It might seem like a court that renames a child is trampling on parent rights, said Russ Brown in the Faculty Blog of the University of Alberta’s law school. But you might see it differently if you were a 9-year-old New Zealand girl named Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii. Sometimes moms and dads burden their offspring with names so weird and harmful that “civil society” has to step in.
It’s not always an easy call, said Eugene Volokh in the Philadelphia Daily News. The judge took custody of Talula long enough for her to get a “proper name.” Other judges have prevented a man from renaming himself 1069. But the Utah Supreme Court said yes to Santa Claus, while an Ohio court said no in a similar case.
Any mom or dad who has struggled to come up with the perfect baby name knows how hard it can be, said Misty Harris in the Edmonton Journal. Choosing a name that is “unique but not precious, stylish but not trendy,” and that won’t result in monstrous therapy bills down the line is now the first test of parenting “prowess.”
Many working parents worry about the fact that a child's name can affect job prospects later on, said John J. Edwards III in The Wall Street Journal’s The Juggle blog. Some go a bit far—using Google and even “baby-naming consultants." But Talula's "apparently quite silly parents" show that, even in this high-pressure world, others could stand to take "a little longer thinking it through."