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Old 08-12-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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I know that sometimes children who are adopted from terrible situations (orphanages, rough foster care situations) want to change their name. I think it may help them feel as if they are starting fresh. I know a boy (now an adult) who was adopted from Eastern Europe at 8, he asked his new family to name him after one of their relatives...I think he just really wanted to start over and claim his family.

But I would never inform an older child of a name change, its their name, they get to choose if they want it.

 
Old 08-13-2012, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
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I don't think it's ever right with an older child unless it's something the child wants, especially when it comes to international adoptions where there is so many changes to the child's life and identity anyway. I saw a documentary on PBS a couple of years ago that I found rather disturbing. It was about a family that was going to China to adopt an 8-year old girl. The mother went to China to pick her up and they first met at the airport. Just minutes after they met the mother asked the translator to ask the girl what she thought of the name Faith because that was going to be her new name. The translator also told the girl to hug the adoptive mother and tell her "I love you mommy". I thought the whole thing was disgusting. They weren't adopting a dog. They were adopting an individual who already had a name and an identity. This is not a toy for you to do what you want with. It's a little person who deserves consideration and respect for her person. There are so many changes moving in with a new family with new routines and habits and in the case of international adoptions new language, new food, new environment, new everything. At the very least they should be allowed to have their name remain the same.

My dad's wife is from China and her name is hard for westerners to pronounce so she goes by a nickname that it derived from her name. If the trouble is pronouncing the adopted child's name they can do something similar - use a nickname.

BTW, did anyone here see the documentary I mentioned above? If so, what did you think about it? Did others find it as upsetting as I did? (It was called Wo Ai Ni (I love you) Mommy.)
 
Old 08-13-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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That sounds like an interesting watch. Didn't catch it, but will look out for it.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Sometimes children who are adopted internationally may have names which do not work in English-speaking countries. This was the case with one of my young relatives - although the given name had a poetic and significant meaning in the native language, it could have caused cruel teasing here because it sounded like some a very unpleasant phrase in English. So the adoptive parents changed it to a similar sounding but different name, one which related to a name passed down several generations in our family. The new name has the same initial and ending letters and number of syllables as did the earlier name, and the child has been told that they can change back to their given name if they prefer to do so when they are adult. I doubt very much if this will happen. This child was nine when they were adopted.

The younger sibling's name worked well both in English and in the native language, so was not changed. Each child received a new middle name to take the place of the previous patronymic, and of course the surname is now that of their adoptive parents. Coincidentally, that initial did not change.
I've also know parents that shuffled the "old name" to the middle name and gave a new first name. That allowed the child to keep the old name and revert back later if they chose.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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I adopted my Son @ 10yo. I talked to him about name/changes. We did Formalize his 1st name from the little boy name, and Changed his last name to mine. Left middle name alone,

Ie: Tommy became Tom

At 1st he objected to changing his 1st name but when I told him as his School/Nick name he could use any name he wanted, but when he's older when looking for a job etc, Having a 'Grown-up' name will make a difference.

FastFoward 5 years, All his friends call him by his Formalized name.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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My kids were 4 and 6 respectively when we adopted them. Of course, we changed their last name to ours. We left their first names alone and changed both of their middle names. We changed my son's middle name to "Daniel" (my husband's name) and my daughter's middle name to "Lee" (my maiden name). It gave them some connectivity to their new family
 
Old 08-14-2012, 07:58 PM
 
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My name was changed to a shorter, more Americanized version of the name I was given by my birth mother. I think it was totally appropriate because I have yet to meet a non-Russian speaker who can pronounce my original name. Lol.

My middle name was also changed from the Russian patronymic to my maternal grandmother's name. I actually really don't care about my middle name cause I hardly ever use it anyway.
 
Old 08-17-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hml1976 View Post
I know that sometimes children who are adopted from terrible situations (orphanages, rough foster care situations) want to change their name. I think it may help them feel as if they are starting fresh. I know a boy (now an adult) who was adopted from Eastern Europe at 8, he asked his new family to name him after one of their relatives...I think he just really wanted to start over and claim his family.

But I would never inform an older child of a name change, its their name, they get to choose if they want it.
Actually your parents choose your name.

Parents have the right to make these call. PARENTS. The people who raise kids.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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Good point warren zee.
 
Old 08-18-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warren zee View Post
Actually your parents choose your name.

Parents have the right to make these call. PARENTS. The people who raise kids.
Some parents choose really awful names without considering any ridicule or teasing or bullying that might happen to the child in school because of the name. I would hope that a parent like that would be open enough to listen to their child's concerns about why they want to change their name. To tell them they have to wait until they are an adult is a cruel thing, since by that time, the damage from the bullying would have already been done.

Everybody has the right to choose their own name.

When I was adopted as a baby, I already had a name, but my adoptive parents chose to change it, and I have been fine with that. As an adult, after successfully searching for and finding my birth parents, both of whom I've had wonderful relationships with, I chose to change my own name. I kept my adoptive first name, as it was given me by my adoptive mother, and I kept my adoptive last name, as it is my adoptive father's, and I added the middle name that my birth mother had given me, and added a second middle name, being my birth father's last name. I think it's a wonderful reflection of all of the parents who created and cared for me.
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