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Law changes mean "embarrassing" baby names could be refused

Law changes mean

Tuesday 04 April 2023

Law changes mean "embarrassing" baby names could be refused

Tuesday 04 April 2023

Jersey parents could have their baby names rejected if might cause "mistake, confusion or embarrassment to the child" in the future.

Following recent law changes, the island's Superintendent Registrar will be able to refuse to register a child's name.

The Government said the update complies with their commitment of putting children first as well as meeting obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The change — which came into effect on 24 March 2023 — brings the island in line with similar laws in other jurisdictions, such as Sweden and New Zealand.

The UK has no law restricting names but names that contain obscenities, numerals, misleading titles, or are impossible to pronounce are likely to be rejected when registering a child. 

There are no restrictions on adults assuming any new name, unless the purpose of the name change is fraudulent.

Some countries have stricter naming laws, such as in Iceland, Denmark and Hungary where a child's name must be chosen from a list of pre-approved names. If the intended name is not on the list, the parents need to apply for an exception to be approved.


Pictured: In 2020, Elon Musk and Grimes had to change the name of their child from 'X Æ A-12' to 'X Æ A-Xii' to comply with Californian naming laws.

In nearby Saint Malo, a couple hit the headlines after being banned from naming their newborn baby Hades after the ancient Greek god of the dead and king of the underworld.

According to the Daily Mail, Kristina Desgres and Rodrigo Velasquez chose as they though it was “pretty”, but the Saint Malo public prosecutor refused to accept the name.

"Hades Velasquez Desgres sounds good," Ms Desgres told local newspaper Le Pays Malouin.

She added that nobody made the connection between her baby's name and the Greek god of the dead: "It didn't shock anyone. On the contrary, people like it."


Pictured: In ancient Greek religion and myth, Hades is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld.

French authorities can veto a name if it is not in the child’s best interest and demand that parents change it, and in this case, the public prosecutor deemed the name Hades inappropriate for a child.

Despite the decision, Ms Desgres and Mr Velasquez have hired a lawyer in an attempt to keep their baby’s name, pointing out at least 12 other French parents who have successfully named their children Hades without any objection. 

The court decision on the case is expected on April 4. 

Since 1993, the choice of names has been free in France unless it is decided that the name is contrary to the interests of the child. However, before that time, the choice of first names was dictated by a law created by Napoleon Bonaparte which decreed acceptable names.


REVEALED: What were Jersey's most popular baby names in 2022?

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Posted by Martin on
A very very good idea restricting daft or ambiguous names for children!

Maybe amusing for the parents ( who may be young & naive at the time ) but a lifetime of grief & ridicule for the child!
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