Birth registration

Naming ceremonies

A naming ceremony is a very special way of celebrating the birth of your child and welcoming the new arrival into the family and wider community.

It is also ideally suited to welcome an adopted child or children, or to embrace stepchildren into a new family, by declaring, before family and friends, your promise to be as good a parent as you can.

Any parent or legal guardian can make the arrangements.

Parents do not need to be married, and can come from any cultural background, with any or no spiritual or religious beliefs.

A naming ceremony lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the number of options chosen.

There are essential sections:

  • introduction and welcome
  • reading
  • naming of the child
  • parents' promise
  • promises by supporting adults
  • signing of the record
  • closing words

Others can be added, such as the reasons for the name, hopes for the child's future or further readings.

Remember, naming ceremonies are secular, and do not contain any religious references.

Every naming ceremony is unique, and offers the flexibility to meet the individual needs and wishes of the family - and the ceremony is not just for babies - anyone can have a naming ceremony.

Naming ceremonies do not have a legal status. It is simply a celebration that you as parents choose to do as a public gesture of love and commitment to your child. It is not a replacement for registering your baby, which is a legal requirement.

To arrange a naming ceremony, contact the register office to see when a celebrant will be available.

You may wish to hold the ceremony in an approved venue. Find out about fees and charges.