Was your name changed during "the adoption process"?


It was only a couple of years ago, when I was still pretty much ignorent of adoption practices, I discovered most adoptees had their first name changed as well as their last name and it shocked me. My last name changed when I was adopted and even though I am not a big fan of that, I can see the rationale behind it. Changing someones first name on the other hand makes no sense, except as a token of ownership for the adopters.

name change

Here a a question to ponder...I am a foster parent going to adopt a two year old....the first name I believe,even though it is a unique one it has the tendency to be mispronounced and the child to be teased. What shall i do? he is starting to call him self by his name now...should i introduce a nick name to him instead.......Thanks

being someone else

I wouldn't do anything about the name. Almost every name can be used to tease a child. In the long run, I believe this boy will be glad to have kept his original name and not feel forced to become someone else.

A Welsh man in England??

I was born Gareth Dafydd Curle (neither my mother nor the Registrar knew how to spell Dafydd, so it appears on my birth certificate as Dafyd and on the consent form as Daffyd)

My adoptive parents thought a Welsh name would raise too many questions amongst their neighbours in rural Essex

I remember having my original names, and rediscovered them when I was about 8 or 9 and broke in to family document box

I'm okay with my adopted name, but it's a part of the secrets and lies that make it more difficult for natural relatives to find out what has happened to any member of their family who has been adopted. I don't really approve of the changing of first names in adoption

The Rights of a Child, changed and nullified

Just today I read two articles addressing the name-change issue adoptees keep facing day-after-day.  The first comes from a self-proclaimed Angry Adoptive Parent:

I am an adoptive parent of a 13 month-old baby girl. She will grow up knowing her parents’ names are Mariam (not real) and Arif (not real). Now when she goes to school at six or seven years and she will be called, say, Alia binti Abdullah instead of Alia Arif.

She will come home one day and ask “mummy, why is my name Alia binti Abdullah when daddy’s name is Arif?” Pray tell, how I do explain the concept of adoption to a six or seven year-old girl who is not even old enough to string three complete sentences together?

All she will remember of any explanation I give her is “my parents are not my real parents” and “my real parents gave me away.” “I belong to nobody because I don’t know who my real parents are!”

Can the minister explain what is so wrong about allowing these children to carry their adoptive father’s name to give them a sense of belonging to a whole family and an identity rather than to live with the “adopted” label from birth or at adoption?

Adoption in itself is an emotional issue, both for the adoptive parents and the adopted child. Don’t make it any harder for us than it already is.

The sensitivity with which information about any adoption is communicated to the child is best left to the parents than the Government to decide on our behalf.

Please let me decide on the when and how.

In the meantime, let my child feel she is part of my family by rescinding this ridiculous directive to JPN and allowing the director-general to use his discretionary authority to allow this practice for those who want it and allowing the bin/binti Abdullah for those who choose to follow the fatwa.


Kuala Lumpur.  http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/12/focus/21803608&sec=focus

Appropriately enough, the title of this article is called "Don't penalize adopted kids".  If telling a child lies by and through the adoption-process isn't the greatest violation of the rights of a child, I don't know what is.  A name-change carries deeper consequences than any adoptive-parent may realize, and unfortunately for all those involved, altered identity information is what makes adoption the corrupt practice it has ultimately become.  This Angry Adoptive Parent admits,  "Don't make (adoption) harder than it already is".  <Hmmmm>.  My response to this statement is simple:  The only reason I found adoption so hard was because as a child, I felt burdened with the knowledge that all around me were secrets and lies.   Want to unburden the life of an adopted-child?  Speak openly and honestly about all the known facts before, during and after the formal adoption, and help that child decide which name best reflects his/her sense of identity.  Teach a child the only shame one should keep is the one that denies honesty.  Above all else, don't let anger or resentment cloud adult-judgement because in the world of adoption, it's impossible for the child NOT to ask, "Why?"

Meanwhile, in Gulfnews, the following article on adoption fraud was found.  Perhaps this little piece can better explain my disdain towards a "legal name-change" and why anyone involved in adoption must fear the ugly life-altering implications a few removed facts have on an already emotionally sensitive "family decision":

A man and two women were each sentenced to a year in prison after the court convicted them of helping to obtain government documents relating to the true identity of a child through fraudulent means.

