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Dear Thelma: I Should Have The Right To Name a Child I Carried For 9 Months But My Husband Refuses

Thelma I'm near my due date and there's something that's bothering me, it has caused several fights between the hubs and i. I have tried to make him see reason but he refuses to do so. I'm Igbo while he's from Kogi. I understand and speak my language fluently but he doesn't understand his. My heritage is so important to me.

 The issue started when he insisted that his mother will be the one to name our baby and i will not have a say in any of the names. I was like huh 😳! It caused a big fight. How can I carry a child for 9 months and someone else will come and name him/Her? He then said that okay I can pick an English name for the child since i cannot give a Kogi name. I said thanks, but I can also give the baby an igbo name.  And he’s like but our baby is not Igbo and I’m like I’m Igbo and he’s like since I married him I gave up being Igbo. Huh 😳😳.

So he’s refusing for me to put an Igbo name on the birth certificate. But I’m thinking since I travelled abroad to have the baby and I’m the only one here Il just do it and apologize later. I just want my child to also have an igbo name, he may not even be called by the name but hubby is insisting that 4 names is too long so we should stick to the Kogi name, English name and surname.

I've tried to make him see reason. I have tried and tried for months, gone the emotional route, aggressive route I dunno again. I'm very surprised by this. He's usually very easy going and not at all tribalistic. Although  we're in the same age bracket and we both make good money and contribute equally to our home I totally understand that he is my husband and the head of our family and i give him that respect and honour. But i really want to also pass on my heritage to a child that i carried in my womb for 9 months. Pls advise me. It's causing too many fights and I'm getting tired of it.

Guys she'll be reading comments so please share your thoughts, and if you've been in a similar position we're itching to hear what you have to say.


  1. this is really scary though. wtf

  2. Hmmm poster everybody's marriage is different but in my own case it was never an issue. We are from different tribes too and we both gave him names from both our tribes. I think it's your husband's ego at work here

  3. Yup ego at work. You know your husband, you're the one married to him so you should know how to make him see reasons I guess. This naming thing is real oh.
    In my own case, my husband hurriedly named our son. Before I was out of the theatre, he had distributed birth news plus names. I was livid cos he gave him his name and he knows i do not like hand me down names or junior whatever... I made sure he understood how upset his actions got me so he apologized by allowing me name our daughter both her first and middle name.
    So darling still dig deeper in order to discover how to get him to see things your way, i mean you're not a surrogate. But please don't add name without agreeing with your husband first. #udo

  4. "...How can I carry a child for 9 months and someone else will come and name him/Her..."

    Valid question in your right. Your husband can also generate his valid question in his own right:

    "How will my child bear a name that is far from my heritage?".

    In all these conflict of Rights to Name a child, the Child will also have valid Rights in 25 years to come:

    "You know what? To hell with papa, mama, and English heritage. From now own I should be known as ALONSO PEREZ".

    And guess what? Your 9-months-rights and hubby's husband-rights will be up in flames. So allow whoever wants to name your child to name him/her in peace. The child will NEVER be oblivious of his beautiful diverse heritage.

    Stay Blessed.

    1. lol @ Alonso Perez. Chrisyinks

  5. Logical approach: I think your best play is to demand that instead of an English name, you'd go for an Igbo middle name. Your husband shouldn't place a restriction to the limit of the number of names, and still have a claim to two of the three maximum. I'm assuming your child's surname is of Kogi origin. Of course, this would require you both to really consider the pros and cons of your child not bearing an English name (wouldn't really recommend this in times like this). But we both know this issue doesn't lend itself easily to logic. So let's look at another approach.

    First, In all things, the child is for both of you - remember this. That you carried him/her for 9 months or that your hubby's sperm and other efforts contributed significantly to bringing the child to life, shouldn't be used as the claim to the right for the child's names. I'd strongly caution against leveraging hubby's absence to give the child your choice in names. You really don't want to win the battle and lose the war, and believe me, the consequences can be really catastrophic. Successful (whatever success means) marriages requires a lot of compromises. And much as you may not want to hear this, if this doesn't work out your way, it's one compromise you should be ready to make. You both love your child.

