One of the most important things an adoptive parent is asked to do after they
decide to adopt a child is to choose a name. This is a very personal decision
and helps create an instant bond with your child. No longer a nameless, faceless
little person, your new addition now has a name by which she will become known.
Naming your child is often a
difficult decision. Many people plan and think about names for their children
for a long time; they may have already chosen special family names or ones that
they like. In most cases, when you receive a referral of an
internationally adopted child, you will be given medical and developmental
information along with their Russian name. Many people struggle with how to
change or keep their child’s Russian name. Some of the factors that must be
considered are age, cultural ties, and the complexity of the existing name.
A common misconception is that a
child’s name may have been chosen by her birth parents and thus deserves special
consideration. This is not always the case, especially when children are
abandoned at a young age. Instead, orphanage workers, or government officials
may have named your child. Even more perplexing is that the child’s legal name
may not be the name one that they go by. He may be called a derivative of the
name, a nickname, or another name that someone else may have chosen.
Cultural considerations help
foster a child’s heritage. These may be especially important to help maintain
the cultural identity of a child who is of a different ethnic heritage than her
adoptive parents. Keeping at least part of a child’s given name can help provide
an important link between birth country and adopted country. This may not seem
important to a child when they are younger, but it may be when they begin to
understand adoption and their origins.
Labels: Adoption 101, adoption facts, Domestic Adoption, international adoption, Russian adoptions