Parents Fined for Giving Daughter ‘Wrong’ Name Skip to content

Parents Fined for Giving Daughter ‘Wrong’ Name

An Icelandic couple who named their daughter Alex Emma must pay ISK 1,437 (USD 10.46, EUR 9.64) in daily fines to the Icelandic state after the Icelandic Naming Committee rejected their request for having Alex accepted as a girl’s name. They intend to sue over the fining.

“We had our daughter in August 2013 and had decided her name long before,” Alex’ mother Nanna Þórdís Árnadóttir told Vísir. “When we sent in a notification of her name [to the National Registry] it turned out that a girl has never been named Alex in Iceland before—even though it is done abroad—and the name must be sent before the Naming Committee.”

The family waited several months for the verdict, which arrived on December 19, 2013. The Naming Committee concluded that Alex can only be approved as a man’s name in the Icelandic language as there is no history or tradition for it being used as a woman’s name.

However, the Naming Committee added that as a woman’s name, Alex would not violate the Icelandic language structure and as thus not be troublesome for the girl.

Yesterday, the couple received a letter from the National Registry announcing that they will be subject to daily fines as of April 3 for not having notified the institution of their daughter’s name.

Nanna said it’s out of the question to rename the child. “She has three siblings and all this time she has been called Alex Emma … It’s ridiculous. I mean, what kind of a fascist state is this? Her name is Alex Emma and I won’t accept this.”

In January 2013, Reykjavík District Court ruled that a girl could be called Blær after it was rejected as a woman’s name by the Naming Committee. Nanna is also set on taking their case to court. “I didn’t expect such harsh reactions … It wasn’t until I received the letter that it dawned on me: ‘Ok, this is really happening,’” she said.

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