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Mom Refuses To Make Adopted Orphaned Niece Change Her Name Since Pregnant Sister Wants It

A pregnant woman with a name tag on her bump.
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Naming a child is a very complicated endeavor.

Any aspiring parent always has a few names they’ve mulled over naming their future children, with some dead set on one name.

What they need to take into account, however, is that their partner might have some name ideas of their own that do not align with their list.

Sometimes, the name they’ve been set on naming their child might become less desirable owing to an unexpected association.

The sister of Redditor HotSpringDrink was expecting her first child and knew exactly what she planned on naming her.

However, an unexpected turn of events in the original poster (OP)’s life resulted in her sister’s choice of baby name being less distinctive than she would have liked.

While the OP’s sister felt she had it in her power to rectify this situation, the OP flatly refused.

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

“AITA for refusing to call my niece anything else but her chosen name.”

The OP explained how her niece coming into her care proved problematic for the OP’s sister and her chosen baby name:

“My (27 F[emale]) husband (33 M[ale]) and I are currently taking care of his recently orphaned niece (8 F) with the plan to adopt her later.”

“Her first name is Kelly, and her middle name is Ann (fake names), but she prefers to be called Ann and has been that way for a few years now.”

“She introduces herself as ‘My name is Kelly Ann ___, but you can call me Ann’.”

“My sister (29 F) is 8 months pregnant with her first child and several months ago found out it’s a girl.”

“She has always wanted to name her daughter Ann and is excitedly telling everyone.”

“Upon learning of Kelly Ann’s situation and how my husband and I plan to adopt her, my sister told me a few days after that we should start telling Kelly Ann to call herself Kelly instead of her middle name.”

“She said 2 Ann in the family will be confusing, so Kelly Ann needs to get used to being Kelly.”

“My husband said she was being ridiculous, and if anything, it’s her baby that needs renaming because Kelly Ann has been calling herself Ann for years.”

“My sister argued that she announced her baby’s name many months ago, and we only planned to adopt Kelly Ann recently, so we should be the one making her rethink how to call herself.”

“I joined my husband’s side and told my sister Kelly Ann can call herself however she chooses to.”

“My sister and her husband called my husband and me AH for stealing her baby’s name.”

“So, AITA?”

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 resoundingly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to call her niece anything other than Ann.

Everyone found the request of the OP’s sister absurd, not only pointing out that she had gone by Ann long before her sister ever became pregnant but also asking her to be addressed by a different name after her traumatic situation was appallingly insensitive.


“No one should have to choose a different name.”

“I know a few families with cousins who share a first name, and it’s not a big deal.”

“If your sister doesn’t WANT to have two ‘Ann’s,’ then she shouldn’t use it, but expecting a child to adopt a different name than she’s been using just because she (the sister) has decided to use the selected name is entitled and mean to say the least.”

“Your sister and her husband are being absurd. a) there is not really any such thing as ‘stealing’ a name, especially a common one like ‘Ann’ (which I realize is fake, but presumably you chose similar fake names for this post), and b) Kelly Ann has been alive for far longer than their child and has been using the name for longer too.”

“Out of curiosity, if you were to LATER adopt an older child into the family who came with the same name as one of their kids, would they also expect you to change that child’s name?”

“Ludicrous!”- owls_and_cardinals


“Your sister wants you to force your newly orphaned niece to change her name?”

“That’s nuts.”

“I hope it is pregnancy hormones and your sister isn’t that heartless all the time.”

“Big NTA, it’s great that you and your husband are on the same page and looking out for Ann.”-PhoenixRisingToday


“(Kelly)Ann has an identity that she’s forged for herself with her preferred name.”

“It doesn’t matter that you decided to adopt her following your sister’s name reveal. It would not be fair to disregard her preference for the sake of an unborn child.”

“There’s also no rule stating that there can’t be more than one Ann in the family.”

“There could be your Ann and your sister’s Anne with an e.”

“No one stole anything.”

“(Kelly)Ann came with her name to you already. She’s not a puppy you took home from the shelter and renamed.”- coastalkid92

“Kelly Ann has been ‘calling herself’ Ann for years- because it is literally her name.”

