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by Abigail Van Buren

Choice of Baby's Name Could Be Reminder of Family Sorrow

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our second child. We are facing a moral decision based on choosing his name.

My wife's cousin sadly had a late-term miscarriage two years ago. The name they were going to give their baby is coincidentally the same first and middle name that we have chosen for our child. We have wanted this combination of first and middle names for years, well before her cousin had her misfortune.

In our case, the middle name is in honor of my wife's father. The first name is just one we have always liked and, frankly, we cannot think of any other names we like more. Is it immoral or even unkind to name our child the same as her cousin's child? Should we consider a different name to avoid causing them pain? -- RESPECTFUL IN HAWAII

DEAR RESPECTFUL: Please try harder to find a different first name for your baby. Although it would not be immoral to give your little one the same name(s) as this cousin's stillborn baby, if this woman interacts with you at all, it will cause her pain. Even though no one "owns" a name, to use these two would be extremely insensitive.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death