Would you sell the right to name your baby?

In February of 2005, Melissa Heuschkel of Connecticut was pregnant with her fourth* child and [f]rustrated by her inability to come up with a name that she felt would be inspiring and different.” So she put the name of her unborn baby up for auction on eBay.

Online casino GoldenPalace.com won the auction “in the final few hours of bidding” with an offer of $15,100.

When Melissa’s baby girl was born on April 27, she was named Golden Palace, nickname “Goldie.”

If a stranger offered you double that — $30,000 — for the right to name your next child, what would you say? Remember, this person would have free rein. You’d never have to use the name, but it must appear on the birth certificate.

If you’d say yes, why? (And, what would you do with the money?) If you’d say no, why not? (And, would you change your mind if the amount were higher?)


*Melissa’s three older children are named Beth, James, and Katarina.

6 thoughts on “Would you sell the right to name your baby?

  1. Hmmm…
    $30,000 is a nice start to a college fund, and the child could legally changed his/her name at some point…
    I would have to know what kind of name they were considering.

  2. Now that’s interesting.

    But no. No, a thousand times no. Let’s put it this way: we cloth diaper partially because there aren’t cartoon characters on bumGenius diapers. We do watch television, but try to limit TV tie-in toys, and never buy TV tie-in clothing, lunchboxes, etc. I’m worried about the impact of consumer culture on my kids. So even if I didn’t have strong opinions about a child’s name, the idea of making it a consumer product? No. Not for $500,000.

    As it happens, this was a big joke a few years ago when I was expecting my son. The new football stadium in town was auctioning off naming rights, and I served on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit engaging in a similar exercise with a community center. But it was a *joke.* We really weren’t going to name our son Heinz.

  3. No. $30,000 is chump change. I might consider it for a million, which could take care of the child pretty well, but even then, I don’t know. I don’t think ‘the woman who sold her child’s name’ is a good title, and it doesn’t seem to say much good that the first thing you do to your child is, essentially, to exploit them.

  4. I am goldens sister. Golden has became a Buetiful youn g girl and I totally think that it was a good idea.. My mom spent the money for furniture and college funds.

  5. The family of another GoldenPalace.com baby was also given $15,000:

    And his parents gave him a name: GoldenPalace.com. That’s the baby’s name. GoldenPalace.com Silverman. As part of an ad campaign, the Internet casino paid $15,000 for the naming rights. It’s not even original. Other children, even a grownup, share that same name.

    This baby was born on May 19, 2005.

    Source: Parents Gamble On Baby Boy’s Name

  6. As of mid-2006, there were a total of 3:

    Since then, the company has paid at least three mothers more than $15,000 apiece to name their newborns GoldenPalace.com. The company said the mothers agree that the children will keep the names.


    “This is a new step in edgy marketing,” GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe says about brand names as baby names.

    Source: Stringer, Kortney. “Leaving Tradition Behind: Brand-named babies: Parents Seek to Be Different — or Just Make Money.” Detroit Free Press 12 June 2006.

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