If you are a parent, you will know that even before your bundle of joy arrives you have lots of decisions to make. One of the toughest questions you must answer is what are you going to call your baby? Are you using a traditional name, a name passed down the generations, a more modern name? There is just so much choice out there, well for us living in the UK there is. Most names are permitted in the UK. The authorities would only intervene if they felt it was offensive. Apparently in the past Martian and Monkey have been banned!
However it is quite different throughout the world. A couple in France have recently found themselves in court for wanting to call their daughter a name considered very unusual, Liam! The French government were concerned it would create a risk of gender confusion for her. With the prosecutor arguing that it could harm her social relations. What do you think?
France do have pretty strict rules when it comes to baby names. The local birth certificate registrars have an obligation to inform the local court if they believe a baby's name goes again the child's best interest. In the past Strawberry, Nutella, Mini Cooper and Manhattan have all been banned.
Germany also has a number of baby naming restrictions, including no gender-neutral names, no names of objects or names of products.
Switzerland do not allow a child's name to be a brand name, a name of a place or a last name as a first name. Channel, Paris and Mercedes have all been banned in the past.
Denmark has a list of about 7000 names that have been approved. If you prefer to go outwith this list you must gain permission. Nearly 20% of applications are rejected every year mainly due to odd spellings.
Malaysia believes names after animals, food and numbers are undesirable and are therefore banned.
If you think that using a traditional name such as Emily, George, Charlotte or Thomas would be a safe bet, if you lived in Portugal then you would be wrong. Al these names are banned there.
In America, baby names depend on the state that you are in. Titles do appear to be often banned with names like King, Queen and Judge not being allowed.
So do you think that the authorities have the right to intervene? If so, to what extent? It does make you think, doesn't it?