A couple in Milan, Italy, who had chosen to name their baby daughter “Blu”, was recently ordered by a court to change the name to something more suitable for a girl or risk having it changed for them.
According to a presidential decree issued in the year 2000, “the name given to a child must correspond to their sex” and Italian authorities apparently don’t consider “Blu” – the Italian spelling for ‘blue’ – to be a suitable name for a girl. Despite having already registered the 18-month-old child’s name on her birth certificate and passport, the parents were recently summoned to appear in court last week in order to choose another, more feminine name.
“Given that this is a modern name based on the English word ‘blue’, and that it cannot be considered unequivocally attributable to a person of the female sex, the birth certificate must be rectified by inserting another female name that the parents may propose during the course of the hearing,” the court summons read.
“If we don’t show up on Thursday with an alternative, a judge will decide our daughter’s name for us,” father Luca told Italian newspaper Il Giorno, last week.
Blu’s parents plant to challenge the name change in court, arguing that their daughter’s name is already used as a girl’s name not just overseas – with Blue Ivy, daughter of Jay Z and Beyonce being a well-known example – but also in Italy. Statistics from the national statistics office Istat show that in 2016 there were at least six other Italian females named Blu. Il Giorno reports that there are at least two women called Verde (green) in Milan alone.
Italian newspaper La Republica managed to contact 41-year-old Blu Lapore, from Rome, who said that her mother managed to convince the registrar to accept her name by arguing that names change with the times. She offered the example of ‘Celeste’, which was originally a boy’s name in Italy but by now is almost exclusively given to girls.
If it’s any consolation to young Blu’s parents, they weren’t the only ones summoned by the court last week. Another couple who had named their daughter Blu was also due to appear in front of a judge and offer an acceptable name.