Civil Naming Ceremonies for babies and children

What is a Civil Naming Ceremony?

The Civil Naming ceremony allows you to celebrate the birth and naming of your child with your family and friends, without any religious content.

Continue reading

It is not just the birth of a child that can herald a celebration of a new addition to the family. Many couples may have children from previous relationships - and what better way to make these children feel part of a new family than by celebrating with a Civil Naming ceremony? Children of any age therefore can have a Naming ceremony.

Older children of the family can be included at the same ceremony for a baby and there is no additional charge involved; this applies for twins and triplets, and all can be included in one ceremony.

The purpose of the ceremony is for a family unit to make commitments to their child, so you could not include children from another family at the same ceremony. However, other family and friends can hold a ceremony created just for them at the same venue, on the same day, but not at the same time.

For couples who adopt, a Civil Naming ceremony is a great way of welcoming the child into your lives and declaring your commitment to giving the child a loving home. It is also a chance to share with family and friends your hopes for the child's future and encourage their help and support - after all, with the joy of creating a family comes great responsibility and new challenges!

Any parent can make the arrangements, or anyone else who has legal guardianship or parental responsibility for the child. Parents don't need to be married, though if you are having a Civil Marriage ceremony or a Civil Partnership Registration, a Naming ceremony can be held immediately after.

Neither the Naming Ceremony nor any document issued following the ceremony has any legal status.

Whilst Naming Ceremonies may be carried out in buildings known as Registration Offices, they are designated as private venues during these ceremonies.

You may change a child's name only if you have parental responsibility for the child and you should normally have the agreement of the child's other parent.  The mother of a child and the natural father (if he is married to the child's mother) automatically have parental responsibility. Another person may be given parental responsibility.  You may not use a naming ceremony to change a child's name unless you have the authority to do so.  In some circumstances it is necessary for the Courts to authorise a change of name.  If you are uncertain whether you may change your child's name you should seek legal advice before booking the ceremony.