The choice of what to name your child is often a process that parents take great care in selecting—conducting countless Internet searches, pouring over “baby name” books, and researching family histories to find the perfect name for their newborn. While a person’s name, especially a child’s name, is generally viewed as an important and determinative part of one’s identity, there are very few laws in the United States regulating or restricting a parents’ right to name their own children whatever they choose. Unlike countries like France or Portugal, which have laws that outline permissible first names or prohibit parents from giving their child a name that is contrary to the child’s welfare, parents in the United States have wide latitude and creative freedom when it comes to deciding the name of their offspring, and many parents take full advantage of this. It is not uncommon for a celebrity to give their child “unique” or “unusual” names—such as Beyoncé’s recent addition, Blue Ivy Carter; Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter Apple; Jason Lee who named his son Pilot Inspektor; or most recently Kanye West naming his daughter North.
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