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Could Your Baby’s Name Cost You Custody Of Your Child?

In New Zealand, the answer is yes. Proving the adage that truth is stranger than fiction, a New Zealand judge placed a 9 year old girl in court guardianship after learning her parents named her “Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii”. According to news accounts:

New Zealand children have been given names such as Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and Benson and Hedges(twins). But other names, including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit, have been blocked by registration officials.

The revelations came during written findings by Family Court Judge Murfitt, who ordered a girl be put in court guardianship so her name – Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii – could be changed. The girl’s lawyer told the judge she was so embarrassed by her name she refused to reveal it to friends.

Child Youth and Family does not consider giving a child an out-of-the-ordinary name a form of abuse unless a child suffers serious bullying as a result

A CYF spokeswoman says the name a parent chooses for a child does not constitute a care and protection issue in itself. But Judge Rob Murfitt said he had concerns over the girl’s name – and others with equally strange names – creating a social hurdle for them as they grew up.

The custody case judgment was made in February but was brought to light today. Some children in Taranaki had been named after six-cylinder Ford cars. “Recently, for the first time in my experience as a Family Court judge, the name of a child described in text language has emerged,” Judge Murfitt said. On that occasion the mother had named her daughter O.crnia but was prepared to concede to a condition of a parenting order so it could be adjusted to Oceania.

A lawyer for Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii had reported the nine-year-old was so embarrassed about her name that she had not revealed it to her friends and was other wise known as “K”. The lawyer said the girl feared being mocked and teased, and had a better insight about the situation than her parents, who appeared not to have given any thought to implications of giving their child such a name.

Words fail me.


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