Is it Illegal in Massachusetts to Leave the Hospital with a Nameless Baby?
My daughter, Hannah, recently turned two, and my wife, Amber, and I have been having such of fun time with her. We continue to love her more and more each and every day. On and around her birthday I was thinking about the morning of March 19, 2020, at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield when we were introduced to Hannah. Even then she appeared to be the happy little girl that we know and love today.
Did You Know There's a List of Banned Names in Massachusetts?
Speaking of baby names, I recently published an article about which names are illegal to name your baby in the state of Massachusetts and throughout the United States. If you missed that article you can read about all of the banned baby names by going here.
When Hannah was born, Amber and I knew exactly what her name was going to be. We had both her first and middle name picked out for a couple of months and we both loved Hannah Sadie. It was actually easy as neither of us had an argument or a strong feeling toward one name that the other didn't agree with which made the naming process a piece of cake.
I've heard stories and I'm sure you have as well regarding couples not coming to an agreement or being able to make a decision in selecting a name for their child. This got me wondering if there are any legal rules as to how long parents can go before naming their child.
So, How Long Can You Wait to Name Your Child Before it Becomes a Legal Issue in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts doesn't have a specific or specialized law. Rather, the general rule of thumb in the United States according to romper is usually, for a vaginal delivery, you may have 24 to 48 hours to name your baby before the mom is discharged home. If you have a C-section, you may have up to 72 hours to name your baby prior to being discharged home. It is possible to leave the hospital without naming your baby. However, this gets complicated and costly as there's a delay in getting the birth certificate in place. If you do take a while in selecting a name for your child, don't be surprised if you get phone calls and pestered by an official from the State Department of Health wanting to know the progress of selecting a name for your baby.
Have You Ever Heard of Placeholder Names? You'll Probably Want to Avoid Names Like "Baby Boy" and/or "Baby Girl"
Even if you don't have a name ready to go right when your bundle of joy is born, you don't want to wait too long. Making a decision will avoid you having to worry about the hospital staff selecting a generic baby placeholder name until you can choose one yourself. That can happen if you can't make a decision on a name. Selecting a name for your baby sooner rather than later will save you and your partner a big headache.