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If a baby isn’t named within a certain period of time, can the ACT Government name a child?

It’s not uncommon for parents to take some time to settle on a name for a new baby, but if they take too long, does the government have the power to step in?

Canberra’s six-month rule

In Australia, all births have to be registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act.

Access Canberra is the government body responsible for recording the momentous occasions in the ACT.

… parents had six months to name their baby — a timeframe that’s only recently been extended from just 60 days.

Reviewing — and rejecting — names

As part of the registration process, Access Canberra reviews names selected by parents.

For the most part parents have free reign to choose a name, guided by a few simple rules, but it’s not the same all over the world.

… only two names have been rejected by the ACT Government to date – one because it contained symbols without phonetic significance, and another because it contained a title or a rank. In that instance, the name was Prince.

What happens when the six months are up?

Ben Green, deputy director for licensing and registration, explained that parents would be strongly urged to find a suitable name for their child and complete the registration paperwork.

And, while it has never happened, the ACT Government even has the power to take parents to court to force them to register, and name, their child.

Bringing it back to Sam’s question, I asked whether the government could name a child, if parents didn’t meet the deadline.

Put simply no, not really, Ben said.

The government does have two circumstances in which they can name your child, the first circumstance is if it’s a prohibited name and the second is if the parents can’t agree on a name.

Ben said that this had never happened in the ACT and there was no pre-approved list of spare baby names sitting on a desk at Access Canberra just in case — ABC News

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