Iceland’s restrictive baby naming law is in the news again. Last year the problem was Blær, this year it’s Harriet.
Tristan Cardew (of Britain) and his wife Kristin (of Iceland) live in Iceland and have two children: Duncan, 12, and Harriet, 10. Duncan’s and Harriet’s Icelandic passports have always listed them as Drengur Cardew (Boy Cardew) and Stúlka Cardew (Girl Cardew) because Iceland doesn’t officially recognize their non-Icelandic names.
Not long ago, Tristan and Kristin tried to renew Harriet’s passport ahead of a vacation, but the National Registry in Reykjavik denied their request. They are appealing the decision. (In the meanwhile, they’ve gotten Harriet an emergency UK passport from the British embassy.)
The Cardews could get round Harriet’s problem by giving her an Icelandic middle name.
“But it’s a bit late for that, and way too silly,” said [Tristan] Cardew. “Are they saying they don’t want us here?”
I’m not sure how much support/criticism the name law gets from residents of Iceland, but Jón Gnarr, former mayor of Reykjavik, has called the law “unfair, stupid [and] against creativity.”
What other names has Iceland declared illegal? Here are links to all of the approved and rejected baby names in Iceland.