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Can Kim and Kanye's Baby North West Change Her Name?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Kayne West and Kim Kardashian's new baby is being introduced to the world as "North West" -- a name that just begs for someone to change it.

While Kim and Kanye's daughter was born Sunday, she remained a nameless mystery to the media until it was revealed five days later that she'd been given the cardinal direction "North" as her moniker, reports ABC News.

Not that North West isn't a fantastic name, but what if a future North (aka "Nori" to her parents) wanted to ditch her name and maybe just become another Ashley or Emily?

What If North Goes South?

Creative baby names are certainly the province of celebrity parents like Kim and Kanye. (Just ask Gweneth Paltrow's kid Apple or Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit.) Changing your name might sound like a fantastic option if you've been saddled with something bizarre.

North, however, would probably need to wait until she has reached the age of majority in her state -- 18 in many states -- to get a court order to make her name change official.

While going to court isn't necessary in most states, North and other children wishing to eschew their birth names may need a court order in order to change names on bank accounts or to get a new passport.

North West Could 'Go West'

If North wanted to change her name prior to the age of majority in her state, she could, as the Village People once proudly sung, "Go West" to California, where even a 14-year-old can be emancipated.

Emancipation grants a child between the ages of 14 and 18 legal responsibility over themselves and their finances and the right to petition a court for things like name changes.

Although an emancipated North would not be able to drink or vote until the ages of 21 and 18, respectively, she could petition to change her Kimye-given name to something less evocative of Winterfell or compasses.

Off-Limits for Name Changes

While Kanye and Kim naming their child "North" isn't prohibited by law, there are general restrictions on changing a name later in life.

Courts in almost all states will not allow you to change your name to:

  • Evade debts,
  • Take on another name that is just as famous (i.e., "Britney Spears"), or
  • Be deliberately offensive (i.e., using a racial slur or other obscene word).

It is unlikely that someone named North West would choose anything more unusual to call herself, but all sorts of things are possible if she changes her name for marriage.

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