Mom Asks If She’s Wrong For Changing Adopted Son’s Name After Learning The Truth Behind His Birth Name

She was a bit harsh, but she got her point across.

woman and baby Pexels / Anna Shvets

When it comes to family drama, sometimes the best thing a person can do is get the opinion of someone who has no stakes in the situation. 

There is a Reddit community called “Am I the A–Hole?” that allows exactly for that. It is a forum where folks can post about the struggles that they experience in their lives.

One woman was praised by users for how she handled the legal change of her adoptive son’s name, even though she did not get permission from the birth family.


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A woman took in a newborn because the birth parents suffered from addiction.

The post began with her revealing that she and her husband took in his cousin Sue’s newborn “due to her and her partner John's addiction issues,”

She expressed that it wasn’t a decision she regretted, even though it was a “major life change.”

Her social life and her job had to go in order to take care of the baby. It was also during lockdown for the pandemic, so she was “isolated during covid with a baby.”


“It was supposed to be temporary while they went to rehab,” wrote the mother.

The birth couple did not ever go to rehab, and they did not follow through with the “safety plan” that child protective services set up. 

She wrote that neither the mother nor the father’s family would “abide by the safety plan or any of the CPS recommendations.”

So for two months after the adoptive mother took care of the baby, the birth parents were nowhere to be found.

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She revealed that she petitioned to change the baby’s name.

“Now two years later my husband and I have full legal custody and CPS has closed the file,” she wrote.


“At birth, John and Sue named the boy Steven to 'honor' John's brother who died of an overdose.”

She says Steven's overdose occurred while he was partying and taking drugs with John and Sue, who was pregnant at the time. She also mentioned that neither she nor her husband had ever called the baby by that name.

“We always called him Davey (his middle name),” she wrote.

They decided to change the name to David Owen Smith from Steven David Jones, after Sue and her husband’s grandfather. 

The name Owen comes from her own father who “accepted him as grandson from day one.”

“My husband thinks I went too far but I feel they pushed me to the end,” she wrote. She also expressed that the birth family “blew up my social media and messaging”.


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The birth family believed that she was “nothing more than a babysitter and [she’s] not the real mother.”

They even called her a “baby thief”, even though they refused to help her care for the newborn. 

“So I snapped and responded back that MY son's name will honor good men that he could proudly emulate.”

In her backtalk, she labeled her son's birth parents "junkies" and claimed that his biological father's "only accomplishment is that he [overdosed] before he went to prison.”

Many readers took to the comment section so they could reassure her that she was not the “A–hole”.


“His [biological] parents only care because it takes away the last bit of control they assumed they had. If you’re doing everything for him and he’s legally in your custody, you have the right to change his name” wrote one user.

Another said, “NTA — you are looking out for YOUR SON.”

“These people have pushed you and instigated you. Could you have ignored them or used kinder words? Sure. But should you have? I’m gonna go with no,” they continued.

“They needed a harsh dose of the truth. Block them on everything and keep David away from them.”

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Taylor Haynes is a writer based in Chicago. She writes for Entertainment & News at YourTango. You can find her on Instagram here.