Changing name during adoption

[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think you change your child’s name during adoption?

Depends on the age. If they are young enough it would work, then I would make their current name one of their middle names.


I know sometimes there are privacy/safety concerns with a child’s birth name, in that case I would change it (assuming they were still very young).

If they were older I wouldn’t change it unless they really wanted to change their name, in which case I would let them.

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same here!

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Well it depends on the age, if they’re young enough to not know their name well than it might be okay but if they’re older than I don’t really think it would be fair, it would just be confusing. Honestly though unless they were very young and I had a name I really really wanted to use, otherwise I wouldn’t change the name.

I think it completely depends on age, name given and safety concerns for the child. If the child was over 1, then I’d keep it regardless unless there were safety concerns and their first name would become their middle.

I think there’s no overall / general answer to this question but is dependent on each case- regardless of age.

As a baby my name was changed by one letter when Inwas adopted. [name_f]My[/name_f] sister had her first name moved to the middle and given a new first name. I know often times it’s suggested to keep part of the original name or consider the culture of origin when picking a new name. However Inalso know that you have to consider ifs in the best interest of the child to do a complete name overthrow…. I know a few personal instances with other children past the baby age where that has been the case.

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If they’re maybe three or under, then I’d totally consider. But if they’re older than three or four definitely not. I wouldn’t want to confuse them.

It would depend on the age. If they are old enough to understand the adoption process, I would absolutely give them say-so in that area. If they are old enough to know their name but are too young to really understand what is going on (toddler or something like that), then I’d keep it. For a baby, I’m not sure…

i know in some cases it’s up to the child whether they want to change their name or not. if they’re too young to decide then presumably it’s up to the parents, although personally i wouldn’t drastically change it unless there were safety concerns as it’d be quite confusing for the child.

If you are adopting a baby, and the baby has not been named, you can choose the name. If the baby already has a name, it would be considerate to give the baby a new name, and keep the first name as a middle.

If the child is a confused toddler (and it would be very confused at this age,) I would keep the first name, and give a second or third name of your choice). A toddler may not know its surname, so that should not be a problem.

If an older child already has a name. Before you change it it would be advisable to ask the child if he/she wants a new name. If they do, discuss it with the child as he/she may like/dislike the original name, have own, preference or like/dislike your choices. Also for an older child, maybe a hyphenated surname may be the way to go.

Depends on age. [name_f]My[/name_f] name was changed (I’m adopted), but I was just a couple weeks old. People I know who were adopted as toddlers— I know two and by coincidence they were both international adoptions— have their “original” names as their middle names. If the child were older, I wouldn’t change it (beyond potentially a last name) unless there was a legal or privacy need or unless the child themselves wanted to.

Depends. If a name change is recommended by social workers for safety reasons, then of course I would change it. If it’s a name from another culture that sounds like something offensive or embarrassing in [name_f]English[/name_f] (say, Bich), then I would move it into the middle name slot and pick a new first name.

I once saw a TV show which featured an adult woman who was adopted as a baby. Her birth mother called her [name_f]Rosina[/name_f] but her name was changed to a popular “Baby Boomer” name like [name_f]Sharon[/name_f] by her adopted parents. She wasn’t told about her original name when she was growing up. When she was an adult, she saw her birth certificate for the first time and felt so distressed by the the name change that she decided to legally change her name back to [name_f]Rosina[/name_f].

Because of that story, I would think long and hard before changing an adopted child’s name and I would never keep the original name a secret from them.

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Usually, no. Especially with infant adoptions, the birth mother is usually a normal, loving woman. Naming her child is a gift, the first and sometimes final one. It’s precious to her, and I would want to respect her.

Now, if they’re adopted through foster care and for safety reasons it’s better to change the name, yeah, sure. [name_u]Or[/name_u] if they’re old enough to ask to change the name, yeah, sure.

But otherwise, no, adoptees have lost enough…that one connection being severed can be one painful moment on top of another, and in the case of names, it’s an unnecessary one. Especially true when the name is cultural, but still true when it isn’t.

Friendly reminder to future adoptive parents to listen to the voices of adult adoptees. The child you love will be one of them one day, and you have the power and privilege to change you child’s life for the better. :heart: