Kate Lovegrove - Can I name my child whatever I like?

A child’s name must be registered within 42 days of birth. Over the years there has been changes in taste and fashion for baby names, for example, unusual names include Apple, Zowie, Trixibelle, River, and Bear. The most popular boy and girl baby names for 2015 were Muhammad and Olivia.

As a parent you can give a child a name of your choosing, and even the surname of the child does not need to be same as yours. However, the court will intervene to prevent a parent naming a child, which is not in their best interests. There was a recent Court of Appeal case in which a mother was prevented from naming her daughter Cyanide.

If you would like to change a child’s existing forename or surname then you need to seek permission first from all of those who have Parental Responsibility for the child. Going to mediation to discuss this is usually the first step. If you cannot agree on this issue, then you will need to make a specific issue application to the family court.