Australian Mum Finds Out Her Baby’s Name Is ILLEGALby Robert Dunne
Mum-of-four, Claire Alexander-Johnstone is having to reconsider the name she chose to give her latest son, whom she decided to name ‘Citizen’. The problem was pointed out to her by her family on revealing the name, with the problem being, that the name ‘Citizen’ in Australia falls too closely to official Titles such as ‘King’ or ‘Duke’ which can only be inherited or appointed and therefore illegal to name a child at birth.
Claire revealed the problem on her Instagram account ‘jetsetmama’, where she has an audience of over a hundred thousand people. In a post on the account featuring photos of the newborn, Claire said “Welcome to the family Citizen Sage Alexander-Johnstone [...] Sorry this naming business has taken so long! We had a bit of a curveball when we announced your name to our family, as someone pointed out, it’s possibly illegal to name you that in Australia [...] But nothing else felt right for you as a Libra [...] We’re so glad you’re here”. Claire spared no originality with Citizens middle name either, settling for the name ‘Sage’, describing the choice as “Burning, cleansing, and healing. And in Ancient Greece, a wise man”, showing there was a great deal of thought that went into naming the child how she did.
The legality of the name came into question since, according to Australian Law, names that are contrary to the public interest by being “misleading” are banned, stating “the name might contain an official title, position or rank recognised in the community that might mislead others as to whether the person holds that title or rank officially”. This law, however, is not unique to Australia, with the UK having a law prohibiting the use of first names including ‘Lord’, ‘Lady’, ‘General’ and ‘Captain’.
The name has received a mixed response on social media, with many showing themselves to be unsure on the name choice, commenting responses such as “ Hmm!! Not sure but good on you for being ORIGINAL!!” with others responding similarly in was such as “Is his name really Citizen??”.