The arrival of a child is always a great moment of happiness but also of important decision-making. Especially when the time comes to choose a first name that the child will carry all his life. Some parents compete in inventiveness to make their children stand out.
In playgrounds, it is therefore not uncommon to come across a little Abriel or a little Kléïya. For the sake of originality, old first names are coming back into fashion, new fanciful spellings are appearing and some do not hesitate to invent first names themselves.
In France, a law dating from January 8, 1993 stipulates that parents can give any first name to their child. However, exceptions exist. Civil registrars may refuse a first name when registering the declaration of birth.
The name is often refused because it is considered contrary to “the interest of the child”. If a first name is associated with a commonly hated public figure or if it can be a source of ridicule, civil registrars will tend to refuse it. Ditto if the first name “violates the right of another person to have their family name protected” or even if “the child bears the name of only one of his parents and has as his first name the name of the other parent. ” Finally, since a circular of July 23, 2014, first names containing diacritics that are not part of the French language (such as ċ or ñ) are also prohibited.
However, this is not rocket science: there is no text precisely framing the attack on “the interests of the child”. In 2021, in the Dordogne, the civil status of Périgueux, for example, recorded the birth of a little duck. The administration agreed to give this middle name, for the less unusual, to little Dyklan following the moving explanation given by his grandfather. “Duck” was the adopted name of his grandmother, abandoned at birth and taken in by a certain Georges Canard.
Sometimes, despite the parents’ explanations, civil registrars still prohibit the first name. However, parents can appeal to the public prosecutor. The latter settles the dispute and can agree with the parents. If in France there is no exhaustive list of prohibited first names, here are some of the first names that have already been, and will surely still be, prohibited.