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  1. #11
    catloverd Guest
    I did my Senior Thesis on adopting from China and I also plan to adopt someday, probably from China (which is why I chose adoption as a topic for my paper, I chose China because it had to tie into my major which was Asian Languages and Literature)

    So based on what I read, many parents changed their child's name because a Chinese name in America would just be too hard, it also helps in making the child feel like part of the family. Some moved the child's Chinese name to the middle name spot, others got rid of it all together. China is a different story though because often babies are abandoned and left nameless. The names they are given are often based on the street or area where they are found. Sometimes doctors give the children names.

    Thus in these cases I think it's perfectly fine to change their name because 1) it helps the child assimilate into American culture, and 2) their name was mainly just a form of identification, there's no specialness to it. (This only applies if they are still babies, if the child is older, probably not... although the one documentary I watched, the mother changed her adopted 8 year old's name to Faith and moved her Chinese name to the middle spot, the child didn't mind, but the mother also asked if she liked the name Faith, so in a way she got her permission) If you want to see Faith's story just look up Wo Ai Ni Mommy (documentary). It's great information if you're interested or planning to adopt an older child.

    I know if you adopt in America and plan to adopt an infant, you will get to name the baby if the parents decide to give it up. This is because the mother usually is still pregnant when seeking for someone to adopt her baby. Basically she gives birth and you get the baby when it's born (I think the mother get's 7 days to change her mind though)

    All in all, I think it really depends on the situation, but I personally do plan to change the child's name because I'd want them to feel as if they belonged. If later they want to change their name back, then it's up to them, but of all the stories I read in order to write my paper, none of them had a problem with having their name changed.

    The only thing I would encourage is that if you do plan to adopt outside of the country, make sure to include that child's culture. Knowing where they are from is important. I'm half-Chinese and I know what it feels like to feel like half of you is missing. My mother never involved us in her culture. She didn't teach us the language or the history of China/Taiwan. It's why I took it on as my major in college. I wanted to "find" myself. Now I have no idea what do with that major, lol, but at least I learned more about myself

    Anyway, I would look up personal adoption stories, by doing so you'll get more information and help than people on here. A lot of people think it's wrong to change the name, but every story I've read/watched told me otherwise.
    Last edited by catloverd; April 16th, 2013 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    My mom was adopted and my grandparents changed her name. She was brought up with Austrian & Romanian culture, she is my grandparents' daughter... I'm not sure why my grandparents are so unforgivably selfish for bringing their daughter home and raising her, and doing everything birth parents who are parenting get to do.

    My mom really doesn't care about her birth family. She wondered about her genes when she was pregnant, but that was it (and with 3 healthy pregnancies, she apparently had nothing to worry about). My grandparents have always offered her resources and support in finding/ finding out about her birth family, but she's never wanted to. She's their daughter, they're her parents, and for her- that's it.
    She actually never even thought to ask if she'd been given a different name before my grandparents brought her home... I brought it up when I was too young to really understand what I was asking, oops.

    Anyway, if I were to be an adoptive parent, my changing my child's name would greatly depend upon a number of factors, but especially age and what type of adoption it is. If I were parenting through open adoption, I would have name discussions with the birth parent(s), but if it were closed, my husband and I would make the decision... and if it were semi-open, I guess it depends.
    I think it's situation-dependent. Not all families look at adoption the same way, and not all children who are adopted grow up feeling the same way.

    Having a blanket statement over every single adoption case, like that children are stripped of themselves when a name change occurs is unbelievable to me. Some children find their sense of self through the process of having their name changed as well (and this doesn't have to occur just through adoption).

    Plus, this opens the can of worms about, "What about kids whose surnames get changed if a step parent adopts them?" and all the dynamics that go along with that. And why is changing the first name of a child unacceptable to some, when in most cases you'd also change the last name? These are just random thoughts that popped in my head. I just think there's so much more than just a yes-or-no answer to this topic.
    Name aficionada, traveller, teacher, wonderfully enamoured
    EDD: 4/14/2018 It's a girl!

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Name changes are always a touchy subject. I think it definitely depends on the situation. I know a girl, let's just say her name is Kate Jones, who got placed with her foster family sometime around age 5 I believe. She was really lucky to be with them, and it's apparent her parents love her as much as their biological children, but they started calling her a new name without it ever being legal. Now her name is "Jen Smith", but legally, it's still Kate Jones. She isn't even legally adopted yet, but they put her new name on everything, even daycare papers, etc. I understand that they wanted her to feel like more of their family, but I've seen how confused this little girl is with her "two names". Kids at school give her a hard time because every year on the first day during attendance she has to say, "my name is Jen, not Kate," but doesn't really know why. I think it was done with good intentions but didn't really work?

    Anyways, as for the referral document, that would be odd. Specific ages, or maybe even gender, might work better in certain families, but I don' think I would want to pick looks.
    Mia, Lydia, Cora
    Corbin, Rocco, Quinn

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I'm reading everyone else's posts now, and about the hair color thing...
    I get that a lot of people want to look like their children. So why not just dye your hair to match theirs? If I adopted a blonde child, it might be fun to dye my hair blonde to look like him or her. Same goes for making my hair darker.
    Mia, Lydia, Cora
    Corbin, Rocco, Quinn

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    On the Kate Jones/Jen Smith idea. I had dated a guy who was adopted through foster care with his older sister at age 6. Their mom offered to let them change their names if they wanted. My ex wanted his name to be Talon Python Great White Shark, his mom wisely helped him find Noah to make his second middle name in addition to the one his birth mom gave him. His sister (8) decided to spice up Kayla be adding an extra "a" and giving herself two new middle names.
    They also changed the way I look at sibling groups since they're younger sister who was 4 was adopted seperately by a family on the opposite coast. 10 and 11 years later it still bothered them that they weren't adopted with her or visa versa. His sister saw it as a rejection-that they took her because I didn't care about her and for her enough-since she did most of the caring for. My ex says he sees/saw it as "I wasn't good enough for her or them". Its made me reconsider adopting one child when they have siblings up for adoption as well.

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