The first cries of your child reach your ears. Through weary, blurry eyes, you see a nurse carefully wiping her/him free from fluids while another secures the umbilical cord with a clip. You lay back as your attending physician diligently works to make you more comfortable as well. It’s over. Nine months. Just like that. The moment — you’ve both dreamt of and dreaded — is here.
“What’s her/his name?” The question breaks through your exhaustion. Your baby is slowly lowered into your arms, sleeping peacefully in a striped blanket. You stare into its tiny face. Is naming your baby before adoption possible?
Naming Your Baby
In answer — yes. As a birth mother, you reserve the right to name your son and daughter following birth and have it recorded onto their Original Birth Certificate. You gave birth to them, after all. Thus, you will always be recognized as their first mother.
When it comes to naming your baby, think about names that stand out to you. Ones you’ve always loved or admired. Consider the people in your life who you respect and who are special to you. Buy a baby book of names, or research online resources like Behind the Name. Delve into what certain names mean and their origins. You might be surprised at what you find. It’s fascinating! Overall, thoroughly research and carefully consider each name option you chose. This will help you be prepared for when the nurses ask you what your baby’s name is after delivery.
The Original Birth Certificate
After birth, the hospital will create what’s known as an “Original Birth Certificate.” This contains your information as the child’s biological mother. Your name, the time of day and date, the name of the hospital, and the birth father’s name (if known). The line designated to him can be left blank even if his name is known. If you don’t want his name included, it doesn’t have to be.
Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will fill out the vital records request for the Original Birth Certificate, and provide all necessary information to the hospital. You are your child’s first mother, and the one who gave birth to him or her. So, you get to gift them with their first piece of identity. Their name. This then holds true until the adoption becomes finalized, where the adoptive parents receive their Amended Birth Certificate.
Coordinating with Adoptive Parents
Depending on your adoption agreement, you can also coordinate with the adoptive parents regarding naming your baby. That is, if you are comfortable involving them in your naming process and collaborating on a name together. It’s ok if you want to do it separately, though. That’s where the additional birth certificate comes in. The Original Birth Certificate will always hold the name that you chose for your child at birth. The Amended Birth Certificate, on the other hand, will have the name that the adoptive parents chose for him or her post adoption.
If you chose to coordinate baby names with the adoptive parents, decide which piece is most important to you. Do you want to determine the first name or middle name? Talk to the adoptive parents and hear their thoughts as well. See what you all can agree on.
Naming Your Baby Before Adoption
Names are important titles. Essential parts of a person’s identity. For a baby, it’s the first sense of self that they have. It’s what they build around as they learn who they are. So, having the honor of naming your baby is a big deal.
As your baby’s birth mother, you get access to that honor first. You can choose what path to take with it. There are the two main options of course, either naming the baby yourself or coordinating with the adoptive parents. But, if you choose not to give your baby a name, that’s ok too. Let your adoption caseworker and hospital staff know, and they will submit the Original Birth Certificate with “Baby Girl” or “Baby Boy.”
Placing your baby for adoption is a difficult decision. Very emotional and complex. Go with what feels best to you. There is no pressure either way.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption 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
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Do Birthmothers Get to Pick Their Baby’s Name?” Birthmothers Choice, 26 July 2019, www.birthmotherschoice.com/birthmothers-get-pick-babys-name/.
“Naming in Adoption: Who Names the Baby?” Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/pregnant/open-adoption/name-baby-given-up-for-adoption.
Together, Written by Adoptions. “Placing a Baby for Adoption and Your Hospital Stay |.” Adoptions Together, 7 Aug. 2018, www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2018/08/01/what-all-birth-moms-should-know-about-the-hospital-stay/.
“Who Gets to Name an Adopted Child?: Naming an Adopted Baby.” Adoption Connection, 19 Apr. 2018, adoptionconnection.jfcs.org/who-gets-to-name-an-adopted-child/#.