French Court Bans Parents From Naming Their Daughter Liam!
The celebrity world is awash with unusual baby names such as Apple, Chicago and Stormi just to name a few. And while these parents had no trouble naming their offspring in the UK and US had they been in France it may have been a different story.
A French couple a currently locked in a legal battle over their choice to name their daughter Liam. And while it’s a very common name in english speaking countries it’s considered quite unusual for the French.
When the baby girl was born and named in November, the French courts stepped in saying the name “would be likely to create a risk of gender confusion” and would be “therefore contrary to the interest of the child and could harm her in her social relations”.
The parents have been asked to give “the child another name and, failing that, a name chosen by the judge.” To prove the point that Liam is indeed not a girl’s name the prosecutor quoted the examples of lead singer of Britpop group Oasis, Liam Gallagher as well as American-British actor Liam Neeson to support their argument.
While still in hospital, the mother was advised to give the child “a more feminine middle name” by the registrar the day after the baby was born but she was alone at the time and did not want to make the decision without her partner.
Perhaps the reason the French have such an issue with names such as Liam is because they aren’t used to unisex names. The French give first names that have male and female equivalents, including Francois and Francoise, Jean and Jeanne, and Frederic and Frederique.
Parents in France should consider themselves lucky because up until 1993 names for their newborns had to be chosen from a long list of acceptable “prenoms” laid out by authorities.
Luckily the list was scrapped under President François Mitterand and French parents were given the opportunity to be a bit more creative with their kid’s names.
It’s not just the name Liam the authorities have an issue with. In recent years, the names Nutella, Fraise (strawberry) and Manhattan were all knocked back!
And France isn’t alone. Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Morocco, Japan, Malaysia and Iceland all have specific laws regarding the naming of children or lists of banned names.
People may argue that giving your child an unusual name will ensure they stand out. That it will give them a secure footing in the world and will be something uniquely their own.
However, others disagree. “Some parents give their children wildly unusual names because they love the attention it garners, for both themselves and the children” says Julie Romanowski
, a parenting coach and early childhood consultant. “That’s a disgrace. You always want to ensure that the name you choose is based on a true and positive intention, because this will set the tone for how your child will grow up and what kind of parent you’re going to be.”
What do you think? Is Liam such a bad name for a girl? Seriously, I can think of dozens more that are a million times worse sounding!