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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    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.

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