What are the ethics of naming your child — can you use someone else’s baby’s name?

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By: jetsandzeppelinsCC BY 2.0
I’m 38 weeks pregnant and was recently added to a “Local Moms” group on Facebook. It’s a small group — and I live in a small town. In fact, I only know one other member of the group — the rest are an online support system.

One of the moms recently asked about her baby’s first shots, and I fell head over heels for her baby’s name — completely smitten. I gushed on her post, and she seemed thrilled with my response. As days went by, I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling when I thought of the name — I know it’s meant for my baby, and my husband feels the same.

Except… I feel guilty about the idea of “stealing” this beautiful name.

I know it’s not truly a one-of-a-kind name (the name is Indiana — both a state and a well-known fictional character), but I know that the parents worked quite diligently to find the perfect name for their baby. I decided to send a message to the mom to explain myself — I don’t know the sex of my baby, so we might not even use the name, but I’m in love with it. She responded saying “I was trying to be unique… but what can you do?”

Am I able to take this as a begrudging blessing to use the name, or do I need to forget about it? What are your thoughts on the niceities, norms, or ethics of naming your child? — Saska

Comments on What are the ethics of naming your child — can you use someone else’s baby’s name?

  1. My niece’s name is Emerson Marisela, goes by Emy. My brother-in-law’s coworker had a daughter shortly after Emy was born (few weeks to a few months) and named their daughter Emerson Marie.

    My sister and brother in law basically just rolled their eyes at it.

    Even if they’re in the same school, it’s not a big deal. People have had the same names for centuries. There were a handful of other Samantha’s in my school, I speak to none of them now. But I did marry a Sam! Now when I meet new people and we introduce ourselves I quip that I took his first and last name after marrying him. You’d be surprised how many people believe it.

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