The story goes back to eight years ago when A.H., and A.A., a husband and wife, were both unemployed and living in Dibba with the sister of the first suspect, A.H., who was married to an Emirati, A.S., who has since died.

According to court records, when the Indian couple discovered they were expecting a child, and due to their unemployment and difficult financial status, the couple decided to seek an abortion.

According to records, the deceased Emirati, A.S., the brother-in-law of the first suspect, intervened by convincing the couple not to abort the pregnancy, promising he would raise the child as his own.

After giving birth in Dibba Al Bay'a, an Omani territory bordering Dibba Al Fujairah, A.S., with the assistance of the other three suspects, took out a birth-certificate and new passport for the baby boy, Kh. After the death of A.S., the rest of his family contested the child's right to inheritance and decided to file a complaint to the police who soon discovered the plot.   http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Police_and_The_Courts/10228077.html

TRUE IDENTITY must never be changed -- neither by government nor adoption policy.... the sooner this inherent fact is accepted, the sooner the rights of a child will be fully recognized.

The Right to Identity

CORRECT. That is one of the BASIC rights - and spelled out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

It were the Argentinian grandmothers who fought for their disappeared grandchildren who insisted on that right.

For their disappeared grandchildren. And is adoption in general not like making someone 'disappear'?




in a name...

Yep!  We all change their names.  It's a ritual; a crossing over from the past to a new beginning.  I try to understand how angry some of you are for having your past stripped from you, and how you feel naked in front of the world.

 I have always talked about my childrens' past with them; they all know what their firs/last names were/are.  I think some AP's feel very insecure in the adoptions; fearing the truth will somehow make them less parents to the child in their own eyes.

In prayers said at night, the parents were prayed for; and always talked about with respect, as was their birth country.  I can only hope this small effort has been a help to them.  I have all their paperwork for them to have ...  Their overseas birth certificates and anything there was about them that I was given.  Only one child has part of this information and has not asked for the rest.  The others know where it is and are not interested, yet.

I bought ethnic dolls for each child when they were little; each doll was given their birth name so they would not forget.  You may think it's insignificant but my almost 20 & 21 year old sons still have these dolls and know the names.  They do have a connection to the past.  My oldest and I went back to his birth country and visited the foster home; there was no information available on the first family but there would be now (IF it was given).  When the time comes and they want to know more, I have told them I will help. 

I don't think it is the AP's so much to blame as is the Birth Country that rejected them and sent them out of the country.  But even the American name I gave my one son has caused him to be made fun of...  What if we would have kept his original name of Pfuk?  Think about that. 

I'm stuck with the name my father named me; after a foster child they had; one he treated like shit.  Go figure that one out.  Do we get to name ourselves?  We could change our names to anything we want; just fill out the paperwork and plunk down the money and it is done. 

It is what you do with your life that counts, not your name that makes or breaks you.  But I do see how much knowing who you really are and were named can make your identy more secure for you.  There should be a place on that new amended birth certificate for both names so that the past can not be erased.
Teddy is sorry...

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Name changes

You can change the name if you'd like. But do not hide the original name.

Consider keeping that first name, as first or middle name (it is ok to have 2 middle names).  If you change it totally, please do not hide their birth name, teach it to them like you teach them other identity facts.

For myself...

I was in my thirties when I learned I had an original name, given to be by my original mom.  [When I finally got my non-identifying info, I was told my first-mother named me and had me baptised before she had to leave me.]  Although I'm not crazy about the name-choice, it was a name SHE gave me, and I cannot help but think a child's name should be honored, even if only on paper.  In some ways, I believe that first-given-name offers some clues about the first-mother... and as one who never knew who she was, having that sort of clue has been a gift I cannot quite explain -- the very emotional words are still lodged so very deep inside me.

I would have liked it if my Aparents kept both names given to me, and chose a nickname that suited them better.... something about that feels more honest, if that makes any sense.

