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Children's issues: What's in a name?

If parents believe they can give their child any name they want, they may be sadly mistaken. Most parents give their children more traditional names, but there are some who may want to give their kids more unique monikers. As far as names go regarding children's issues, the law in British Columbia gives parents a guideline under the Vital Statistics Act when deciding on what to name their kids.

These laws fall under provincial jurisdiction and provinces and territories are responsible for registering children's births and names. In some cases, if the government finds the name to be too unusual, it will ask parents to choose another option. In British Columbia, a court may intervene if it believes a chosen name is not likely to be in the best interests of the child. In other words, if the name appears to be offensive or restricting and could potentially cause the child undue stress, parents may have to pick another name.

Parents are also prohibited from using symbols or or numbers alone for their children's names. Family laws always look to what is in the best interests of children. Having a too unusual or offensive name is not keeping with that rule.

If parents have questions regarding children's issues like the naming of a child and are uncertain of the laws, they may wish to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in British Columbia family law. Parents may want their children to have unique names, but they may be prevented from going too far with too unusual or offensive choices. A lawyer may be able to advise a client as to what too offensive or unusual means under the law.   

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