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Geek_Pride
02-07-2010, 08:24 PM
Hello,

One of my character's younger baby brother is currently named Baby X. The baby is finally given a name at the end of the novel--symbolising the family overcoming their 'problems.'

When a baby is born, does the parent have to name the child there and then?

suki
02-07-2010, 08:45 PM
Hello,

One of my character's younger baby brother is currently named Baby X. The baby is finally given a name at the end of the novel--symbolising the family overcoming their 'problems.'

When a baby is born, does the parent have to name the child there and then?

In the United States, a baby would need a name, legally assigned on the birth certificate, before a social security number can be assigned to the baby and before the baby will be covered by most (all?) insurance companies.

So realistically, because the baby will need health care starting pretty soon after birth, the parents are pretty much forced to choose a name.

Now, some parents choose a name to satisfy the paper work, and then go back later and legally change the baby's name, once they really have settled on the name they like. But they will have to choose a legal name pretty soon after the baby is born, practically speaking.

Also, child development experts will say that babies start recognizing their names and answering to them by (I think) 4-5 months old. So, whatever the baby is being called by then will, in effect, be the name the child answers to and identifies with.

So, if this is contemporary United States, they would name the baby - not call the baby "Baby X" - within days of birth for legal purposes. They can call the baby whatever they want, but they would have to choose a legal name.

Outside the US, there would be different rules.

How much time does the book encompass? If more than a few days, and it is contemporary United States, they'd have to give the baby a name...but they could call him "Baby X" as a nickname, I guess...and then the end of the book they could officially start calling him by his name or legally change his name.

But, I'm wondering why they wouldn't name him sooner, if the book takes place over an extended period of time...

~suki

Geek_Pride
02-07-2010, 08:58 PM
Thank you so much Suki, you've given me a lot of food for thought!

The book encompass more than a few months, but you've just sparked of an idea that can tie this all together.

During the birth of the baby, a traumatic event happens and the mother can't bring herself to name the baby. After the family overcome this event, they name the baby.

Ellefire
02-07-2010, 09:11 PM
In the Uk you have six weeks to register your baby. I think you can go back and change the first name within the first six months. There should be details on any registry office website.

Giant Baby
02-07-2010, 09:48 PM
I'm not sure what kind of book this is, but at first glance, this sounds like an interesting detail. If the baby is legally (and horribly) named Baby X to satisfy the paperwork, and s/he starts to identify with that name before the family officially names her/him, that sounds pretty damn poignant to me.

Ellefire
02-07-2010, 09:59 PM
birth registering details (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Registeringlifeevents/Birthandadoptionrecords/Registeringorchangingabirthrecord/DG_175608) there you go. Hope that helps.

By the way, you can't get benefits for your baby until s/he has a birth certificate, so if they need the money, that might encourage them to hurry up. Or may be a bone of contention (more conflict and many more words heh heh)

abctriplets
02-07-2010, 10:24 PM
I'm not sure what kind of book this is, but at first glance, this sounds like an interesting detail. If the baby is legally (and horribly) named Baby X to satisfy the paperwork, and s/he starts to identify with that name before the family officially names her/him, that sounds pretty damn poignant to me.

A) I'm not sure how attached a baby will get to a name in the first year
B) I'm not sure what parent will lean over and coo, "Oh, Baby X, aren't you the cutest!" or "Baby X just spit up again!"

...if anything, I could see the parents referring to her as "Baby"

And as for registering, the process was a blur for me, but I think I recorded the names in a large record book at the hospital within the first couple of days, and I might have gotten paperwork for me to look at double-checking the spelling and such.

Giant Baby
02-07-2010, 11:09 PM
A) I'm not sure how attached a baby will get to a name in the first year
B) I'm not sure what parent will lean over and coo, "Oh, Baby X, aren't you the cutest!" or "Baby X just spit up again!"

...if anything, I could see the parents referring to her as "Baby"...



;) My impression from the OP's discription was that there's probably not a lot of cooing of any kind going on. But, again, I don't know anything about the book. The idea just caught my interest.

Geek_Pride
02-07-2010, 11:36 PM
You are right Giant Baby, there is no cooing of any kind.

And, I'm not sure babies get attached to their names within months. My brothers didn't start answering to their names until 18-20 months.

Rarri
02-07-2010, 11:49 PM
Yeah, you do need to be aware that the time restraints for registering are different within the UK, Ellefire's link gives info for them all. Names can be changed though, certificates within a year and after that, i think, it's Deed Poll. The birth trauma (assuming the trauma you mention is birth trauma) aspect is very, very interesting though.

Fern
02-08-2010, 01:32 AM
In adoption paperwork they are usually referred to as "Baby Girl Surname" or "Baby Boy Surname".

johnnysannie
02-08-2010, 05:06 AM
Hello,

One of my character's younger baby brother is currently named Baby X. The baby is finally given a name at the end of the novel--symbolising the family overcoming their 'problems.'

When a baby is born, does the parent have to name the child there and then?

I don't know about the present or if this might vary from one location to another but when I was born, my parents had not quite agreed upon the exact spelling of my name so it was left blank on the birth certificate, then filled it by the OB/GYN's office at the six week check-up. Then it was sent in to the state.

abctriplets
02-08-2010, 07:30 AM
Some googling:


Don't Feel pressured to register your baby's name before you leave the hospital if you're undecided, and do not assume you can just change the name later if you change your mind. Meg Ryan was mercilessly mocked when she told Oprah Winfrey, “I already had to change her name - I thought she was Charlotte and she s just not. She’s a Daisy.” Feel free to wait a few days post-birth to get to know your baby (hospitals will pressure you to decide on a name before going home, but actual state deadlines vary). Trust us, your little one won't wind up in therapy talking about how her parents left her nameless for almost a week.


In Perth, West Australia, you have 90 days to submit the birth registration

Cnn article on baby-name remorse changing:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/01/01/baby.name.change/index.html

Thread on a baby group:
http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/20857705.aspx?MsdVisit=1

Another naming forum:
http://cincinnati.momslikeme.com/members/JournalActions.aspx?g=246554&m=5920796

frimble3
02-08-2010, 10:51 AM
There are even more ways to mess with a baby's name. When my father (fourth child) was born in 1930, his parents agreed on the first name. For a middle name, his mother wanted X, his father wanted Y. They 'agreed' on X. His father left the new mother home with the children and went off to register the birth. He cunningly registered my father as Y. Went home and continued to call the baby 'X', if the middle name came up. My dad didn't find out until he was about 20 and had some gov't application rejected for 'wrong name'. Then the whole story came out, and he legally changed his name to what he had always been called. His father still thought it was a clever method of getting his own way. His mother had died by then.
If, however, she had found out earlier, well, does your story need more conflict?