    Per preserving your heritage, names aren't a sufficient requirement to achieve this. As Memphis has comically put forward: in one decision, your child could destroy all the essence of this fight. There are better ways to perpetuate your heritage in your child - teach him/her the Igbo values, the music, the meaning of Kedu, Daalu and the many other beautiful words you have....., the beautiful dresses you have, the prominent people you have (Pete Edochie, Thelma Nwando .......etc). I'm Yoruba but currently go by my English name and live in an English-speaking society, however, my heritage is one I'm richly aware of - one that forms a big part of the essence of me.

    I'd also suggest you broach this issue to people he really listens to. And also talk (talk not fight) with him. You could also show him the post. Perhaps also consider praying. Chrisyinks

    PS: Hubby proposing MIL to pick names for you both's child is just bollocks. His mother can always pick names but that should be with the approval of both partners. Frankly, He's just using his mother as a stooge for his interests.

    1. Chrisyinks whats the pro and con of having an english name. I don't think that's an issue at all but if it is please do tell.


    2. @ Eziuche

      Just my observation here: an English name is easily pronounced by third parties especially if the child ends up living in an environment where the child's indigenous language isn't recognized. For example, many Chinese people pick up English names because people find it difficult pronouncing their native names. This singular factor (perception) can be the determinant between who gets the job/contract or not, likability etc. Nigeria's primary language is English, a parent should make it easy for a child to integrate into his/her society. Chrisyinks

  6. why does he need an English name? If he wants 3 names, then one Kogi, one Igbo and one surname should suffice. Suggest that to him. I'm sure he cares about you, and he would find it hard putting up an argument that an English name is better than an Igbo name when you are Igbo.

  7. I assumed the child is a he. I should have written why does the child (he/she*) need an English name***

  8. This is something you both should have discussed before pregnancy.. i don't know why the mom is naming your child so thats out this equation... totally irrelevant.
    as for you guys..the typical Nigerian way is to let dad name the child and mom choses english but things have can have kogi, igbo and last name. on the birth certificate. or you guys just try to come to an can name the kids after this first one.. i am edo but I have an urhobo and ibo name from my grandparent.. they are not on my birth certificate but I am aware that I have a colourful you both decide and have a safe birth.

  9. Compromise is key.I suggest you let him give the first child a Kogi name while you give the next child an igbo name. Compromise communicate till you guys come to an agreement. Think about it, its better to have one igbo first name than 2 igbo second names.

    1. So this is exactly my sentiment.

      But really people are so diverse in thinking and priorities. I can't see the issue of who will name my child taking more than 3 mins of lifetime. Name the name and let me rest, if you so insist.

  10. I really understand your delima, a mum would always like to know that she loves her kids names. If after talking to him and he still doesn't agree. Give your child the name you like, call the child that name and tell everyone close to you the name you doesn't need to be in the birth certificate...the name you always call your child is the name that sticks... i don't know why mils want their names to be the child's main name, when you were naming your own children nobody disturbed you o. My parents have a name they call my daughter, its their name for her, they call her when when she's at theirs, its not in the birth certificate and they didn't force it on us. That how it should be except you like the name they gave. It shouldn't be forced on anyone.


  11. I agree with comments that say that if the child should have only 2 names, it should be a kogi first name (since its so important to the father) , an Igbo second name and the surname. Finish. Those are the names that will appear on the child's important documents such as international passport etc

    The child doesn't need an English name. English names are mainly used by Catholics who need a patron saint for their child's baptism. However, many saints names are non-English and the church allows you to use a native name with a Christian meaning ( most Igbo names fall under this category) for the child's baptism.


  12. My Hubby says he should be the one to name our baby onboard Ie. It's a man thing. While I said to him, give our baby the igbo name while I give the English name but he refused. I've told him that if he doesn't give the name I chose and chooses another name that doesn't sit well with me, I'll let everyone know on the name naming ceremony day that we haven't decided on a name simples.

  13. I suggest that if it eventually boils down to you not being able to give your baby an Ibo name, whatever English name you both agree on could be used with its Ibo translation.


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