A name holds a thousand meanings. It is one of the first things people learn about themselves, thus it should be given a lot of thought. One of the joys of pregnancy comes from naming your child. But when you have decided to place your child for adoption, you might wonder if you still have the right to name your child.

The short answer is: you will always be their birth mother. Therefore, that privilege is up for your consideration. It can be a source of excitement for you or a responsibility that you cannot bear to take on. Whichever the case, don’t feel that you are not deserving of the naming rights or that you are inclined to give them a name. Adoption Choices of New York will help you understand what the right path is for you and where your child’s story begins.

Some Background Information

Before you proceed with your decision, it is important for you to learn some basic information regarding the naming process during the adoption period. Every child placed for adoption will receive two birth certificates: Original Birth Certificate (OBC) and an Amended Birth Certificate (ABC).

The OBC will be most important for you as it will have your information, along with the birth father’s if he wishes to display them. This will also be where you will write the name you have selected for your baby.

Reasons You Might Want to Name Your Child

1. Sentimental Values

Thinking of what to name your child is one of the blessings of being pregnant, which doesn’t diminish even with placing them for adoption. Choosing adoption does not mean you love your child any less. If there is a name that you have been thinking about for a long time, or one that holds significant meaning in your heart, it might be worthwhile to give your child that name. Then they will always have a part of you as they live out their story.

2. Family Traditions

Many families have traditions for naming a child, such as starting with a specific letter or relating to a location. Some families also use the first name of the father as the middle name of the son, for example. Continuing family legacies is another reason why you might consider naming your child, even if they won’t get to physically be a part of your family. In addition to this, as the child grows up, they won’t feel a sense of abandonment by their birth parents. If you feel that giving them a name would create too much stress for you to handle, you can even give them a nickname for you to call them during phone calls or visits.

Reasons You Might Not Want To 

1. Added Stress

With all the commotions of the adoption process with meetings and paperwork, giving your unborn baby a name might cause needless anxiety to your mental and physical health. Knowing that you will have to part ways with your baby is enough to drain your energy. And this is before adding on the naming part.

Many mothers experience high separation anxiety after giving birth. By giving your child a name, you may feel as though you are creating more ties with them. Keeping this in mind, if you know that you might feel a tremendous sense of loss, it is best to leave the naming to the prospective parents.

2. It Might Get Changed

You might be wondering, “Why look for a name when the adoptive parents might change it anyways?” That’s a valid point. As mentioned above, the adoptive parents will have the option of picking out a name to put onto the Amended Birth Certificate. Even if both parties have come to an agreement, the adoptive parents might decide that another name is a good fit for their child.

3. Open Communication

Since the child’s name is something that will stick with them for the rest of their life, it needs to be discussed with a considerable amount of time. If you are confused as to what you should do or how you can contribute, talk to the adoptive parents. In many cases, like with open adoptions, they would love to have you involved in the naming process.

When both parties want to name the child in an adoption, the process might get complicated, but having open communication is key. Some possible solutions include both sides coming up with a list before the delivery and coming to a compromise. When deciding on a name together, it should hold significance to both families. For example, religious names like a saint. Another solution could be one of you chooses the first name, while the other chooses the middle name.

However, there will be times when prospective parents feel strongly about naming the child because the child will grow up with them. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that this is where the child’s story begins. Having an open discussion will be a healthy option.

4. Love and Respect

Whether or not you want to name your child, make sure to talk to the adoptive parents so that they can be prepared for the situation. Both parties should try to honor the wishes of the other. Remember that this will be their child so you should respect the choices that they come to in the end.

Talk to your adoption experts at Adoption Choices of New York for any concerns regarding whether you should name the baby or not or tips on what the name should be. Don’t feel that you are alone in this. We want to be there as you continue your story and as your child start theirs.

Adoption Choices of New York

For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Lisa Truong

Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.

During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.

Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.




American Adoptions, Inc. “”What Does Adoption Mean to a Child?”” American Adoptions – If You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption, Do You Name Him/Her? Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/name-baby-given-up-for-adoption.

Robertson, Rachel. “How Adoption Affects Birth Mothers.” Adoption Choices of New York. May 15, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.adoptionchoicesofnewyork.org/how-adoption-affects-birth-mothers/.

Robertson, Rachel. “Tips for Naming Your Adoptee: Significance and Meaning of a Name.” Adoption Choices of Colorado. May 15, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2019. https://www.adoptionchoices.org/tips-for-naming-your-adoptee-significance-and-meaning-of-a-name/.


We are not shutting down during this difficult time! We are fully devoted and available to all pregnant women and birth parents that are looking at adoption as an option. We will also continue to work with prospective adoptive parents who are already a part of our program. If you are a prospective adoptive parent hoping to apply to our program, we are accepting applications and doing Homestudy now.

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