It’s the law: Bad baby names can be denied in Saskatchewan

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Government can ban baby names
WATCH ABOVE: Hot on the heels of the release of the most popular baby names in Saskatchewan we find out that some chosen names could be denied by the province. Meaghan Craig talks to vital statistics to see if any new parents have had their babies names rejected – Feb 5, 2016

SASKATOON – Last year in Saskatchewan, 15,497 babies were welcomed into the world. The top-trending baby name for boys was Liam for the sixth year in a row according to eHealth Saskatchewan. The most popular name for girls was Olivia with 80 babies bestowed the name in 2015.

We have all heard our fair share of cringe-worthy names too, ones that just make you want to cry like a baby.

“We both work on maternity as nurses so Skylee was a bad one, Ocean was kinda poor, Ladashra and she spelt La-ra,” said Amanda and Tanys Kush, who say there was a list the nurses compiled of the worst baby names they had seen.

Tennille Gardipy says she’s not overly fond of one name so she uses a nickname instead, “It’s actually my daughter’s name Parker and her last name’s Baldhead, Parker Baldhead.”

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“It was a little girl’s name, are you ready for this? Capital A, a dash and another a, A-a,” said Fredrick Kolbert.

READ MORE: Olivia and Liam top baby names in Sask.

In Saudi Arabia, the government just recently banned 50 baby names making it one of the strictest countries for baby-naming laws. In Iceland, parents have to choose from a list of baby names for both boys and girls and in Saskatchewan, officials can deny a name but they haven’t had to just yet.

“I have never denied a name, I’ve never even had one brought to me to look at,” said Pat Dean, registrar with Vital Statistics and director of Health Registries.

For the last eight years there has not been a name submitted that’s been objectionable to Vital Statistics which is why most people may not know that by law the registrar can deny a name if inappropriate.

According to Dean, the first name Hitler may be accepted because to many people it’s just a name.

“We have to be careful because culturally we have different spellings of names and they don’t mean anything particularly to them differently, for example Jesus is spelt J-E-S-U-S, well it’s not inappropriate that’s how you say it and that’s a Spanish name.”

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For the most part there are very few restrictions but some grounds for denial include a name with a swear word in it, something confusing like calling your baby – “Baby” or  an embarrassing name.

“If I called my child Pat Brat, it’s going to be pretty embarrassing to go to school with a name like that so we would question that with the parent.”

Officials say the registration of live birth that parents complete when a baby is born is what is put to the test to see if it passes four points of criteria. Dashes are acceptable in a name but numbers or characters are not.

If something does raise a red flag, Dean says every effort will be made to work with the family to see what their intention was with the name and to try to resolve things before banning the baby’s name.

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