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Mom Begs Son And Pregnant DIL Not To Give Baby The Same Name As Her Late Daughter

An elderly woman holding a baby.
Jordi Mora igual/Getty Images

Choosing a name for their first child is a decision most first-time-parents don’t take lightly.

Most of the time, they don’t want just a random name that they pull out of a hat.

Instead, they want a name that is meaningful to one or both of them, often choosing the name of someone who means or meant a lot to them.

While many people are touched when friends or family members choose to name their child after them or another dear one, not everyone reacts with joy at this news.

The wife of Redditor throwaway-636-173‘s son was expecting a baby girl, and they chose to name her after the original poster (OP)’s youngest daughter.

Learning of this news however, the OP was anything but touched, and even went so far as to urge her son and daughter-in-law (DIL) to give their daughter a different name.

A request the OP’s son and DIL did not appreciate one bit.

Wondering if she was overstepping, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for asking my son and DIL to not use the name of my dead daughter.”

The OP explained why she was anything but touched by her son and DIL’s decision to name their child after her youngest daughter:

“I don’t know if I am in the wrong here.”

“About 15 years ago I gave birth to Kerra.”

“She passed when she was three months.”

“She was a surprise and would have been around 10+ years younger than any of the other kids.”

“She passed and her urn is on the mantle in our home.”

“Life moved on.”

“My DIL has seen the urn before and commented it was a nice name.”

“I didn’t think anything about it at the time.”

“I got a call from my daughter telling me that I need to talk to them.”

“That they plan on naming their daughter Kerra and knew it would be a problem so they were going to surprise me with it after she was born.”

“I sat them down and asked if they were going to name their daughter Kerra.”

“They told me it was in the running.”

“I asked if they were naming her after anyone and it was a no.”

“That they just liked the name.”

“I told them I am not very comfortable with them doing that.”

“I know I don’t own a name and suggested it could be a middle name and we would just call her her first name.”

“I explained it would be very hard for us and we worry that we may start projecting or it will cause mental distress to us.”

“That I don’t think it is fair to the kid to have that burden.”

“My husband also said that he wouldn’t be that happy with the decision and feels wrong to name her that.”

“After that it started argument, that [The OP’s DIL] is pissed we are trying to veto a name and called us jerks.”

“My husband and I don’t know if we are jerks or not.”

“We thought we handled this well and communicated clearly our feelings on it.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for begging her son and DIL not to name their child after her late daughter.

Everyone agreed that while the OP’s son and DIL certainly had the right to name their child whatever they wanted, they agreed that they were nonetheless being insensitive to the OP’s feelings by not running it by her first, with many finding it particularly bad that they said they didn’t expressly choose the name to honor the memory of the OP’s daughter.


“I can understand if maybe they wanted to use kerra for their baby to honor your daughter but even if, they should talk to you beforehand.”

“I’m proud that you sat down and communicated how you felt. I think it’s wrong to even ‘surprise’ you after the baby was born, too.”

“They need to respect your wishes and move on.”- Far-Needleworker6240

“While, you don’t own a name, your daughter-in-law is being very callous to you.”

“What about your son?”

“What is his thoughts on this matter.”

“She has every right to name her child that, but when she realizes that you and your husband are a little distant from her or have some sort of feeling about it.”

“Or even call her a different name, a nickname, or something that you make up.”

‘She’s the one I wonder why.”

“NTA.”- Even_Enthusiasm7223

“I am firmly in the ‘no one owns a name and you can name your child whatever you please’ camp.”

“But all that goes out the window when we’re talking about using the name of a deceased child within your own family.”

“Someone posted on another advice sub, asking if it would be wrong to use a baby name that had belonged to her sister’s recently deceased baby.”

“The general consensus was that she could have a right to do it and still be TA.”

“Basically, did she like the name enough that she’d be willing to hurt her sister every time she heard it?”

“Would that be worth it to her?”

“That poster decided it was not.”

“If your son and DIL decide that it IS worth giving you and your husband a twinge of pain, every time you hear their daughter’s name?”

“ put it politely, that says more about them than it does about you.”

“Either way, NTA.”- mikemaloneisad*ck


“Lost my son to SIDS in October.”

“If anyone in my family or close friends use his name, I would be livid and so heartbroken.”-mamabearC222


“My aunt lost her son at six months old, and even though it was over 25 years ago, the pain of losing a child never goes away.”

“When my cousin and his wife announced they were going to use her son’s name simply because they liked it my aunt requested they don’t.”

“She said it would be too painful.”

“Ultimately, they went ahead with it.”

“It showed a distinct lack of respect or care for his own parents, so they got cut off.”

“Now they aren’t a part of the family, and that’s on them.”

“You need to protect yourself and your mental health.”

“My aunt, after her grandson was born, and people were calling him, and it completely broke her till she got that distance.”

“Don’t let that happen to you.”

“Speak to your son alone and explain the pain and the reason and ask he not do this out of respect if he refuses then you know where you stand.”- goddessofspite


“They are considering using your late daughter’s name, but it isn’t even an homage to her.”

“They have to have considered it could hurt.”

“Your son may have lost a sister, but he certainly isn’t acting compassionate here.”

“It boggles the mind that they are both acting like they are the injured party here.”

“Not an inkling of empathy.”

“It isn’t ‘just a name’, it was her name first.”- connynebbercracker


“This part shows that son and dil knew EXACTLY what they were doing by choosing this same exact name.”

“They knew it was going to be a problem and now that you beat them to the reveal, DIL is all ‘you hateful cow, how dare you try and tell me what to do’.”

“She’s yucky. and your son is yucky also.”- PatchEnd

“Antidoteal story here:”

“I had a family friend named after a dead child of her grandparents on her mom’s side.”

“It was with their blessing, but about ten years later, grandma started showing signs of dementia or something like that and FREAKED OUT every time she was around grandma.”

“It was so hard on her to constantly be told, ‘I thought you died!'”

“From this perspective, I think your DIL and son are doing a disservice to their child.”

“NTA.”- KSknitter


“No one owns a name.”


“But this isn’t some random stranger on the street who you are screaming at that had no connection to you or your family.”

“This is your son and his wife.”

“Maybe if they were doing it to honor your daughter, that would be one thing, and a beautiful sentiment.”

“But as you had asked and learned, they’re not doing it for those reasons.”

“They’re doing it because they’re selfish assholes and like the name.”

“The fact your daughter wasn’t even a thought that crossed their minds shows how insufferable they are.”- sunlightofourpast

It would be a touching gesture if the OP’s son wanted to honor the memory of his late sister by naming his child after her.

However, there is no loss more devastating than losing a child, so he should have probably considered the effect that decision would have on his mother, the OP.

Particularly considering that his and his wife’s decision had less to do with honoring the OP’s deceased child but simply that they “liked the name”.

Perhaps they can find another name they like that won’t have as triggering an effect on the OP.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.