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naming your baby before adoption

The first cries of your child reach your ears. Through weary, blurry eyes, you see a nurse carefully wiping her or 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.

“Would you like to hold your baby?” The question breaks through your exhaustion. You manage an exhausted nod as your baby is slowly lowered into your arms. You stare into his or her tiny face as they sleep peacefully in a striped blanket.

“What’s your baby’s name?” This next question leaves you feeling conflicted. Is naming your baby before adoption even 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 the Original Birth Certificate. You gave birth to them, after all. Thus, you will always be recognized as their biological mother.

Think about the potential 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. Delve into what certain names mean and their origins. You might be surprised by what you find. It’s fascinating! Overall, thoroughly research and carefully consider each name option. 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 your baby is born, the hospital will create what’s known as an Original Birth Certificate (OBC). Essentially, this is a legal document that lists 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) are stated. That being said, the line designated to the birth father can be left blank even if you do know his name. The choice whether or not to include his name is completely up to you.

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. The one who gave birth to him or her. It’s fitting that you should, then, be able to give your son or daughter their first piece of identity – their name. The name you choose holds true until the adoption becomes finalized, where the adoptive parents receive their Amended Birth Certificate (ABC).

Coordinating with Adoptive Parents

Depending on your adoption agreement, you can also coordinate with the adoptive parents in naming your baby before adoption. That is, if you are comfortable involving them in this 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. While the OBC will always hold your information and the name that you chose, the ABC 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

Is naming your baby before adoption possible? Yes, it is. As you are your baby’s biological mother, you have the choice of naming him or her before the adoption becomes finalized. You can do this either with the adoptive parents or on your own. 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.” The choice is completely up to you. There is no pressure either way. Just know that the option is available.

Placing your baby for adoption is a complex and emotional decision. If you’ve been on the fence your whole pregnancy journey about naming your baby before adoption, that’s ok. Go with what feels best to you. Your adoption caseworker will be there to provide encouragement and support no matter what.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process.  If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).

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

Rachel RobertsonRachel 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.

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Sources:

“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/#.

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