just worked things out from there.

It's interesting seeing how an extremely hands on consultant operates. Now that I am better educated, I would approach the name thing more carefully than I did last time around. But, still, despite my clumsiness, it all worked out in the end. All the best during this stressful time!

Oy- what a minefield. This is one of the reasons I found the idea of domestic adoption challenging- my children's names have particular relevance and meaning to us and our life stories- I've had my daughter's picked out since I was 14 years old. A third party added to the mix adds a whole new element. Good luck- and I can't wait to hear your rules. We had some pretty specific rules ourselves.

I guess we were really really lucky. First mom wanted us to name our son. I guess because she was an adoptee also and she said that it was very important to her that we chose his name. She told our social worker that she wanted us to have that bond with him, which I think being adopted herself she understood more maybe? I don't know... I only had about 45 minutes to come up with a name though. Luckily, our son was a boy, I have had a boy's name picked out since I was about 18 years old(though my husband hated it, lol). I would have been literally screwed with a girl's name though. For some reason I never had envisioned having a girl. Kind of funny how things work out... Our son's middle name was a tad bit tricky though as I had not made it that far with a middle name but we decided to go my husbands middle name so that solved that situation, that was the hardest part of the name game for us. Coming up with his middle name. Good luck, I can't wait to hear you rules also.

Wow. I'm psyched that you have gotten this far, fantastic! I totally hear you about the adoptive and birth (first) parents getting together on the name. It's hard, because it adds an extra person to negotiate with about the name, but it seems right, doesn't it? I don't have much to add to the discussion, but I will say that Zach has my last name as a middle name. And I know a couple of other people who did this, I think it is kind of the thing to do if you didn't take your husband's name.

Anyway, very excited for you!!!

We had two family members we wanted to honor -- and we wanted DD birthfamily to pick out a name as well -- so she ended up with a first name and two middle names. Luckily, the names we suggested were well received and we liked the name DD's birthfamily picked out -- so all were happy.
I do have to admit that we turned down being shown for a situaton where if it was a girl her name had to be Destiny and if it was a boy his name had to be "Birthfather's name, Jr." I couldn't handle the misuse of the Junior convention and Destiny was just not our style . . .
Good luck getting this all sorted and keeping fingers crossed things continue to be positive.

I'm so intrigued to hear more!

I'll be reading anxiously . . .

I think your consultant's way of doing things is interesting. The good part of it is that it lets you start the process of the naming ritual...something that I think is critically important to the claiming process of parenthood and family. Because we are parents through adoption doesn't mean that the naming and claiming rituals are not important as well.

I'll be frank (as I always am). I was not prepared to relinquish naming to the expectant parent(s). I'm sure some could and would call me disparaging names because of that, but for me that was very important. So when we met J for the first time, during the dinner she asked about names we had considered. We told her that we had chosen Zara, since it means: the one we have waited for for so long, in an African language that I'm blanking on in my old age. She was like, "huh," I asked if she planned to name the baby, and she said she wasn't sure and was leaning toward not naming, though she did like the name Ayonna. Our turn to say, "huh."

Yet after that and through the remainder of the pregnancy, she referred to the baby as Zara. It was only after delivery that she decided to name her Ayonna, so that was put on her birth certificate.

When she was discharged to us, however, we moved back to Zara and J, her firstmom, has called her that ever since. I don't think there has been any contention or bitterness about this change, and but for the short time in the hospital, Zara has been Zara. I hope that we can explain this all to Z when she's old enough to understand it all and have it make sense.

But this is my long-winded way of saying that you are so very focused on doing the right and ethical thing, and that is laudable. The very fact that you think about it means that you are on the correct path. But ethical does not mean cheating yourself out of something that is clearly important to you. And truth be told, if adoption disrupts over a name, then that adoption was fragile from the beginning, IMO.

Just this sista's opinion, FWIW

Well, I actually don't have an opinion but I am interested in knowing what criteria you have for names. For us, it was "looks good on law firm letterhead." Not that I want one of my kids to be a lawyer, but if they do, well, "Molly" or "Huck" just isn't going to cut it.

I love reading this post and thread from everyone. Hearing how different it is for everyone so far brings a relieving smile to my face that our situation with J's birthmother was really a surprise to us that it would be so "simple" to go about naming. We met for the first time in person when she was 7 months along(after a few phone conversations) and the first question she asked us was if we had any girl names picked out. We had always discussed baby names while ttc and had thought of Noreen and Julia(the mister loved Julia because it was John Lennon's mothers name)... so we told her Noreen and honestly I saw her nose turn up. LOL then I quickly moved onto Julia and she said Perfect because it fit so well with letting her pick a middle name for the baby. So she said "Marie" for the middle name and we both gushed.. we loved it. I liked Grace for a middle name, but she said "Well, Julia Marie fits so well together". That was it, our daughter was named. We picked her first name and her birthmother picked her middle name. Much significance to Marie too, ironically, on her side of family and ours. Now that I look back at this all, we have a birth certificate with her given first and middle name. I love it.

Thanks for this post. It brings joy to me that you are able to work on such an exciting part of our adoption journey, the naming of a child. I can't wait to hear your names you and the mister have come up with.

Ah, naming, the topic that has ignited many an adoption message board! LOL.

I think that as long as both parties are open and honest with each other, it is a good thing.

In our case I shared our top three- five names with T, and she liked them all. There was one she 'vetoed' but she liked everything else.

She wrote our daughter's name on the BC, and except for the surname, everything is the same. our daughter has always had the same identity. Ironically the surname and her middle name have the same initial if she ever wants to take back that part of her identity.

I can't wait to hear your naming criteria!

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