What’s in a name? Or rather, what’s in a parent’s responsibility to bestow a name? One mother has sold her rights to name her child for $5,000 as part of an online contest. One conservative group is calling the contest “irresponsible parenting,” stating that giving up parental rights to name a child is destructive to traditional family values.
The contest, sponsored by the baby-name website Belly Ballot, offered $5,000 to a parent who would sign a contract giving their baby-naming rights to the website. The site will then post a variety of names for the public to poll. The poll winner will be the contest winner’s new baby name.
The 27-year-old mom who won the contest says that she’s excited about the opportunity to set aside some money for her unborn child. Natasha Hill, a children’s art teacher in Los Angeles, toldToday Moms,“Especially now with people all around me trying to pay their mortgages and get by, I have $5,000 I can put towards my baby’s future, and $5,000 makes a difference in my life.”
As a single mom, Hill adds, “Here’s the chance for me to do something really positive for my unborn son or daughter.”
Hill’s baby is due in September. Hill stated that she’s rooting for the names James if the baby is a boy. She has yet to discern the sex of her baby.
Belly Ballot’s founder, Lacey Moler, made sure to note that the names in the poll are nothing extraordinary. “Nothing crazy or a brand name or anything.” Moler is mother to three young children.
But the conservative group Rosa Cee is criticizing the contest, saying that it decries traditional family values to leave naming a child up to strangers. “This is irresponsible parenting, plain and simple,” said Rosa Cee spokesperson and co-founder Kasey Candela.
“A baby’s name isn’t like a baseball stadium, up for the highest bidder,” Candela adds. “Certain elements of our family and children must be off limits to advertisers for capitalistic opportunity. If it becomes socially acceptable to commercialize your children even in difficult economic times as these, where will it stop?”
Hill says that critics are missing the point. Even her own parents are on board with what she’s deemed the “creative name process.”
“But they know that I’m going to be a loving and nurturing mom, which is the most important part of parenting,” Hill maintains.
Moler rebuts Rosa Cee’s concerns, stating that there is a “misunderstanding” regarding the purpose of the contest: “This is a misunderstanding of what we are trying to achieve. This is supposed to be a fun contest to raise awareness of growing social baby naming trends which thousands of expecting parents have participated in on our site. We have no intention of violating traditional family values.”
Would you let stranger name your baby for money?
[Image via Shutterstock]