If I Choose Adoption, Can I Name My Baby?

by | Mar 29, 2019 | Birth Parent Blog

Woman shows her ultrasound on SkypeIf you’re choosing adoption for your baby, naming him or her may seem a little more confusing. Are you wondering things like this?
“Once I give my baby up for adoption, can the adoptive parents change their name? “
“Do I give my baby a name, or do the adoptive parents?”
“Can we name the baby together?”

Join Lifetime as we give you answer to the question on if you can name your baby up for adoption and other common adoption questions, information about naming in adoption, and more!

If I Place My Baby Up for Adoption, Who Names Him or Her?

Many birth mothers wonder if they’re in charge of naming their baby. Some women feel excited at the possibility of naming their baby, while others see it as an unwanted responsibility.

With modern adoption, you can have input on what your baby will be named if you’d like. Some adoptive parents are open to having you name your baby. Others would love for you to help them choose. And a few adoptive couples decide to name the baby themselves. The most common way that Lifetime sees to name the baby is that the birth family and adoptive parents choose the name together.

Once I Name My Baby, Can the Adoptive Parents Change the Name?

Your baby will be issued two birth certificates. The original birth certificate lists the birth parents. Then, their amended birth certificate will list the adoptive parents. There is a spot for the baby’s name on both birth certificates.

Pregnant woman looks at her reflection in the mirrorWhen you fill out the forms for your baby’s original birth certificate, you can list a name if you want. This can be a name you’ve chosen yourself, or it could be one that you picked together with the adoptive couple.

It’s important to know that when you sign the paperwork for the adoption, you’re willingly terminating your legal parental rights and placing your baby with their adoptive parents. So if you named the baby on his or her original birth certificate and the adoptive parents change the name, the amended birth certificate will show the baby’s new name. But we’ve found that out of respect to their baby’s birth mother, adoptive parents will rarely change the baby’s first name without discussing it with the birth parents first.

So that you can avoid any confusion or hurt, we recommend reviewing these things together with your Adoption Coordinator and with the adoptive parents. It’s best to have a chat about your baby’s name as soon as possible, preferably early in your adoption match.

How Do We Decide Who Should Name My Baby?

Make sure to talk with your baby’s future parents as well as your Adoption Coordinator. If you really want to be involved in naming your baby, let them know.

It could be that the adoptive family wants to name the baby. If you’re cool with letting them choose a name, let them know. Many birth mothers feel that this is fine since the adoptive couple will be parenting the baby and spending every day with him or her.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel about your baby’s name. Just make sure to communicate with the adoptive parents and let them know how you feel about naming your baby.

If both you and the adoptive parents want to be part of choosing a name, here are a few way ways to do that:

  • Having the adoptive parents choose the first name, and you choose the middle name (or the other way around)
  • Picking a name that you all like together
  • Choosing a name from your family or the adoptive couple’s family that’s meaningful and that you all like
  • Selecting a name that has religious meaning to you both, such as a name from the Bible, the name of a notable religious person, or a saint

There many ways you can approach naming your baby, but one of the best ways to choose together. By selecting a name together, your child gets to have a unique story about how they got their name from both their birth parents and adoptive parents.

At the end of the day, your child’s name is a small detail compared to the big picture — that by choosing adoption, your child will grow up safe, provided for and loved.

Do you have adoption questions or want to learn more about adoption?

Contact Lifetime Adoption by texting or calling us at



Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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