Expectant parents can spend a lot of time trying to pick the perfect name for their child.
Or sometimes they've had a favorite name picked out for years.
While both parents should have a say in their child's name, do other family members have a right to raise objections? What objections are reasonable?
A woman grappling with that question turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
The Redditor asked:
"AITA for naming my child Sadako?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I am going to keep this pretty short, because I don't know how to feel about this."
"From the ages of 7 to 12 I was really sick. One of the nurses who took care of me was Japanese."
"She would bring books for us to read and taught us how to fold origami. She ended up bringing me a book called Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes."
"There is a Japanese legend that if you fold a thousand cranes you will have a wish granted."
"I never made it to a thousand cranes, but the book really changed my life."
"We had our little girl in March 2020 and it was a hard time. I told my husband about the book and how I wanted to name a little girl Sadako since I was a kid."
"He agreed. I asked him several times if he was only allowing this because I agreed a son would be a junior?"
"He said no. He was happy the nurse made such an impact on my life that I wanted our child to have the name."
"We call her Sadie for short."
"My family hates it and has told me they think I made a mistake choosing that name. They were also upset I would use my husband's name (Jesús) if the baby was a boy."
"They are furious I picked 'non-American names' for my child. The middle name we picked was Araceli."
"My mom says that she gave us normal American names, that were popular at the time. I told her that I don't mind the names she gave us, they are just VERY 80s/90s."
"I knew like 10 people with my name."
"I think the name suits Sadie and I don't think I was an a**hole for naming her. My husband has suggested that we 'keep the peace' by switching the order of the names Araceli Sadako, but it feels like a whole different child that way."
"If my child says, 'I hate my name' then we would change it. But both names picked have a special meaning."
"I feel like the nurse and the book changed the way I viewed the world. And Araceli is the name of my husband's sister who passed away."
"I will say the people who have an issue are my family members (minus my sister, who named her baby Meadow... which everyone hated as well.)"
"My in-laws have said they think the name is fine, as they feel a baby name is not important enough to cause arguments about."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors ultimately declared the OP was not the a**hole, but it wasn't a unanimous decision.
"NTA - it's actually quite sweet the story behind your child's name and it's quite common for people to have middle names of family members who have passed as a way of remembrance - mine are the names of my uncle and my paternal grandfather."
"Also Sadako Sadie Araceli and Jesús are all really nice names so if you're both happy with them then f'k what your family thinks. And if they start to get to you just remember this quote from Romeo and Juliet: 'what's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'."
"Names are just a system of identifying people. It doesn't matter what they're called since it doesn't change their character." ~ budywudy9
"Tell [your mom] to drop the BS and admit when she says 'American,' she means White." ~ MaxSpringPuma
"I'm actually not sure how I feel about this one. Presuming that you are not Japanese, it is definitely an unusual choice."
"Aside from that, I would personally feel uncomfortable with Sadako, pretty as it is, because Sadako was a real child who died tragically because of an atomic bombing. Having said that, it clearly has a different, much more positive meaning to you."
"NAH, I guess? I can see why your family might be a bit uncomfortable, but names are such a personal thing and they ultimately don't get a say." ~ Captain_Quoll
"YTA. If you truly respected Japanese culture, you'd understand how sacred the naming process is. It's not something they just pick out of a book they liked because it made them cry."
"If you want to honor Sadako, start by understanding and respecting the norms of her culture first. You're trying to portray you're parents as racist and ignorant, yet it seems you're just as ignorant of Japanese culture as they are."
"If you want to honor Sadako, donate to a memorial that honors the victims or start a blog that spreads the word about the atrocities committed during the war." ~ Agent_Orca
"Soft YTA. Americans killed Sasaki Sadako. Like, you are obviously not personally responsible, but if a non-Jewish, white Austrian named their child Anne Frank Müller, it would be pretty tone-deaf, right?"
"I'm American and married to a Japanese. I have never met my spouse's grandmother. She grew up near Hiroshima and cannot forgive Americans."
"It's sad, but true. This is still in living memory, and we need to be respectful." ~ Moritani
"There are lots of US Americans named Jesus, and also lots of US Americans with Japanese names, too."
"It is hard to realize your parent's aren't perfect, but don't feel bullied over the meaningful names you give your children." ~ UnApprovedActivities
"ESH. Your parents are assholes for trying to dictate what you should name your child. Also racist for being upset that your child won't be getting a 'White' name; your baby is mixed, so I don't see why they have a problem with a name like Jésus."
"That being said, you're being extremely insensitive by naming your White/Latinx child a Japanese name; it's not part of your culture at all. Being an East Asian myself, I was teased relentlessly at school for having an unconventional name, and bringing that burden upon your child, when it's absolutely unnecessary, is weird."
"I understand the significance of the name Sadako to you, but then again I think you should make it into a middle name... My friend has Korean, Spanish, and Nigerian middle names, each for every country his parents visited, yet his first name is something from his own culture/ethnicity. You should do the same." ~ yoonseoker
"NTA. Name your son Barack Hussein Obama. Cant get a more All-American name than that. I'm sure your parents will love it." ~ MaxSpringPuma
"ESH, except your husband. Sadako was killed by Americans."
"Sadako is a name from an ethnicity/culture you have zero connection to except in your head."
"You're giving your kid a name that they will have to explain the meaning of over and over again when they grow up."
"Imagine if I was Caucasian and gave my kid the name of, I don't know, some Korean name or some African tribal name. To a White kid, say. Who grew up in America."
"People would be like...what? And rightfully so." ~ Maelarion
With responses so divided, it's unclear if the OP found the answers they sought. They provided no updates to their post to indicate what message they received.