Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kid gets lawyer for name change

A UK paper reports:
A nine-year-old girl whose parents named her Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii was put into court guardianship in New Zealand so that her name could be changed.

A family court judge, Rob Murfitt, gave the order after hearing that the child was embarrassed about her name and had refused to reveal it to friends. "She told people her name was K because she feared being mocked and teased," the child's lawyer, Colleen MacLeod, told the court.

The judge criticised parents who give their offspring bizarre names, saying it exposed children to ridicule among their peers. ...

The girl, who had been at the centre of a custody battle, has since changed her name, but it was not revealed in order to protect her privacy.

Brian Clarke, the registrar general of births, deaths and marriages, said New Zealand law did not allow names that would cause offense to a reasonable person. He said officials were usually successful in dissuading parents from giving their children embarrassing names.
It seems to me that she could have just told her friends that her name was Talula, and leave it at that. Nobody cares about middle names. There must be more to this story. I think that a family court judge is using a child custody dispute to poke his nose where it does not belong. If the registrar said that Talula was a legal name at birth, then the family court judge should not be second-guessing it nine years later.

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