Dad Slammed for Giving Baby Same Name as Daughter From Previous Marriage

An expectant dad has been accused of attempting "a do-over" after it emerged that he is planning on giving his new baby the same name as his 22-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Baby name theft might be a first-world problem but it's a relatively common one. The notion is simple enough; you mention a particular name to a similarly expectant set of friends and, before you know it, they have taken it for their own offspring.

These kinds of problems might seem trivial in the grander scheme of things but, as etiquette expert Diane Gottsman explained to the Huffington Post, the choice of name matters a great deal to a new parent.

"We have an emotional attachment to the names we select," she said. "Parents are very attached to names for reasons that range from wanting to honor a family member, like a grandmother or favorite uncle, to idolizing someone like a mentor or important movie star."

But while the concept of name-theft is damaging enough when involving friends, it's a whole other level of betrayal when it involves family or, worse still, siblings.

Yet that's the precise situation facing one 22-year-old woman who discovered, to her horror, that her father was planning on giving the daughter he is expecting with his new wife the exact same name.

It's not an especially common name either and has special family significance with her. As the understandably distressed woman explained in the post, which has been upvoted 11,900 times on Reddit, she was named Helena Jessie after her great-grandmother and grandfather, respectively.

According to the woman, she was born when her parents were "fresh out of high school" and things "didn't work out" for them, with the pair splitting just after she arrived.

"Since my mom pretty much got sole custody, I only saw my dad every other summer and some of the holidays," she explained. "Now that I'm an adult, I visit him a lot more often, although it's hard to get there as much as I want because I live a state away."

Since the split, her father got remarried to a woman called Sarah and they had four sons together. Even so, she said "they've been waiting on a daughter for years" so they were understandably delighted when they discovered Sarah was pregnant with a girl.

In the years since, the woman said she has become closer to her dad and stepmom and even became pregnant around the same time. According to the post, in an attempt to "bond" with her dad, she suggested they have a joint baby shower. Everything was going to plan until she asked about "a gender or name for the baby" so she could make sure the shower was appropriately themed.

That was when she discovered what they had planned. "My stepmother sends me a text with the name she's picked for her new daughter: Helena Jessie," she wrote.

The woman said it was her "dad's suggestion" but her stepmother "loves the name." When she confronted her father about it, he attempted to explain that "he wants to keep those names in the family" and insisted hers would be different because she was keeping her mom's surname.

She reacted with fury to this explanation, accusing her dad of trying to "steal" her name and promptly canceled her plans for the shared baby shower. According to the post, her actions have left the family "split" with her dad "angry" at her response while her mom remains firmly on her side.

But while her decision appears to have divided her loved ones, on social media people appeared united in their condemnation of her dad's decision.

Missmegz1492 said: "This sounds suspiciously like your father wants a do-over...the same first and middle names for two children? No."

Potential_Speech_703 was incredulous, asking: "Wtf is wrong with these guys? I mean.. wtf.. none of them thinks this is totally weird and wrong??"

Bollige felt that the dad's reasoning that he wanted to keep the name "in the family" felt like he "doesn't consider his daughter to be part of it."

Unusual_Road_9142 spotted another flaw in the dad's logic writing: "Keeping the name 'in the family' also makes no sense. If either of the Helenas marry their last name will be different."

Another user, TheRestForTheWicked, felt the stepmom was equally to blame. "Yeah like your stepmom obviously KNEW your name so what in the fresh hell was she thinking?!" they noted.

Anndor, meanwhile, wasn't surprised the woman called off the plans for the joint baby shower. "Keeping the exact same name definitely feels like a do-over," they said. "And then wanting the daughter he is literally replacing to fund the babyshower for the replacement?!"

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

An older man and a pregnant woman
Stock image of an older man and a pregnant woman. An expectant couple has sparked fury with its choice of baby name. piovesempre/Getty