Does the government really need to regulate baby names?

As much as we debate the role of government here in these United States, we have not (yet) reached the level of absurdity they have in France, where the government can overrule parents if they deem the name the parents have chosen for their own child to be inappropriate. (In fairness to France, other nations do this too.)

It is one thing for a judge to allow an adult to change his or her name if that person has been saddled with an exotic name by his or her parents. (This happens.) It is another thing entirely for a judge to forcibly change the legal name of a baby (foolish as that name may seem) against the parents’ wishes. That is not the role of the civil magistrate.

Ultimately, the decision on a baby’s name should be up to the parents. I know a number of families who have given their babies some rather unique names, and those babies have excellent, loving parents. I would hate to see some nanny state judge forbid some of those names because the baby might be teased later in life. It also seems obvious that the problem behavior is committed by the bullies, not the child’s parents.

Finally, legal name or not, parents can call their children whatever they please and (short of kidnapping the child) there is not one single thing the government can do about it. No so-called “judge” is ever going to tell me I cannot do that, no matter where I am. And if he did, I would not obey the ruling. The child belongs to me, not the government. I am the one entrusted by God with the care of that child, not the civil magistrate.

2 thoughts on “Does the government really need to regulate baby names?

  1. “The child belongs to me…”

    Interesting that you view them as property. Do you then have no objection to deranged parents naming their kids after Nazi war criminals, serial killers, or, in one real-life example from Australia, “Violence” (a daughter)? Should innocent children be forced to endure such abuse to adulthood because it's “God's will” in your view? We both know no court would interfere except in the most extreme, egregious cases. Once again, you batten on a phony “issue.”


  2. No, not property. But they are my sons, not the government's.

    Parents should be allowed to name their children whatever they want. And regardless of legal name, parents will call those children whatever they want. Nicknames exist.

    If kids are abused because their parents chose a poor name, the problem is the bullies, not the parents. Punish the bullies instead.


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