I am an adoption/foster care

I am an adoption/foster care advocate in the Muslim community. There are so many misconceptions and issues that arise around caring for other people's children in the Muslim world. The first is that somehow 'adoption' is not allowed. This is purely a semantic issue. Caring for needy children is a primary social duty prescribed in the Qur'an. The post from Kuala Lampur is from a frustrated parent who is living in a society that makes it difficult to accept children into one's home. From what I know of adoptees, many are very, very hurt by not knowing their birth families and some, if their names were changed at adoption, change their name back to their fathers' name sometime after they come of age. Identity is huge! It doesn't mean that it's impossible to love and care for a child not born to you and not related in any way nor does it mean that adopted children don't feel loyalty and identification with their adoptive families. After all, we form friendships with unrelated people, sometimes tremendous sums of money are donated to unrelated people, we marry unrelated people and develop lasting bonds with them. The same is true of loving children who are not our own. We develop a friendship and loyalty to them, sometimes an incredibly deep bond that surpasses what we feel for our natural children. They are our trust, our friends, fellow human beings, our children in that we raise, protect, educate and care for them. But they are NOT our natural children. That is a different relationship that is unique and sacred, even if the natural parent is struggling with intense addiction issues that render them completely incapable of caring for their child. Even if a child never meets their natural parents, the bond is there. That can manifest itself in a child simply wanting to know history social or medical, they might want to meet extended family, they might want just a picture for closure, etc. It's always different, but at some point that desire is there for some sort of understanding. The natural family may also need, in order to feel complete, to leave their child whatever little odds and ends they have left after their death. It may be substantial or relatively small. Either way, there is no need to sever that automatic right to inherit. In the US, people are fascinated by their cultural background. They might not speak a word of Italian, but they're proud to know that their great-grandfather was Italian. It gives their life an added depth and continuity. No matter how much we love our adopted children, if they're African American, their new parents' Irish heritage just isn't theirs. Biology matters just as nurture matters. Adoption should be about the child, not the adopting parents.

I have no ideas who's name I

I have no ideas who's name I have... I had and was gonna have so many different names... I just kinda lost track... my name... .. Is Bizzi. The only people who called me by my given names were the ones who hurt me and lied to me and abused me and abandoned me.... I find my name an insult... and reminds me of my life everyday. Why don't I change it? I won't run... I won't forget it but I will not let those responsible for it forget it neither... as soon as I have a a few free weeks to get a new tattoo I will be getting my foster care file number as a barcode. Under it will say 'Product Of Foster Care'. Just in case I snap and turn into a ragging psychopath like many of my fellow peers have... Foster care seems to have that effect... I am pretty sure I am okay... but most my friends seemed okay to.... and now I only have two friends from foster care still alive.... one is in jail for life and the other one needs help to go to the bathroom now as all the drugs the government stuck him on trying to make him "adoptable" turned him into dam near a drooling vegetable... Why did I make it out okay? I unlike most kids who ran from foster care was not dumb enough to trust anyone who said they were gonna help me... and spent most my teen years on the streets learning what it means to be a real person... and my name was forgotten... took me two years to find out what my name was when I was 23 and wanted to leave the streets as I learned everything I wanted from their.... a name is not important... who you are is all that matters... cause in the end for most of us that is all we have in the end... What is a name? Something someone picked for you.... it does not make you who you are.

I mean my name.... somehow in foster care I ended up having my given name changed to a girls... not sure who's bright idea that was.. I guess that must have been why I was returned  from one of my many adoptive homes.... what a joke...
They expected a girl.. had my name changed only to meet me and find out I was a boy.... but didn't even have the decency to change it back for me...

Such caring people...

Name Change

My sister was adopted as well as myself. I went straight to the Children's home from the hospital while my sister was taken from her unfit family along with a few siblings. She was 15 months old when she was taken from her family and pretty much came straight to ours. Our adoptive parents changed her first name because they didn't like it. I mean, I have a cat I just adopted and can't imagine changing his name and he is only 1 year old, not to mention an animal for goodness sakes. A child, that old? Unimaginable. No wonder so many of us have identity issues. My sister was the only one I had that could relate to the adulthood struggles that ensued after being raised with a destructive narcissistic mother, workaholic father, and their two bio boys. My sister passed away in a car accident almost two years ago at the age of 39. It is so difficult going through this life without her now.

