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Foster Parent question...

A close friend of mineand her husband have 4 foster children, she loves them dearly, takes excellent care of them but.... She has told the kids that when they are finally adopted ( they are trying to adopt all 4) that they are going to change their names. They range in age from 4-7. They all are really sweet little people and seem happy with it but it doesn't feel right to me, what do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:29 PM on Feb. 27, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (12)
  • It could be a safety/privacy thing, like so the parents who lost/gave up custody do not go looking for them. If the children don't have a problem with it then it's ok, they are still young. My Dh adopted my son when he was 14 y.o and my son chose to change his last name and considered changing his middle name because it was his birthfathers middle name.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 10:37 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • OP here... I meant the first name.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:28 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • The poster who mentioned the anonymity/privacy issue brought up a good point. Otherwise, I would think it would be best to let the children decide. I think it would be very hard for children that age to accept a name change (other than last name).

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 11:46 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • That just sounds mean and selfish really. Unless the kids indicate they want to change their first name, I dont think morally she should do that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:47 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • Do the kids agree? Like a PP said it could be a safety thing or it could be like a new start for them.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:49 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • It sounded like you indicated the children were ok with it, if that's the case then I guess its really only their business. Some children want a fresh start when they are adopted. Many adoptive parents give the children a choice in the name selection and it becomes a very special thing. Sometimes there are safety issues in the matter. I changed my children's names and social security numbers because I didn't want them to become victims of identity theft.

    Answer by MommyAddie at 9:51 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I tried to adopt my cousin and she was stolen from me...anyways the people that adopted her changed her first, middle & last name. She was 2, so she had no say in the matter. And they promised they'd keep in touch and they never did. They changed her whole identity & I think it was very WRONG.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • It should be up to the children, NOT the new parents. This shouldn't be a case of "Once you're adopted, we are going to go and get your names all changed." It should be along the lines of "We are wondering if you would be ok with getting your names changed."

    Answer by randi1978 at 10:32 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I agree that it should be up to the kids unless there is a security issue, which may very well be the case if the kids are in foster care and the parents rights are being terminated. When my stepdaughter was adopted she wanted to change her middle name to honor her adoptive grandmother who she was very close to.

    Answer by soonergirl83 at 1:55 AM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • We are foster parents, and have known many situations in which the children wanted their names changed - first, middle, along with the last name that was going to happen anyway. Many children who have been in foster care for several years, or with several placements, or with a history of unhappy experiences want a fresh start. They want to put the past behind them and they feel a sense of control in the adoption experience by choosing new names. It's a bonding experience for the family. It can help differentiate the pain/loss of the "old" me, and give a sense of peace & belonging/security to the "new" me. In some cases, the children are afraid of being found and taken away. There are many personal factors to consider, and it sounds as if your friend has talked to the kids about it. I will admit I used to think the same as you did, but try not to judge them, especially in keeping the kids safe.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 12:08 AM on Mar. 2, 2009

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