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Thread: Naming adopted children
September 2nd, 2013 04:31 PM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Naming adopted children
Eventually my husband and I would like to adopt. I am curious to see what people think about naming adopted children. Would you be ok with using a name for your culture on a child adopted internationally? What about a name from an entirely different culture, not relevant to you or the child? Would you keep part of the child's name or use a play on that name? For example I have a friend who was called Lian by the orphanage officials and her adoptive parents renamed her Lauren. Just curious...
September 2nd, 2013 04:40 PM #3
I think if I adopted a child from say, China, I'd give them an easily pronounceable first name, with a middle name that ties to their heritage. I think certain countries require the child to have one ethnically related name (ie; an Indian child needs 1 Indian name in their birth name) , but I'm not sure on that.
That being said, if I adopted a child from France, I'd likely leave their name as it is.
I think it all depends on the age of the child. If you have adopted a 3 year old named Mai and you want to change her name, it'd be easiest on her to make her name Maia or May, rather than to change it from Mai to Eleanor or Olympia. A 6 or 7 year old child would likely be best with their name being left as it is.
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September 2nd, 2013 04:42 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
I think a lot of different factors go into picking a name for an adopted child.
If the child is a baby, the decision should be left up to the adoptive parent. I would want to give my child a name from their culture and a name from my own. I think this helps link the child to you, but also gives their culture a validity that is important no matter who you are.
If the child is old enough to have an opinion of his or her own, I would consult the child in picking a name. The child may have wonderful memories and a personal connection with her name, or she might have been mistreated and will want to distance herself from the connection as much as possible. In the latter case, I would still want to pick a name from the culture. I believe it is very sad to completely remove a child from his/her culture. The more you can incorporate it into their adoptive lives, the better (in my opinion).
As far as using a name from an entirely different culture, I think that's fine. I tend to like names from other cultures, so any biological children I might have won't necessarily have "American" names.
September 2nd, 2013 04:42 PM #7Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
My brother and his wife adopted two children. They kept their birth names as middle names and chose first names that worked in both English and Spanish.
September 2nd, 2013 04:49 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
For me, it depends on two things -- who named the child (and how big a role that person played in the child's life) and how old the child is. For babies, if the child was named by biological parents who were then tragically killed, I would keep the name. It may be the only gift the biological parents left the child and it will be important to the child to have that name. If the child never had a relationship with the biological parents (if he/she was taken at birth and the mother still named him/her), I'd consider keeping the name in the middle name spot, but I'd name him/her whatever I wanted in the first name slot. If the child was named by the orphanage and the child is young enough that he/she doesn't yet know his/her name, I'd change it if I didn't like.
If the child is older -- say 5 or 6 years old -- I'd keep whatever name the child has, regardless of circumstances.