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Wellington, New Zealand--From the Associated Press' Judge: Girl's name, Talula Does The Hula, won't do (7/24/08):
A family court judge in New Zealand has had enough with parents giving their children bizarre names here, and did something about it. Just ask Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. He had her renamed. Judge Rob Murfitt made the 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name could be changed, he said in a ruling made public Thursday. The girl was involved in a custody battle, he said... "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," he wrote. "It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily." The girl had been so embarrassed at the name that she had never told her closest friends what it was. She told people to call her "K" instead, the girl's lawyer, Colleen MacLeod, told the court... New Zealand law does not allow names that would cause offense to a reasonable person, among other conditions, said Brian Clarke, the registrar general of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Yet another example of family courts overstepping their bounds and invading the private lives of private citizens.  When you get divorced, you throw open your door and your life to the government.  Even though divorce courts side with women and protect women, the courts' invasive nature can hurt women as well as men.  I don't think enough mothers and fathers fully appreciate this before filing for divorce. On the issue of naming, while the name in the story above is pretty out there, in general I am in favor of creative names.  Both of my children have unusual names, and could never be confused with anyone else.  When my wife was pregnant with our second child, I wanted to name the child "Spartacus," but she nixed the idea.  I admit she was right, particularly since my second child is a girl.  However, had our child been all boy, he would have been named "Magellan."  My daughter ended up with a unique and relatively interesting name anyway.  Her first name, which I chose, comes from an important battle in American history.  Her middle name, which I also chose, is the name of a famous feminist and abolitionist.  My son's middle name is that of an ancient emperor who was known for his fairness and wisdom.

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