Monday 24 September 2018

French couple banned from calling baby girl Liam

Stock image
Stock image

Sarah Young

A French couple have been reported to the courts for deciding to name their baby girl Liam.

In many Western countries unisex names are on the rise with monikers like Alex, Bailey, River and Charlie used for both boys and girls.

But when an unnamed couple tried to give their third child, who was born in November, a traditionally male name, French prosecutors intervened.

This, they say, is because it “would be likely to create a risk of gender confusion” and “therefore contrary to the interest of the child and could harm her in her social relations”, The Local reports.

As a result, the prosecutor has asked the courts to ban the parents from using the name Liam and force them to give “the child another name chosen by the parents and, failing that, by the judge.”

To support the argument, the prosecutor quoted examples of famous men with the name Liam including former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and actor Liam Neeson.

Despite having already been advised by the registrar to give the child “a more feminine name”, the parents, who live in Morbihan, Brittany, are battling the case and have requested the services of a lawyer.

The date of the trial hearing is yet to be confirmed but this isn’t the first time French prosecutors have attempted to ban the use of an unusual name.

In fact, up until 1993 French parents had to choose a name for their newborn baby from a list put together by authorities.

But, while there’s certainly more flexibility today, French officials still retain the power to reject any name they feel isn’t in the child’s best interest.

Previously, names such as Manhattan, Nutella, Strawberry and Deamon have all been banned in France.

While parents have also been forbidden from using traditional Breton monikers including Derc’hen, because it contains an apostrophe, and Fañch, because of the tilde placed over the n.

Independent News Service

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