“And the little girl is having to go through enough awful changes in her life -having recently become orphaned- without losing her name!”

“Your sister, with her yet unborn baby, can name her baby girl ‘Ann,’ too, if she wants to.”

“There can be more than one ‘Ann’ in an extended family.”

“Or she can pick literally almost any other name.”

“Your sister can go pound sand.”

“But what your niece/daughter calls herself is not the business of your sister.”

“Refuse to discuss it anymore.”

“NTA.”- YouthNAsia63


“What an entitled request of your sister to rename an 8-year-old girl who lost everything.”

“She can give her child a middle name so they are different Anns.”

“Maybe even can be something like K-Ann and Ann-S or so.”

“If the want.”

“Maybe it will even be a nice thing if it is ‘look, there are the Anns, the sweet girls’ or something like that.”

“But she should not expect you to rename the little girl.”

“Had a way less difficult situation with my family.”

“My wife and I chose names for our children way before we got pregnant.”

“For a boy, we chose the name Jack (not the real name).”

“We didn’t tell family back then, and my sister (living with my parents) got herself a cat called Jack.”

“So now we have a son with the same name like the cat – but who cares?”

“We even call them human Jack and cat Jack.”- Trevena_Ice

“Tell your sister ‘Great, we can call them Big Ann and Little Ann’.”

“I have two great-nephews called the same name (first AND last names) (first name has different spellings).”

“I have two nephews with the same first name, one from my husband’s brother, one from my brother – they are also 7 years apart in age.”

“The only time there has been any confusion is when I was speaking to my aunt soon after the younger great-nephew was born.”

“I didn’t know that she had a 2-year-old grandson with the same name.”

“It took a while to work out that we were talking about two different boys.”

“NTA.”- Future_Direction5174

“She has the concept of ‘theft’ backwards.”

“Let’s try that out in a few other scenarios:”

“Musician A: released a song titled ‘Ann’ years ago.”

“Musician B: Hey, could you change the title of your song? I wrote a song I want to title ‘Ann’ and people will confuse it with yours.”

“Musician A: . . . no? If it bothers you, call your song something else.”

“Musician B: You plagiarized my song title!”


“Researcher A: developed, named, and published ‘Ann Theory’ years ago.”

“Researcher B: Could you get everybody to stop calling that theory of yours ‘Ann Theory’?”

“Researcher A: Why?”

“Researcher B: Well, I’ve been doing a study on [whatever], and I’ve found that [a new theory], and I’m going to publish.”

“Researcher A: That’s great! What does that have to do with Ann Theory, though?”

“Researcher B: Oh, I want to call mine ‘Ann Theory’.”

“Researcher A: . . . well I guess you could do that but it’s not likely to stick, since ‘Ann Theory’ has been what mine’s called for years? There’s a Wikipedia page?”

“Researcher B: Right, that’s why you need to rename yours.”

“Researcher A: . . .”

“Researcher A: No.”

“Researcher B: You’re stealing my intellectual property. I’m reporting you to the ethics board.”


“Business Owner A: opens ‘Ann’s Coffee and Books’ years ago.”

“Business Owner B: I’m going to open a cafe down the street – it’s going to be called ‘Ann’s Coffee and Books,’ so you should really get your signs and advertising changed to something else.”

“Business Owner A: You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.”

“. . . and besides all that, Kelly Ann is not a musician, scientist, or entrepreneur – she’s an orphaned 8-year-old, FFS.”

“She’s lost her parents and her home, now your sister wants to take her name?”

“Sister can get bent.”

“NTA.”- EpiphanaeaSedai

Understandably, the OP might have wanted to give her daughter a name that was either meaningful to her or would stand out among others.

Surely, she must be aware that several families see the same names spread out over branches and generations, nor is “Ann” exactly a name that will stand out among others.

Of course, considering that this was the only thing to cross her mind upon learning that her sister was providing a new home and family for her orphaned niece, it’s safe to assume the OP’s sister might not put a great deal of thought into anything…

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'.