Parents Lose Custody Of Daughter Over ‘Embarrassing’ Name

Parents reportedly lost custody of their daughter after calling her the 'embarrassing' name Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.
Credit: Alamy

Parents reportedly lost custody of their daughter after giving her an ’embarrassing’ name. 

Having a child is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, it can bring immense joy but a lot of responsibility.

One is choosing a name for your child, a decision that will stay with them for life.

Naming a child requires thoughtful consideration to avoid any potential pitfalls.

For one couple who decided to name their daughter a rather unusual name, it resulted in enormous legal trouble.

Judge with gavel on table.
The family court judge allowed the nine-year-old to change her name. Credit: Alamy

A family court judge in New Zealand has been left frustrated by parents giving their children bizarre names and for one girl, he allowed her to change it.

Judge Rob Murfitt ruled that the nine-year-old girl should be a ward of the court until her name could be formally changed.

Murfitt stated: “The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name.

“It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.”

The court heard that the girl was so embarrassed by her name that she would never disclose it to her friends.

Instead, she asked people to call her K, as her lawyer revealed to the family court.

Upset little girl.
The child was reportedly so embarrassed by her name that she would never reveal it to friends. Credit: Alamy

Family Court Manager Midge Shaw says a name change has since occurred and the custody dispute has been settled.

In his ruling, Murfitt mentioned other unusual names given to children in New Zealand.

He said names such as Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, and Keenan Got Lucy had been blocked by registration officials.

However, the judge said some names were allowed, such as Number 16 Bus Shelter, Midnight Chardonnay and Benson and Hedges (twins), per Daily Mail.

Brian Clarke, the registrar general of Births, Deaths and Marriages, explains that New Zealand law prohibits names that could offend a reasonable person, among other criteria.

He said: “Often when we explain the situation to parents we can agree on an acceptable name to register.”

In this instance, where the nine-year-girl was allowed to change her name, the ’embarrassing’ name in question was Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.

Birth certificate.
Each country has its own naming laws – some are stricter than others. Credit: Alamy

Yearly, New Zealand – which has strict naming laws – publishes a list of the most commonly declined names.

For 13 years, King topped the list before being surpassed by Prince – five sets of parents attempted to name their child this in 2023, reports Today.

According to an official news release from the country’s Department of Internal Affairs, Bishop, III, King, Major, and Royal were tied for second place.

Registrar Russell Burnard shared in the release: “Names are a gift and an important part of a person’s identity. We encourage parents to consider how their child might feel about their name later in life.”

In comparison, naming laws in the United States are more lenient and vary by state.

Names such as Jesus Christ, III, Adolf Hitler, Santa Claus, and @ have been ruled illegal by US courts.

Related Article: Parents Name Baby After Internet Provider In Exchange For 18-Years’ Free WiFi

Related Article: Parents Win Battle To Call Baby ‘Banned Name’ After Registrar Tried To Stop Them

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.