If you’re making an adoption plan for your baby, giving him or her a name might seem a little confusing. You might be wondering things like:
“Do I name my baby, or does the adoptive couple?”
“Once I adopt out my baby, can the adoptive parents change the name?”
“Could I name my baby together with the adoptive parents?”
Keep reading to learn the answers to frequently-asked questions about naming your baby in adoption!
If I Adopt Out My Baby, Who Names Him or Her?
It’s common to wonder if you’re in charge of naming your baby. Some women see naming their baby as an unwanted responsibility, while others feel excited at the possibility.
With open adoption, you’re able to help name your baby if you’d like. Some adoptive families would love for you to help them choose a name. Others are open to having you name your baby. And a few decide to name the baby themselves. In most of the adoptions that Lifetime does, the birth family and adoptive parents decide on a name together.
Can the Adoptive Couple Change My Baby’s Name?
In adoption, the baby is issued two birth certificates. His or her original birth certificate will list the birth parents. Once they are legally adopted, their birth certificate will be amended to list the baby’s adoptive parents. On both birth certificates, there is a spot for the baby’s name.
You’ll be asked to fill out forms for your baby’s original birth certificate. When you do, you can list your baby’s name if you want. The name you list could be a name you picked out yourself, or it could be a name that you chose together with the adoptive parents.
When you sign the paperwork for your baby’s adoption, you’re voluntarily placing your baby with their adoptive parents and ending your parental rights legally. If you named your baby on the original birth certificate and the adoptive parents change the name, the amended birth certificate will show his or her new name. But typically, adoptive parents will respect the name that their baby’s birth mother chose, and will rarely change it without first discussing it with the birth parents.
Lifetime recommends reviewing these things together with your Adoption Coordinator and with the adoptive parents so you can avoid any confusion or hurt. Make sure to have a chat about your baby’s name as soon as you can, early in your adoption match.
How Do We Decide Who Names the Baby in Adoption?
It’s important to speak with your Adoption Coordinator, as well as your baby’s future parents. Let them know if you want to be involved in naming your baby.
The adoptive parents might wish to name your baby. Let them know if you’re cool with letting them choose a name. Many birth mothers feel okay with this since the adoptive couple will be their baby’s parents, after all.
Make sure to communicate with the adoptive couple. Let them know how you feel about your baby’s name. At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to feel about your baby’s name.
If both you and the adoptive couple wish to take part in choosing a name, here are a few ways you can do that:
- Pick a name that everyone likes
- Have the adoptive parents decide on the first name, and you choose the middle name (or the other way around)
- Choose a family name, either from your family or the adoptive couple’s family that’s meaningful
- Select a religious name which holds meaning to both of you, like the name of a notable person or a name from the Bible
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can approach naming your baby. One of the best methods is to choose together with the adoptive parents. By choosing a name together, your child will have a unique story about how they got their name: from both their adoptive parents and birth parents.
All things said, your baby’s name is just a little detail compared to the big picture. By choosing adoption, your child will grow up provided for, safe, and loved.