Let’s be honest: Baby names can be WAY out there these days. And you don’t just need to be following the latest Kardashian baby announcement to know what I’m talking about. From Pilot Inspektor to Apple, it seems like you can literally get away with naming a baby … pretty much anything.
Well, at least in America. Baby-naming rules are a little more stringent in other countries, as one couple in France recently learned the hard way.
The new parents, of Morbihan, Brittany, got a rude awakening last month when they tried to name their baby girl Liam. According to The Local, the French courts have the power to “veto” baby names if they feel the name is against the child’s best interest. And in this case, prosecutors stated that the name Liam could cause a girl “gender confusion” and would be “therefore contrary to the interest of the child and could harm her in her social relations.”
Um … what?!
To plead their case, prosecutors reportedly brought up actor Liam Neeson and singer Liam Gallagher as “evidence” that in English-speaking countries, Liam is traditionally a male name. Since French names typically have male and female equivalents (think: Antoine vs. Antoinette), while countries like the U.S. have plenty of gender-neutral options we don’t think twice about.
To be fair, I can see the point in trying to control some aspects of crazy baby-naming. For example, BBC News once reported that French courts actually were successful in stopping another couple from naming their daughter Nutella in 2015. (The judge ordered that they call her Ella instead, to avoid “teasing or disparaging thoughts.”)
But at the same time, who really has the right to tell parents what to call the child they bring into this world? And what century are we living in when the government goes to such lengths just to block a name, solely based on the basis of gender?
As for little baby girl Liam, her name still hangs in the balance. A trial date has yet to be set. And frankly, I’m rooting for this little lady to keep her cool moniker.