When a couple in France decided to name their daughter Liam, they never expected to have to defend the choice in court. It is, after all, their kid. But that’s exactly what two new parents from Morhiban, a city in the northwest part of Brittany, will have to do. In France, courts have the power to “veto” names they feel might cause a child harm at some point in their life. And obviously, somebody on the court has seen the Taken 3. Actually, prosecutors are arguing that a girl shouldn’t be named Liam because it may lead to “gender confusion.” And for that reason, it would be “contrary to the interest of the child and could harm her in her social relations.”
To support their case, the state has pointed to famous male Liams, including singer Liam Gallagher and the aforementioned Liam Neeson, to prove that it typically a named used for males. The prosecutors are asking that the judge ban the parents from naming their daughter Liam and instead give “the child another name chosen by the parents and, failing that, by the judge.” According to The Local, the registrar recommended shortly after birth that the mother provide “a more feminine middle name,” but she wanted to consult the child’s other parent first.
The prosecution’s argument may seem absurd, especially given the popularity of gender neutral names in the United States, but it is likely motivated by the fact that in France, names usually have a male and female counterpart while in English, that is less common. Nonetheless, fortunately Liam’s parents will have a chance to defend themselves against this unexpected veto before a judge. A court date has not been set.