I want to ‘common law’ change my baby’s regrettable name to save $500 – people say I should ‘suck it up’ & do it legally

A NEW mother has revealed that she regrets her daughter’s birth name and wants to change it, but the question is how.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to “common law” change the baby’s name or pay $500 to legally swap it, which divided people’s opinions.

A new mother shared online her indecision about changing her daughter, Juniper's name (stock image)


A new mother shared online her indecision about changing her daughter, Juniper’s name (stock image)Credit: Getty

A mother under the username BabyWulf3 admitted that she didn’t like her young daughter’s legal first name.

She anonymously posted in an online parenting community called What to Expect about her concerns.


She explained that at the time of her child’s birth, she was so overcome with emotion she couldn’t decide on a name because “baby girl was born a month earlier than expected.”

Because her husband was jokingly “hounding” her in the hospital, she spontaneously chose the moniker Juniper.

“But now that she’s here and I ‘know’ her better, she is not a Juniper/June,” she admitted.

The poster said she kept calling her Willow accidentally, which was the name the couple had previously agreed on but was hesitant to pick when the time came.

She also added that she loves her middle name Elise or its nickname Elsie as a first name.

These choices were far better than what was currently on her daughter’s birth certificate.

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“Another reason I don’t care for her name as it stands now is that her initials are currently J.E.W. I didn’t think about that until after we had left the hospital,” she said.


The big issue is that since the family lives in California, a full legal name change for their daughter costs $500 and requires several court appearances.

I’m a nepo baby with a household name mum – I don’t date anyone without a chauffeur, trust fund or if they ask to split the bill

She decided to bring her situation to the social community and ask whether to do a “common law” name change and go by another name that’s not your legal name.

“I know for any legal documents, she’d still have to use Juniper as her first name, as it was filled out on her birth certificate originally,” she added.

The concerned mom added that she didn’t want to make things harder for her children in the future.


Several parents offered honest opinions and encouraged her to change it.

“I personally would not advise calling her a completely separate name that’s not included, or derived from, her legal name. I can see issues arising throughout her life,” one commented.

“I would change it legally or just keep it. Not throw Willow in there as her actual-but-not-actual name.”

“Personally, i would suck it up and change her name to Willow Elise. It’s much easier to do it now than down the line,” another chimed in.

“If you don’t plan to ever call her Juniper, and you do have a beautiful name you love, change it now while she’s still so young!”


“I would honestly really save her the hassle later on in life and change her name,” a woman added.

“For what it’s worth I absolutely adore Juniper it’s in my top five and it’s more unique than Willow but that doesn’t really matter if you don’t feel like it’s the right name for her. “

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