How long after birth can a baby remain nameless?

Is there any law forcing parents to apply a name? I remember reading about a Swedish couple that gave their kid some ridiculously long name (with a short pronunciation) around age 4-5, after holding out on giving a name at all.

The parents could name their child “Baby”, “Boy”, or “Girl” perfectly fine and then change it when they really decide. It could stay that way forever so the answer is infinite. My grandmother wasn’t named until about a week out of the hospital.

I’m going to take a logical guess and say that in these days you have to have a name for the baby before take them out of the hospital because:

1.The hospital need to file paperwork to obtain a birth certificate
2.for your child to obtain a SSN. I’m going to assume this is for tax purposes.

I was in the hsptl for nearly a week and was told I had to have a name before I could take my (youngest) home. It took us awhile to agree upon a name, to say the least.

Not sure if there really is a law though, but am really curious to know!

I work for a city gov’t, and the vital stats people say that if you hold off more than 5 days (which is when the hospitals submit the paperwork to the county records dept) that you will need to go to court to change the name, and the birth cert will say ‘baby [last name here]’.

I am mad at SSN- we gave our daughter five names and they didn’t put it on the card. I know there is room, as I have seen SS cards with more than one line.

Isis Keiko Narcissa Solchaga Phelps was abbrieviated to read Isis Keiko N Phelps.

The way the dmv works in some states, they put whatever is on your SS card on your ID…

The Master addressed this one.

Bill Pronzini’s “Nameless Detective” didn’t get a name until well into his fifties, so there you go.

In Norway you have six months after a birth or adoption to register a name for the child. If you haven’t done so by then, you can be fined, although in practice you will likely just get a reminder to file the freakin’ paperwork already.

My brother didn’t name his firstborn son for more than a month after he was born, though that wasn’t in a hospital, it was at a birthing center with a midwife.

I’ve seen plenty of Major Leage Baseball trades involving grown men who haven’t been named yet.

My mother was a head nurse in a pediatric hosptial and she said they would “encourage,” parents to pick a name, even going so far to lie to them and say “they must pick a name before the baby leaves the hospital.”

But she said in truth if the parents leave there is nothing they can do, and they just submit the record of the birth as “baby boy” or “baby girl” plus the parents last name and let the parents deal with any local legal regulations

I had a neighbor who’s baby was out of the hospital a good long time without a name. Eventually a social worker came around and said they had to give the baby a name. At a loss, the parents asked for suggestions. The social worker assumed this (Ukrainian) family was Mexican, and suggested “Rosita”. So now there is a little Rosita running around with her sisters Olga and Anastasia.

Huh? He got a name? When??

Or do you mean “Nameless”? :stuck_out_tongue:

Here in the UK the rules differ slightly depending on which part one is from.

In England and Wales (as well as the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, come to that) a birth must be registered within 42 days of birth.

In Scotland, it’s 21 days.

When registering the birth, the child’s full name must be given.

We had a student at my school named “Baby Boy Something” He went by something else (I didn’t teach him, but I saw the roll sheet with his name on it). I am assuming his parents just never filed paperwork.


I really hope none of his classmates ever found out about that…

Not true (unless this has changed very recently). A child can be registered without a first name. This site, by a UK registrar, states this clearly.


Absolutely not true, at least not on the national level. As the Orthodox Jewish father of three boys, I can assure you that I was 100% allowed to take each baby boy home two days after he was born, not to be named until his eighth day of life, at his Bris. We received birth certificates with no name on them, and no one at the hospital or elsewhere raised an objection to us.

(you do need a name for the Social Security number, but you can get an SSN separately from the birth certificate.)


Also not true, at least not everywhere. Maybe true for changing a name, but in New York City, for giving a name to an unnamed child, you just fill out a form, mail it in along with the original birth certificate, and you get back the modified birth certificate with the name on it.

Actually, you’re correct. It’s more a custom that the names should be given, rather than actually having to, and it makes things much less complicated. The General Register Office says this: