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What You Should Know About Naming Your Baby

RSV Awareness with my newborn

There are no laws against giving your baby a unique name, even if it is a little weird. However, there are laws about when your baby must be named and the names given to children.

Before you give birth, here are some things you should know about naming your baby.

Time Limit for Naming the Baby

It’s okay if you haven’t settled on a name before your baby is born. In fact, your baby doesn’t even need a name before you both check out of the hospital.

In some states, if your baby leaves the hospital without a name, you can request a form to fill out when you decide what it will be. The form will go to the state department of vital records where the name will be registered.

The laws vary between states, but in most of them, you have 30 to 60 days to register your child’s name. Check with the vital records department in your state to see how long before your baby’s name must be registered.

If you miss the deadline for registering your baby’s name, then you may need to wait a certain amount of time to register it. For instance, in Florida, if you miss the deadline, you cannot register the name until your baby is 12 months old.


Adding the Father’s Name

Although you would think adding the father’s name to the birth certificate would be a no-brainer, it can be complicated. In many states, a woman must be married to the father to add his name to a baby’s birth certificate.

If the parents are not married, the father must give his written consent and have it notarized before it can be added to a birth certificate. In addition, if the woman is married, her husband’s name must be on the certificate, even if he is not the father.

Amending Names

Mistakes happen, and sometimes the information on a birth certificate is incorrect. However, since the laws vary between states, there are different requirements for getting the information corrected.

In most states, if a parent finds an error and gets it corrected before their child turns a year old, they only need to fill out some forms to correct the birth certificate. However, in other states, it may require a court order.

To avoid errors, double check the spelling of the name you’ve chosen with the nurse or registrar who is responsible for recording your baby’s name. If you want your daughter to be Anne and not Ann, spell out the name and then double check it.

Banned Names

Even though there are many unique baby names, such as North West who is the daughter of Kanye West, some names are not allowed by law.

Many states have laws against naming babies after people who have committed atrocities, religious figures, or using obscene or derogatory terms.

Some laws also prevent special characters or numbers from being in a baby’s name. So, if you want Kevin 3, you will need to revert to the old-fashioned Kevin III in most states.

If you’re looking for unique names, for your baby, search baby name books or go online to find name suggestions, like at this blog.

Before naming your child, check the laws in your state to ensure there will be no objections when the name is registered and that you meet all the registration deadlines.

Michelle Cantu is a digital influencer, entrepreneur and business owner. She built a thriving community dedicated to supporting parents and inspiring moms. Michelle is in her fifth year of homeschooling her 4 kids with her husband right outside of San Antonio, Texas. Instagram, twitter and facebook.

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42 thoughts on “What You Should Know About Naming Your Baby

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