Paper stickers with different names on wooden background

Naming the baby can be one of the most exciting moments during a pregnancy. But if you’re a woman choosing an adoption plan, you might feel anxious and concerned about what your role in the naming process is. Your stress about naming the baby can cause you to ask, “Whenever you give a baby up for adoption, do you decide a name, or does the adoptive family?

This is a situation where both parties can have quite a bit of sway on the perfect name for the baby. There are also quite a few ways to go about naming the baby in an adoption. If you need any help during the naming process, your adoption specialist is always available to give you some great ideas. Here are some common questions that we receive about naming in adoption:

Who Gets to Name My Baby in an Adoption?

It depends! We often get asked, “If you give your baby up for adoption, do you name it or them?” Sometimes, birth mothers don’t feel strongly about their child’s name one way or the other and will let the adoptive family pick. Other times, a birth mother will feel very strongly about their baby’s name and want to be the one to name them.

A prospective birth mother always has the right to choose a name for her baby, and you can even choose to officially record this name on your baby’s original birth certificate. However, it’s important to understand that once your parental rights are terminated, the adoptive parents will have the final say in naming the baby.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the adoptive parents about your preferences for a name! Some adoptive families and birth mothers even choose a name for the baby together. Often, the name the birth mother picks will be used as a middle name that both parties come to love. Sometimes the best names are ones that have a cultural or religious meaning to the prospective birth mother. You can even pick the name of a family member that you truly respect or a close friend from either the birth parents’ or the adoptive family’s side.

Whatever the case, as long as you and the adoptive parents talk to one another about your feelings on the baby’s name, everything should be just fine. Choosing a name for your baby should be a fun experience for everyone. But we also know that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pick a name overnight for your little one. If you’re having trouble finding a name that everyone likes, you can always ask for help from your adoption specialist.

Will the Adoptive Family Change the Name I Pick for the Baby?

During every adoption, the birth parents will fill out their name on the birth certificate, and they will have the option of including the name they’ve chosen for their baby as well. Once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parents will receive an amended birth certificate with their name and the baby’s new name on it. After the adoption has been finalized, the adoptive family will have the right to change the baby’s name if they choose to.

Even knowing this, you may have some concerns like, “Once you give your child up for adoption can the other person change their name?” Legally, yes. Once the adoption has been finalized and the adoptive family has attended their final hearing, they’ll be able to pick whichever name they’d like for the baby.

If you have a name that you’ve grown really attached to during your pregnancy, you may experience some hurt feelings if the adoptive family decides to change the name that you love. If you’re concerned that the adoptive family will change the name that you’ve chosen, talk to the adoptive family and your adoption specialist. It may be difficult, but everyone should be able to come to an understanding about the baby’s name. The adoptive family will have the last say in the name they’d like for their baby, so you’ll want to speak to them ahead of time if you have strong feelings about your baby’s name.

Does the Baby’s Name Affect What Happens After the Adoption?

Sometimes we hear from women who are considering adoption for an older infant or child they’ve already named. These prospective birth mothers sometimes worry, “Can I still give my baby up for adoption and have an open adoption if I’ve already named the baby?” The answer is yes. Many women choose to adoption weeks or even months after giving birth and naming their baby, and these women can always choose to have an open adoption with their child. The name that you pick won’t affect your ability to choose adoption, and you can always have an open adoption, no matter your circumstances. The amount of contact that you have after finalization will be decided between yourself and the adoptive family.

So, the name that you pick for your baby will not affect your open adoption experience. If you’d like to learn more about what to expect during your open adoption experience, your adoption attorney and adoption specialist will be able to give you more information.

Deciding on a name for your baby is an amazing way to celebrate the new life that you’re bringing into this world. To learn more about naming your baby in an adoption, contact one of our adoption specialists for free information.