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23rd Apr 2024

Couple win fight to give baby ‘banned’ name after registrar tried to stop them

Nina McLaughlin

The registrar reportedly compared it to calling the child Hitler

A couple who had to battle against their local register to get their baby’s name of choice have spoken out after they were told their child would  ‘never succeed in life’ with their desired name.

Dan and Mandy Sheldon, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, welcomed their little one back in 2020, and settled on the name Lucifer.

However, their registrar wasn’t having any of it, and told the new parents that their four-month-old would ‘never get a job’ with that name.

In Christianity, Lucifer is synonymous with Satan and the devil. However, the Sheldons said they are not religious.

Dad Dan said in an appearance on This Morning that he found the registrar’s attitude ‘very hurtful’. He added that, in Latin, Lucifer means ‘bearer of light’.

“The Christian meaning is that Lucifer is the fallen angel, but before the Christian meaning, in Latin, it means the bringer of life,” he explained.

“So it depends on what part of history you choose to take the meaning from.”

He went on to explain their experience with the registrar: “At one point she referred to Hitler and said “Why don’t you call your little boy Hitler?”. And that was a bit of a strange comment.”

Dan explained that the official ‘wouldn’t leave it’, and kept arguing over the name despite them explaining they understood what it meant.

“‘It was very hurtful yeah, we were gobsmacked,” he continued.

“We didn’t know what to say. We said we understood the name and thanks for her opinion, but she carried on and wouldn’t leave it. 

“At one point, we were asked to leave the room and we had to ask if it was law we couldn’t call our baby Lucifer.”

During the TV appearance, Dan was asked whether he was aware of the implications before going to the registry office.

He replied: “I think in this day and age it shouldn’t be a concern, everyone is entitled to their views. 

“I’m not religious but they have their views and the council did and it was very hurtful, on a day which should have been very joyous.”

On their choice of name, Dan explained that they had been struggling, and settled on Lucifer because it was ‘strong’.

“We were struggling to come up with a name,” he explained. “It means bearer of light and we thought this was a strong name. 

“It’s one to remember and it’s not very popular, so we chose that one.”

Derbyshire County Council have apologised for the incident, and said in a statement: “We apologise if they were offended but it is the job of our registrars to advise in these matters as sometimes people are not aware of certain meanings or associations around certain names.”

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