Would You Go to the Supreme Court to Fight For Your Child’s Name?
That’s what Bjork Eidsdottir, an Icelandic citizen, may have to do to enable her daughter, now 15, to keep the name she chose for her: Blaer, an Icelandic word that means “light breeze.”
The reason she may have to take her case to the highest court in the country is Iceland’s strict naming laws, which require parents to choose a name that is on a list of around 3,500 baby names, or petition a special commission for the right to use something else. But there are strict controls on those special cases—such as the requirement that it uses only letters in the Icelandic alphabet, a rule that prohibits parents from using “C” names like Crystal, Carrie or Christopher, at least with their traditional spellings. (Names that are considered distasteful or offensive to the child are banned, too—so don’t expect a baby named Loser or Hashtag to fly there, either.)
Bjork was prohibited from using the name for her daughter because the word Blaer is considered masculine, as it takes the masculine article in the Icelandic language.
We’ve debated the merits of laws on baby naming before on the blog (especially when the baby girl named Hashtag Jameson came to light), but to me, this sounds totally restrictive of a parent’s rights. And it also seems like it’s ridiculous to ban this particular name—Blaer is very close to the English name Blair, and it has a beautiful meaning in Icelandic. I’m hoping that the court sees reason on this, and overturns the naming commission’s decision, allowing Blaer to keep her beautiful name.
What do you think, parents? Do you like the name Blaer? Do you think naming restrictions are the way to go? What would you do if you lived in a country that limited baby names?
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