German Town Shoots Down Father's Plan To Name His Son 'Wikileaks'

from the leaked-birth-certificate-confirms! dept

One of the great unwritten rules of parenthood is that the right to name your offspring should be treated as a privilege. The temptation is to give the child a "unique" name that sets him or her as far apart for his/her eventual peers as humanly possible, thus living up to the common parental delusion that each child is its own special flower, unlike the millions born before it or after it.

Unfortunately, a "unique" name is often just an unwieldy name, if not simply embarrassing. And the unlucky child has to bear that clumsy moniker until he or she hits the legal paperwork-filing age and changes it to something that won't trigger an inadvertent laugh from college staff and potential employers. The intervening years will pass excruciatingly slowly as the child awkwardly orbits his peers like a gatecrasher at a menage a trois, trying desperately to find somewhere to fit in. This is generally made worse by the "unique" parents, who somehow view intense shunning as more "evidence" of their child's one-in-a-million qualities.

This unwritten rule holds true even if (or especially if) the abusive-by-proxy moniker holds some deep and special meaning to the parent attempting to sabotage their child's future before the ink on the birth certificate is dry.

Hajar Hamalaw wanted to name his son, who was born on March 14th, after the online whistleblowing platform as it “changed the world”, the Passauer Neue Presse reported.

But the 28-year-old failed to get the name past authorities in Passau, Bavaria.
Hamalaw's heart is in the right place, at least in terms of having a decent reason to name his new child "Wikileaks." But first he had to convince local officials, which went just about as well as could be expected from any place where newborns' names get run past local officials.
But Wikileaks did not make it onto the birth certificate. "The registrar said that this was not a first name. He thought it was a series or TV show," said Hamalaw.
Beyond the out-of-touch registrar, there's another rule on the books that keeps Passau parents from saddling their offspring with ridiculous names.
A spokesperson for the town of Passau said the decision by the registry office was based on legal rulings which state a child’s name should not be granted if it could endanger their welfare.
I don't agree that any government entity should keep you from naming your child whatever you want, but if you're going to have a stupid rule like this, at least have one that looks out for the child's best interests. When "Dako" (the "Plan B" name, apparently) hits legal age, he'll have the option to change his name to "Wikileaks" or "Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova" if he'd like and no one, not even a person who thinks "Wikileaks" went downhill after its third season, will be able to stop him. But until then, he's got several years of pre- and post-pubescent awkwardness to live through that will have nothing at all to do with his father's love for leaked documents.

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Filed Under: germany, names, wikileaks


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  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 11 Apr 2014 @ 9:58am

    Re: But...

    "but you are opening your child up for a lifetime of problems with other children"

    I'm not so sure. There are so many children with strange names nowadays that strange names can almost be considered normal. Perhaps it will be the Johns and Janes that will be singled out for particular ridicule in the future.

    Also, when children want to cruelly taunt other children, it doesn't matter what their name is -- kids will find a way to turn it into an item of ridicule regardless.

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