Changing names?
So my stbad wants to change her name. She has a very uncommon name and wants to change it to a very common one and I don't know how I feel about it. She is 11 so on one hand I feel it has been her identity for so long and although i would def. change a baby's name an 11 year old is so different. Then I also see that is a new life for her and it is her choice I don't even know why she choose that name! I told her we would definitely keep her first name as her now middle name if we were to change it so she could go by it later in life if she chooses. Any advise? Anyone change names so late in life?
In my opinion she is old enough to have a say in what her name will be, whether it be her birth name or a new one upon adoption. As long as the name she chooses is appropriate I don't see a problem.
I do agree that the name she has been identified with and given to her by her birth family should be kept as part of her name. Though she may not like or want it NOW, she may feel differently later. AND, if she decided, as an adult, she could always change it further later.

With each of my kids (adopted last Tuesday!), we kept the name they were called as one of their names. They have all decided to go by a nick name or the adopted part of their names.
I have friends who just finalized their adoptions of two orphans (12 and 14)from the Ukraine. They gave them totally new names with special meanings and they had a "naming ceremony" for them. They felt very loved and special...and excited to have a new name to represent their new life! Just thought I would share that positive story with you!
my kids were only 4 and nearly 6 when we finalized. we gave them a choice of choosing a new name or keeping theirs, reordering them or not. we did know we were going to change the spelling on one to stop people from mispronouncing it--uncommon spelling for an old, old name.

our son decided on another old name but did not know if he wanted it as his first or second name. we tried it out for about a month in "firstplace" as he called it. at the end of the month, he decided he wanted his original first name but kept the one he chose for his middle name.

our daughter never wavered on her choice. she loves her first name and knew it would remain there. her middle name choice was unusual, but she had some really good reasons for choosing it. i was a little sceptical. i actually asked on this board what everyone thought. the best advice i got was from Boulder Babe who told me to allow it and if some time in the future she decided she didn't like it, allow her to change it back. really, name changes are common and not terribly expensive.

so, we went with her choice. it suits her. really, truly, deeply suits her with her personality and outlook and all that she is.

i would say examine why YOU are opposed to it and why SHE wants it. maybe she needs to shed her old name completely. maybe she just wants a change. you won't know unless you ask in a way she understands.

my daughter's middle name? Chrysanthemum. it's from a book of the same name by Kevin Henckes. Flowergirl's reason for having it? because in the book the little mouse's parents named her Chrysanthemum because she had to have a name that was all that she was--absolutely perfect. And she was. She was absolutely perfect--just like my own Chrysanthemum!
I would let her change it to a mutually agreeable name. I like keeping her original name as her middle name. We did that for our adopted daughter. She seems happy to have it as part of her name.

I changed my name before 4th grade. I was not adopted but decided I liked my middle name better. I've never had any regrets except that it's harder to pronounce and spell than my original name.
I think 11 is old enough to have a say. Sometimes kids, for very good reason, want a completely fresh start and a name change is a big part of that.

Sometimes they just hate the name they were given. If I had had the opportunity to change my name at 11, I would have. Wink

Why not have her write a paragraph or two about why she wants to change it? That may give you some insights and it's something you could keep to give her later in life -- in case she needs a reminder as to why her name was changed.
I think 11 is more than old enough to make the decision herself, and you letting the ultimate decision rest in her hands will go far in building trust in respect between the two of you.

I suppose the way I would handle it is to discuss the pros and cons of changing the name vs keep her birth name (with you not showing a preference either way). I'd also empathize to her that this is a big decision and a personal one she needs to make herself - one of many in her life she'll have to make, and will also have to live with the consequences of whatever decision she chooses.

When we consummated, my AD was only 2.5. I kept the original first name, but changed the spelling to the traditional one so she wouldn't have to go her whole life with people messing it up. I did change her middle name, and her last, of course Happy
I would let her change it. Like everyone else said she is old enough.

I have an almost 3 year old and 4 year old. I would love to change their names. The 3 year old I want to use her middle name as a first name (it is a family name of mine and much much prettier then her first name). The 4 year old has an ethnic sounding name. It doesn't fit her, but she does tell everyone she is 4 now, and 4 year olds have a new name..so who knows.
Thanks for all the responses. I think that the problems i see with changing names is that first of all who wouldn't change their names at 11? It sounds fun to change your name but I don't know if she realizes that its not just a game its forever! I also think it might be hard for her in school for her to change her name. People are going to have a hard time with it at first and might think its weird that she changed her name! kids can be mean! She already has white parents which she has to explain to people all the time and i just don't want it to be another thing she has to explain all the time. I guess the kids could think it was cool but she will be in 6th grade and they are not known for their understanding! lol I do like the idea of having her write down why she wants to change it and I will talk to her therapist about it and see what she thinks and maybe she can talk to her about it! In the end though if she really wants to change I am sure I will do it! :love:
jami565 said...
Thanks for all the responses. I think that the problems i see with changing names is that first of all who wouldn't change their names at 11? It sounds fun to change your name but I don't know if she realizes that its not just a game its forever! I also think it might be hard for her in school for her to change her name. People are going to have a hard time with it at first and might think its weird that she changed her name! kids can be mean! She already has white parents which she has to explain to people all the time and i just don't want it to be another thing she has to explain all the time. I guess the kids could think it was cool but she will be in 6th grade and they are not known for their understanding! lol I do like the idea of having her write down why she wants to change it and I will talk to her therapist about it and see what she thinks and maybe she can talk to her about it! In the end though if she really wants to change I am sure I will do it! :love:


How wonderful it is that you're so thoughtful and careful about the name change! Just wanted to send some support your way Smile
A girl in my son's 4th grade class changed her name last year. Her parents allowed it and sometimes the kids still call her the old name, mostly they get it. And she's not adopted, but did have an old fashioned name.
Our AD was 13 when we finalized, and we changed her name
at the adoption. Kids understood for the most part. The idea was hers, but we got a baby book and went thru it together...had a few laughs, let me tell you at some of the names :arrow: . We ''tried on'' a few before we found one we all agreed on.
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