There are many reasons why parents would consider giving their kids more than one middle name. Yes, it is legal to have more than one middle name in some parts of the US. But is it truly worth it?
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Let’s consider some pros and cons of having more than one middle name and some child naming laws to keep in mind.
What Is The Rule For Middle Names?
There are no strict rules about middle names, but you can consider some factors that are particular to you. However, it is best to skip adding numbers to names or hyphens so that it will be easy to fill them out in forms.
How Many Names Can You Have Legally?
You can have as many names as you want in the United States. The government is more concerned with your first name and surname. So, you can fit in as many middle names as you want.
However, you must consider the character length of the names you are giving to your child. If you are in New York, know that the first and middle names should not exceed 30 characters. Arizona allows up to 141 characters for all the names plus suffixes. Texas on the other hand only allows 100 characters for all your names.
Again, not all states allow the use of special characters, numbers, and symbols. So, find out the exact naming rule in your state and follow it.
How Many Names Can You Put On A Birth Certificate?
Most states only provide spaces for two names on a child’s birth certificate. That will be for the first name and surname. Some states also provide a space for the mom to fill in her maiden name.
The states that acknowledge middle names only give space for one middle name.
For a state like Texas, you can use as many names as you like, just ensure that the full name does not exceed 100 characters. Also don’t add diacritical marks, numbers, or non-English characters to the name.
How Many Names Can You Put On A Birth Certificate In California?
California birth certificates only have spaces for three names: the first name, one middle name, and the surname.
This can be a little restricting for parents who would love to give their babies more than one middle name. Most of these parents say that they only fill in the first middle name on the certificate.
That is why you must place your baby’s middle name according to the level of importance. That is, the most important one should come first.
How Many Middle Names Can You Have In Texas?
You can have as many middle names as you want in Texas. But ensure that these names added together do not exceed 100 characters. Also, avoid numbers, non-English characters, and diacritical marks.
Pros And Cons Of Having More Than One Middle Name
- It makes your child unique
Giving your child more than one middle name sets them apart from others. These additional middle names make it difficult to mistake the child for someone else.
It gives your child a sense of uniqueness.
- Each parent has the opportunity of giving their child a name
Do you and your partner argue about which name to give your child? Maybe you two have mothers to honor.
Drop the fight. Fit the two names in as middle names and you’re good to go.
- It makes it easy to fit in a family name or maintain a tradition
Maybe you have three names you want to give to your child, but there is this family name that you must add. Make it an extra middle name.
However, emphasize its importance by making it the first middle name (if you think it is that important). You can also tell your child how important the family name is so that they can choose that one in cases where they must only use one middle name.
It may even be a family tradition for you or your partner to have four names. What’s the trouble? Pick the most important names as the first and last names, and pad up with two middle names.
- It is easy to have a cool acronym with many middle names
It is easy to spell something cool from your child’s acronym when they have four names. Some kids may even use these acronyms as their nicknames if they are so cool.
However, check to avoid spelling something terrible. Remember, your child will get through middle school. You’ll understand better if you’ve ever been bullied.
- Your child can choose the name they prefer
Do you ever feel like your parents didn’t give you a name you like? Save your child that disappointment by giving them as many middle names as they want. They can then choose the one they love best.
If they don’t love any, they can drop all of them and stick to just the first name and surname.
Some children even prefer using their middle names as a nickname.
- Having more than one middle name can be too much
Let’s look at it this way. How do you feel when you see a “Salome Peace Alex Riverstone?” Seems a bit much, right?
It is usually neater to give a child at most three names.
Two middle names can be a mouthful and may not just flow as one middle name would. Also, you need a lot of patience to call the child’s full name.
- It can stir up lots of questions, and bullying too
You, your spouse, and your child will spend a lifetime answering questions if having more than one middle name is not common in your family. You will find yourself explaining why you chose more than one name and the stories behind them.
It can be difficult for your child to escape bullying at this point. Both kids and adults can pick on them. Some may even make fun of their names. That can sting a child’s ego badly.
- It can be a pain to fill out forms
Most people that have more than one middle name share the pain of limited spaces on forms. This seems to be the primary disadvantage.
Here, your child will only use one middle name or initial (depending on what is needed). That defeats the aim of giving them multiple middle names.
If you must give your child more than one middle name, let them choose one to use if only one is needed. That will make their name more consistent in their documents.
Related Post: 200+ Perfect Middle Names For Elena
The United States doesn’t have any strict rules about the number of middle names that you can have. However, in some states, there are limits to the number of characters a name can have.
Also, remember that your child will have to fill out forms that require their full names at some point in their lives. Imagine how the names will appear on those forms.
Yes, you can choose to have more than one middle name. You can also choose to have none.
You can fill in your full name on a passport if there is enough space for it. The names you provide when filling out the form will appear on the new passport.
The UK doesn’t have any stringent rules governing the number of middle names you can have. However, you shouldn’t make your full name too long.
Your full name will not be printed out on your passport in the UK if it exceeds 30 characters for your surname and first names.
Many Canadians have multiple middle names. You can choose to give your child more than one middle name. Only consider the ease at which your child will fill out forms.
Child naming laws differ from state to state. But you have between 3 to 21 days to name your baby and fill in their name on the birth certificate. However, you can stay up to a year before registering your baby’s name on the birth certificate.
The state will give your baby a birth certificate with the mother’s last name. But the baby’s original birth certificate will not carry their name after you get a new one.
Texas allows you 10 days to name your baby and fill out the birth certificate form. If you don’t name your baby within this time, the state will use the mother’s last name to make a birth certificate for the child.
When you finally name the child, you will file a legal form to change the name on the certificate to the baby’s name.
You have up to a year to give your child a name that will appear on their birth certificate. The state will first issue a birth certificate for your baby without their name. When you are ready, you will apply for a new certificate.
There are many reasons you may want to give your baby many middle names. However, consider the factors discussed in this post.
Our take on the issue is that you can give your baby two middle names. Three and above is a tad too much. Also, if you must use multiple names, make them short. This will help you fill out forms with ease.