Reasons for name changes

Dear Anonymous, I am so sorry your sister passed away. I am also sorry to hear that names were changed.
I agree that you do not change a child's name, especially when the child has identified with the name. Personally I think it is just wrong to change a child's name whatever age they are adopted.

But I would like to share some reasons as to why sometimes, names are changed. In certain Latin American countries, it was the adoption attorney or orphanage director who named the child to obtain a BC for the child (thus the reason some children already had Anglicized names).

This being the case, some AParents feel that a name giving for the sole purpose of obtaining a BC for relinquishment is not a name given out of love, so thus the name is changed when the child is referred to a PAP (the PAP chooses a name for their soon to be adopted child) and fondly called by their new name and when the adoption is finalized the name is changed on paper.

Let me state that is not the case for all name changes, some families just want to change the name of the child for whatever reason. Like I said before changing the name of a child who is aware of their name is not a good idea, the name is usually associated with their birth country and yet other tie broken.

Sometimes APs keep the child's first and middle name but place it as a second and third name, just to maintain their birth name. With many birth searches going on in certain Latin American countries, APs are finding that some children were named a different name by their mothers but for unknown reasons the attorney obtained a BC with a different name, whilst others the child continued to be called by the name the mother originally chose.

I hope that this gives you some better insight into the situation as is. Bottomline, older children who are adopted should not have their name changed. Though some APs have stated that the child wanted their names changed, I am not too sure if that is the case or not, but more of a desire to just to fit in at the time.

Name Change

I was taken from my family at the age of 7 My name was Darlene May Stephenson
I was in a foster home my other 5 sibblings were place fast I was the oldest.
At the age of 9 I was adopted my name became Jamie Kay Cloud I just learned how to make a D in hand writing class and now have to change to a J?
I was too old and set in my ways so they put me back up for adoption at the age of 11
When I turned 12 I was re adopted Then my name became Jami Antoinette Magana
They say whats in a name. EVERYTHING !
Who The Hell Am I ?
Just my story ..................

changing an adoptee's name

I was legally adopted when I was 6 months old. I was born Michaela Maria Pemberton. When I was adopted, my adopted parents renamed me Roberta Gail Noble. I only found out my name had been changed when my adopted mother told me when I was 16 years old. When I was 19, I searched for my birth mother and found her in Italy. She had married my birth father 7 years after I was born and had 2 more children. Their 2nd child, a girl was also named Michaela.
I had a very difficult upbringing with my adopted family and was put in foster care when I was 14 years old.
I met my birth family when I was 20 years old and visit with them frequently even though they live in Italy and I live in Canada. That was 17 years ago.
After I got divorced, I decided I wanted my birth name back. There is a law in Canada that you can revert back to your name at birth without a legal name change. I was able to get a driver's license, land title and banking in my birth name but not a birth certificate, passport or any federal government documents.
Presently, I am enquiring into whether I can legally have my birth name back or not as everyone seems to have a different opinion on this. I don't think I should have to legally change my name to my name at birth with finger prints and a criminal record check. If there is a law in Canada stating that you can revert back to your name at birth, this should apply to adoptees too. I don't agree that adoption policies or governments should be allowed to erase somebody's identity. I'm waiting to hear back from Vital Statistics on whether or not I have to do a legal name change to have my birth name recognized as my legal name. If that is the case, I refuse to do it because it defeats the whole purpose of reclaiming your name in the first place.

Based on personal experience....

If you're adopted, there is no "reclaiming" a name...not without legal documents, which may or may not exist.

Furthermore, a name-change, in the USA, (and else where), WOULD have to be done through the legal-system, if you ever want to travel to another country. [I didn't learn the importance of an original birth certificate until I needed a passport to travel outside of the USA, for my honeymoon.]

For Americanized adoptees born OUTSIDE of the USA, check: http://travel.state.gov/passport/correcting/ChangeName/ChangeName_851.ht... and pray you have the required documents.

I learned, through my own search, when it comes to a name-change, each state and country is different in regards to what is deemed a legal requirement, showing identity. Some adoptees will find the regions in which they were born kept no birth records, or death records, making the identity of a living child a free-for-all. (Scary, isn't it?)

