Blaer Bjarkardottir, 15, has initiated a lawsuit
in order to be allowed to use her birth name. Iceland is one of a few countries in the world that has laws dictating what parents cannot name their children.
"Blaer" is not on the official list that contains 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that can be chosen. The reasoning for the law is that keeping to approved names that align with linguistic rules will save children embarrassment.
Parents must name their children within six months of birth and submit the application to the National Registry, explains the Reykjavik Grapevine
In Icelandic, "Blaer" means "light breeze", and is a masculine noun.
Bjork Eidsdottir, Blaer's mother, did not know the name was not on the approved list when she named her daughter. She told the Associated Press she only learned of it after her daughter was baptized and the priest informed her he'd made a mistake by allowing it.
“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Bjork Eidsdottir told the Associated Press
. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”
"Blaer" is currently not listed on any official government documents or records, instead her name is listed as "Stulka", which translates to "girl". The teenager wants to change this and is seeking approval to do so; the case will be heard on Jan. 25.
If the committee turns down her request, she said she will take the case to the highest court, noting that she loves her birth name.
The Icelandic law
regarding names is very detailed. (Link courtesy of TIME
This is reportedly the first lawsuit of its kind in Iceland. Germany and Denmark have similar naming laws.
What do you think about government rules regarding naming children? Should the lists be extensive, minimal or non-existent?