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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    683
    I don't think it matters who gave the child the name, whether it was randomly assigned by an orphanage or given by birth parents who abandoned the child. What matters is if the child knows himself by that name. By the age of five months, most babies do recognize and respond to their names. One of the reasons that changing names is controversial is that it takes that one piece of stability away from a child. Many other things are changing at the same time- caretakers, home, food, possibly language, culture- it's one thing that can stay same and it is easy to provide that.

    Now, I will say that with older children, they may choose to have their names changed or even ask to have them changed. And naming works differently in different cultures- I know a lady who adopted two teenagers from Liberia and they asked to be renamed. They said that when their lives changed significantly, it was part of their culture to be given a new name to reflect that. It is also a part of many Asian cultures to go by an English name when dealing w. English speakers. It is more of a nickname. So maybe little Mei- Ling will want to go by Melanie at school once she starts, that kind of thing.

    I do think that recent naming in America is certainly diverse enough to accommodate just about any name, from any country, in most classrooms.

    My husband and I adopted our son domestically and his birth mother asked us to name him, so we did. He was a newborn, so he did not have a name before that.

    I just want to add here that we waited only three months to be placed with our son, not years and years as a previous commenter mentioned. It is true that some couples do wait years and years, and I cannot answer for everyone waiting that long, but the tendency is that the less restrictive you are in who you will adopt (race, gender, etc) the more quickly you will be placed. It is also true that there are ethical concerns, but I feel this is true of every sort of adoption- it is very important to be extremely careful in any kind of adoption. We felt better able to ensure the that everything was above board given that we were able to meet with our son's first mother, easily communicate with her, and remain in continual contact with her.

  2. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,481
    I disagree. While there is a lot of change while living in an orphanage, coming into a loving stable family is a good change. It is a new start, and a time to reconnect and bond. The memories of a child, being called a name at 3 months old by random strangers, is likely to be soon forgotten, when a loving mother is holding the child skin to skin, and lovingly whispering the child's name. Obviously I think each family should do what is best in their individual situation.
    ~ "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers."~ Mother Teresa

  3. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,481
    Also, in our situation we were fortunate enough to be living in Nairobi at the time, so my boys were not taken out of their culture right away.....again, everyone should do what is best for their child.
    ~ "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers."~ Mother Teresa

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    683
    @joyfulmomto8- just to be clear, I am not criticizing your decision to rename your children. I am sure that you did what was best for them.

    My point was only that while it seemed that most commenters felt that who gave the name and why was most important, I feel that the most important question was whether the child was attached to the name, knew the name, and connected the name with his identity. The level of care provided in orphanages and foster homes varies greatly, so this answer would also vary greatly. I am also not criticizing anyone for moving a child from an orphanage to a loving family. This is a good change, but even good changes can be very stressful.

    I realize that I never responded to the original question about selecting eye color, etc. We never attempted to adopt from any European country, so I have never seen this option. I am kind of amazed that any agency invites potential adoptive parents to select that. But we did not specify race or sex or any number of other things, so I can't imagine caring what color eyes our child had.

  5. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,481
    @tarynkay - Thank you for your clarification. I absolutely see, now what you are saying, and I agree. I did not read all the posts, and must have missed the question about choosing eye color and so on. I too have never heard of such. It would have never crossed my mind. I am Caucasian, my husband is Hispanic, our adopted boys are African.... I have never tried to make them feel we are all the same, rather I encourage them to celebrate their differences. My 5 yo will proudly tell you he is from Kenya
    ~ "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers."~ Mother Teresa

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