Ceremonies > Baby namings

Holding a ceremony to name or welcome your new baby is the perfect way to celebrate their arrival. Many people ask a humanist celebrant to help them write and present a special celebration for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the inclusion of a stepchild in a family. These ceremonies are much more than simply giving your child a name and often include expressions of love, as well as commitments and hopes for their future.

Each naming ceremony is unique. There is no set pattern or script, so each celebration is created to meet your needs and wishes. You can choose your own words, music, poems and prose, and you may wish to include other family members. If there are other children in the family, they are usually encouraged to join in by reading something they have written, or by presenting a picture or releasing balloons. Some parents mark the occasion with a book in which guests can write a special message; some plant a tree or sponsor a child in a developing country.

As all humanist ceremonies are non-religious, there will be no prayers or hymns and, instead of 'godparents', the equivalent - 'mentors', 'supporting adults' or 'odd parents' - are appointed to provide child with support and encouragement. A typical ceremony lasts about twenty minutes and can be held in your home or garden, or in a hotel or village hall - in fact, anywhere that suits you. After the ceremony, you will receive a presentation copy of the final script as a memento.

To find out more about humanist baby naming or welcoming ceremonies, see our list of celebrants or visit the BHA website www.humanism.org.uk

This page was up to date on 19/04/2013.