When doing a name/identity search all members of the triad need to be careful, because there are a lot of opportunists out there looking to make easy money from the angry, the eager, and the desperate looking to learn the real truth to an unsolved mystery.

One more thing... for the foreign-born adoptee, who is in-search of a birth name and other information.... I have learned some desperate APs will do just about anything to cut expensive private adoption costs... like use illegal baby brokers who often kidnap healthy-looking infants for their desperate buyers, or postpone the little legal-step that makes a foreign born child a legal citizen of the country in which he/she will live, with the new adoptive parents. (Yes, in some cases, an adult adoptee can be deported, regardless of given name, simply because the APs forgot to follow-up and check one final legal step in their chosen adoption-plan!)

Last Name and Birth Certificate Changed

When my adoption was finalized my last name was changed and my birth certificate was changed too. It was changed to say that the adoptive "parents" gave birth to me, with the wife's name and age at the time of my birth. It really made me upset that they could just go and change something like that!!!! Survivor2008

deep breath and breath

I am sorry to hear your story because i am adopting a two year old out of foster care. Let me first say anyone can change their name at any time, movie stars and singer do it all the time. The reason I am change her name is because of safety. We are in the same town as her parents and don't want them to be able to track her down and kidnap her, not that they would but she is precious to us. But we will always be open with her about her past and everything that came with it. They have not seen her in a long time and would not know her except for her name because it stands out. We talk to her about it and make it fun for her. Your name is not who you are, you are the person your actions and experiences in life lead you to be. Your heart and soul that voice inside you that tells you the right thing to do is....and also the one that leads you to do thing that latter you regret. lol I have lots of those growing up. I want our little girl to have a relationship with her family one day if that is possible but right now i must do what i believe is best for her. I really do hope that you find a way to be ok with your name change and why it was done. I feel like you hold a lot of hate for your adoptive parents and i'm sorry because it will hold you back in life and love and the people that you let into it, even if you don't know it your hate and hurt is now what is making you, you.
Good luck with whatever you chose to do.......

Not allowed to know my truth

My adoptors acquired me at age 6 wks, from Florida, a very closed-record state. I was issued a completely falsified birth certificate, with a new name (first and last). My adoptive parents are listed as the parents who gave birth to me. I really do not even believe my date of birth.

I am not allowed access to my original birth certificate (regardless of my age, now 46) and I had to pay $300 to request "non-identifying information" from the adoption agency which was in charge of my sale. No wonder I have gone through life feeling like a fake, like I am not supposed to be here, that nothing I do matters, and most importantly, like a POSSESSION of my adoptors.

I know it must not seem important to most people, but I would really like to know what MY MOM named me, when I was born (an actual time of day), my birth weight, hospital... all that stuff most people take for granted. Preventing me from knowing the name she gave me strips me of yet another connection with her. I guess that is the reason some adoptors want the protection secrecy affords them. But at whose expense?

I am an adult now and it is time for me to have all of the pieces of my puzzle, broken or not.

re:Not allowed to know the truth

I was adopted with my fraternal twin at 3 months, and then the lies begin. I also am not allowed access to my original birth certificate. An am waiting for info from the state agency from were we was deliquesced to. I am at very troubling time in my life, which stems from the abandonment as an infant(everyone that is adopted should read "The primal Wound" written by Nancy Verrier. And I so desperately need the info that is being held from me.

As a human, i should have the right to know my birth heritage, and were i am from. I AM LOST WITH OUT IT.

Not a clue

I know my birth mother named me "Elizabeth" but, the adoption was arranged pre-birth so my original birth certificate may not reflect that.


Nightingale's eyes—
What secret lies
In their worth?
-"Nightingale's Eyes" Dragon Age: Inquisition

Later adoption

I was adopted by my step-dad when I was around 12. I think it was between 7th and 8th grade. Everyone kept coming into my class to look at the "new" Dison kid, then realized it was just the Chinn kid. I am 58 now and just started thinking about reverting to my original name. This is not in any way a detraction from my adoption family - it's been very good as a Dison. However, a part of me feels I am really a Chinn. Such conflicting feelings! I think the only thing stopping me is the hassle of getting security clearances and other red-tape stuff.

Pound Pup Legacy