For-Profit Baby Names

Money for Baby Names

California mom-to-be Natasha Hill, the woman who was supposed to be getting $5,000 for allowing strangers to name her unborn baby via Belly Ballot, isn’t really pregnant.

She isn’t even really named “Natasha Hill.”

Her name is Natasha Lloyd, and she’s an actress who was hired by the website’s founder to help drum up publicity.

Yep–the whole thing was a hoax. The folks at Today.com were the ones to figure it out.

When TODAY Moms first reported on the contest, some readers were incredulous; they couldn’t believe a real mom would do such a thing. Now it appears they were right.

Except…they weren’t. Several “real moms” (and dads) have done this very thing. For-profit baby naming schemes are ridiculous, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re not legit.

Here are all the for-profit baby names (and attempted for-profit baby names) I can think of:

*I never blogged about these three, so here are the details:

  • In 2001, Jason Black and Frances Schroeder of New York tried to auction off the name of the their third child (first son) via Yahoo and eBay. They were aiming for a corporate sponsor, so the bidding started at $500,000. No one bid. They ended up naming the baby Zane Black.
  • In 2002, Bob and Tracy Armstrong from Florida tried to auction off the name of their baby (gender unknown) via eBay. After eBay pulled the auction for the third time, they decided not to try again.
  • In 2002, Heather and Steve Johnston of Washington state tried to auction off the name of their baby boy via eBay. The bidding started at $250,000. I found no follow-up stories, so I imagine the auction was either pulled or unsuccessful.

Video games on one end, $15,000 on the other…such wildly different values placed on baby names. Kinda fascinating, isn’t it?

Sources: $5,000 online baby-name contest revealed as hoax, Mom crowdsources baby name for $5,000

P.S. More hoaxes here.

3 thoughts on “For-Profit Baby Names

  1. It seems hideous, but a lot of people seem to turn to strangers on the Internet to help name their baby. Asking them to pay for the privilege just takes it one just-not-right step further.

    The thing I can’t understand is how this helps the business promote themselves – don’t they just look … well, evil?

    And how do they ensure the parents don’t have the child’s name legally changed afterwards? Or don’t they care?

  2. I think a lot of businesses (e.g. Golden Palace) aren’t too concerned with how stuff like this makes them look, so long as it gets their name out in front of potential customers.

    Any press is good press, I guess…

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