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Government won’t allow couple to name their baby what they want

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Kim Sarubbi and her husband Carl Abramson are suing the state of Tennessee over the right to choose their baby Camden's last name. The state won't allow the name Sabr on the baby's birth certificate. Photo credit: WSMV

Kim Sarubbi and her husband Carl Abramson are suing the state of Tennessee over the right to choose their baby Camden’s last name. The state won’t allow the name Sabr on the baby’s birth certificate. Photo credit: WSMV

A Brentwood couple is suing the state of Tennessee for the right to choose the surname for their newborn son, WSMV reports.

Kim Sarubbi and her husband Carl Abramson named their child Camden Sabr. The last name Sabr is shared by their two older children and is a combination of letters from both of the parents’ last names.

“We had a lot of fun creating the name,” Sarubbi said.

The two older children were born in other states where there was no objection to the newly created surname.

But the state of Tennessee won’t allow the name Sabr on the baby’s birth certificate.

Sarubbi said the day after their son was born, she got a call from Tennessee’s Vital Records office. They told her they couldn’t use the name Sabr, because Tennessee law mandates that a baby’s last name has to be either the father’s last name or a combination of both parent’s last names.

The family is suing the state, with help from the ACLU.

“It’s about changing the law. It’s an outdated law,” Sarubbi said.

“It’s a parental right to name your child whatever you want. It has no bearing on the state whatsoever,” Abramson said.

The couple has two other children, Alex and Maya. They were born in other states, where the combined surname was never an issue.

“Our first two children have Sabr. So to have two kids with one name, but we can’t name the other one Sabr. It’s just bizarre,” Abramson said.

State officials declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.

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14 comments

  • Carol

    This is so stupid. A waste of time, a waste of money and…it’s nobody, s business What they name their child, Period! Why should they need a lawyer to fight for the rights they were given as parents? This is how states such as TN squander money that they could use for the important things. For ex; homeless people, the elderly who can’t afford Dental Services, the foster kids, people without necessities that CANT get them. etc. Tn. , get a life. Your as bad as Ky.

    • Eddie Matsuoka

      it is not the state that is squandering the money, it is the parents. The state has in interest in what a citizen’s last name is. You can’t make up a last name just like you can’t make up your own state. Even with first names the state can stop you(though it may not exercise that right) from naming your kid Hitler or 56767865.

      • Amanda

        Actually, that’s the point.. In (most) States, you absolutely CAN give your child whatever name you want.. Be that a shared marital last name, a hyphenated combo of, if different (often done when/if 1 =difficult to pronounce.. but some may just want to choose 1 or the other) That being said, could name ’em, “Smith”, “Jones” or something completely different too! Believe it or not, the same applies when getting married.. it’s the 1 chance (easiest way) to ever “choose” a shared family last name (or leave as is, which, also a choice) I only know.. because after having 1 everyone mis-pronounced.. my husband decided to take MY last name when we got married. :) We th later gave the sane to our son & we all share MY maiden name. (his job questioned & he’s been given a hard time @DMV etc.. Funny thing is, tho- if u think about it.. it’s NO different than the “norm” of wife changing.. just that he did. =) ) I had done LOTS of research beforehand.. last thing I wanted was 2 end up w/ my name different than my childs! (grew up having a re-married mom.. always hated that her name was different than mine +people always got confused too! ugh) Anyway, I’m sure they’ll fight the decision, if within their rights.. seems they just combined their names +since other 2 kids already have that name.. might help it get put through, regardless. Hope it all works out for them either way. (&pls fact check.. before just assuming.. I mean, we all know where that can lead) =/

      • Zebra Stripes

        I can’t see why the state has an interest in the naming of its citizens outside of things that are offensive.

  • Annie

    So stupid. Just give your children your last. What kind of idiots “make up” a last name for their children??? Total idiots, that’s who.

  • Doug Crubaugh

    People legally change their nam can’t even name our own Childrenes everyday. What is the difference. Let them name their children. What gives TN the right to intrude? We supposedly live in a free country. Now we

  • videoflyer (@videoflyer)

    Interesting….this blaming the parents thing. This is just a guess but I’d wager the folks who seemingly think the state has a case and that the parents are “idiots” are the same folks who reliably vote Republican because they think the GOP will get the government off our backs.

  • Linda Contreras

    As long as the parents last names are on the birth certificate what difference does it make? Seems like governments love to waste money on things that don’t hurt anyone anyway. I don’t understand why government wants so much control over the littlest things these days. They know who the parents are and that should be the end of the story. Maybe a little paragraph about a couple’s creative idea and that’s it!

  • Linda Contreras

    As long as the parents last names are on the birth certificate what difference does it make? Seems like governments love to waste money on things that don’t hurt anyone anyway. I don’t understand why government wants so much control over the littlest things these days. They know who the parents are and that should be the end of the story. Maybe a little paragraph about a couple’s creative idea and that’s it!

  • michael n. catalano

    I like Linda Everly’s logic: otherwise, I agree with the birth state’s ruling. We need ( especially in these times ) accountability……… the parents should legally change their names, or register the child’s as theirs’ now.

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