Originally Posted by Momily
To me, until they're either in your arms, or you're finalized (if you're adopting internationally and that comes first) they're still someone else's child. Calling them by their future name seems like another form of subtle pressure.
for like the first six months of my son's life, when he was still a foster child, we called him mostly "Baby". There was a high probability of being able to adopt, and yet he was not yet adopted. TPR occurred at four months and sometime in the next month or so I started calling him by the name we chose for him. I had to call him *something* other than "baby", and there wasnt a real point in calling him by his birthname since i knew i'd be changing it. From the time TPR took place, and finalization was about seven months. I dont see a problem in calling him our chosen name before finalization, since i knew almost certainly i'd be adopting. However, to avoid any weirdness or controversy, i did use him birthname in contact w/ the social workers or agencies, since that was still his legal name.
I think it also really depends on how much contact there is with the birthparent/family...my current foster daughter has a name i like very much, but if it was something i really hated, or was totally inappropriate, i think i'd come up with a related nickname or something generic ("Sissy" "missy" that sort of thing)...as she is still very much a foster child at this point (even though its been almost six weeks and no one has heard from her mom.
) But if her goal changed to TPR, no family stepped forward to take her, and the agency told me i would most likely get to adopt, i dont really see a problem in starting to get her used to a new name (though, as i said, in her case i wouldnt change it, i dont think.) If you wait until finalization, that could be a year or longer for some families. I also think the older the child is, the more you have to tread carefully, because you do want to make sure everything is certain before doing something as life changing as a name change. But i dont think it would have served my son well to wait until he was 11 months old to start calling him by name.
With domestic infant adoption...i can see how it might be weird to be calling what is essentially someone else's baby(before its born) by your chosen name, as if the baby is "yours"...but i also think that many parents are talking in the abstract...*that* baby is "Susie"...but maybe they would keep the name for the next baby, if the first adoption fell through, too. So "Susie" is simply the baby they will eventually adopt, if not now, then another time. Although, part of me gets a little weirded out by naming fetuses before they are even born (not naming them to yourself, but...like saying "Susie was being very active today!" or introducing yourself to someone, patting your belly and saying "And this is Susie, she's due next month")...i dont know why that weirds me out, but it does.