Foetus's middle-name naming rights for sale to highest bidder

A Los Angeles couple is selling middle name rights to their adorable foetus: "Our list of hopefuls includes SONY, SAAB, Jet Blue, Converse, Hot Pocket, Gibson, and Ludwig (we're musicians). 5-year renewable contract. $750,000. We'll throw in a tattoo of your company's logo for a million." No idea if they're serious, but whatever floats yer boat. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. My heart leapt when I saw the headline, thinking that JG Thrilwell was perhaps doing a new album and was doing some kind of stunt around auctioning off the name he would do it under.

    Instead, it’s just crazy people who have somehow managed to extend stage parenting and the exploitation of the child into the womb.

    Unless the musical family doing this *is* JG Thirlwell’s. In that case, it’s AWESOME!

  2. The name of your child is never something that should be taken lightly. Deliberate misspellings (in the name of “uniqueness”) and stupid shit like this should be considered a form of child abuse. I really hope it’s a joke.

  3. If I had the money I’d pay to have “My parents are greedy assholes” tattooed on their kid.

    I assume though that this is a lame attempt at an attention grabbing joke.

  4. Middle name, schmiddle name. My _last_name is Converse. Of course, the last time I asked at the sporting goods store if I could get my Chuck Taylors for a discount, they laughed.

    But at least my kids can wear stuff that says All Star on it.

  5. Eye dunno…. I see everybody’s point… but if you’re just talking about a middle name, in exchange for enough money to go to a great college and almost enough to retire on…. it might be worth it! If the kid comes from lower or lower-middle class, this amount of money would be life-changing; he’d be free to pursue whatever dream he wanted. And his middle name would just be a funny story.

    (I’ve always been embarrassed about my middle name, which is why only my closest friends and family know it – problem solved.)

    But that’s just devil’s advocate. I still think it’s kinda creepy.

  6. Heck, I’d change my first name that amount. I bet my kids would agree to something similar too.

    $750k is a high price. I hope they have a backup name picked.

  7. Raise it to a million, and give all of it to the kid when he/she reaches 18. Otherwise, we come with torches and pitchforks.

  8. The joke is on the highest bidder. You can’t bestow a legal name until birth, and by then it’s no longer a foetus.

    1. Can a contract even affect a party that can’t legally consent like this? (This is of course, assuming a contract is drawn up.)

  9. They don’t actually say they’re willing to tattoo the infant – the tattoo could be on one of the parents. However, if it’s on the infant, that’s a very serious charge of child abuse if it happens.

  10. I can see where Knodi gets their point. For me, I can see that as long as the company continues to renew, the child will always have a job. These days, at least in the US, jobs are about as rare as an albino moose. It’d seem harsh, but since it’s a middle name it’s not going to be given out much in grade school.

    I can understand Baldhead’s comment as I was a child with an intentionally miss spelled name. However, most of the time growing up, it just made things easier to identify as mine compared to regular spelling children of the same age.

    There is, of course pros and cons to this while thing, and it’s understandable that no one would want to force a child into the situation as opposed to it being their choice to do so at age 18. But, people do that all the time with their children. Parents are always molding their kids to be what they, the parent, wants them to be and be capable of to survive. This name selling doesn’t seem to be that aggressive of a tactic to ensure the child’s future.

  11. . . . who in their right mind would blow 750K of their corporate cash for somebody’s middle name?? Unless the parents are already quite famous, there’s just no way that a corporation is going to get its money’s worth.

    This is either a joke, or a failure to price appropriately.

  12. I would sell my middle name for a fraction of that. A small fraction. Like most people, I never use it anyway, and I’ll happily accept a big wad of cash and a piece of weird personal trivia in exchange for it.

    Any bids?

  13. These parents are awesome. Seriously, what kid wouldn’t agree to carry a corporate middle name in exchange for basically never having to worry? I’d swap mine in a second for a full refrigerator, parents who didn’t have to do overtime constantly just to keep us in discount clothes, a real choice of colleges, etc.

    I realize this is a jokey sort of thing anyway but I address my comments to the haters in the audience.

  14. So basically, the parents are engaging in child prostitution. It just so happens that they are offering the sale to corporate entities rather than individual pedophile slimeballs.

    No consent by the child, and they are also saying they’ll allow permanent bodily marking by the corporate “john” at a negotiated price.

    Exactly where does this being a “good idea” end? Brothels used to (and probably still do) sell the virginity of girls to the highest bidder. Or why not a contract to sell your child’s “unnecessary” or “redundant” organs?

    For you, as an adult over the age of majority, sure. Go for it. Sell your name and body space to the highest bidder. That’s a contract between consenting adults/entities. Don’t even try to tell me that doing this to your child amounts to anything less than parentally sanctioned non-consensual prostitution.

    1. Not the best analogy. All parents name their children without the child’s consent. If selling that right to another person is child prostitution, then naming the kid yourself is child rape.

      And don’t forget the part about the tattoo (if not the whole story) is almost certainly a joke.

  15. Jesus… how cynical are we going to get? Acknowledging our corporate overlords via our unborn children? Either they’re for real, and totally f*cked up, or they’re trying to “stick it to the man” by asking an exorbitant sum for the opportunity to advertise on a human being, which is equally f*cked up and also won’t matter a whit to the corporation paying for the “privilege”, since $750,000 is mere pocket change to most of them.

    Stop being so cynical, people. It’s not helping anything.

  16. Seriously, do NOT try to tell me that standard parental prerogative involving the health and well being of a child is a form of rape. I would use that word a lot more carefully.

    And do not try to tell me that choice of name (or the sale thereof) does not have an impact on that same health and well being.

    I have never met or heard of a parent offering the sale of their child’s name. That’s where it stops being an issue of expected societal parental prerogative and becomes a transaction.

    Joke or not, the tattoo is in the listing which presents itself as serious and has a price attached. That pretty well qualifies it as a negotiated price for services.

    Everybody likes to bag on “slippery slope” arguments. But it does stand – if you’re willing to sell something as integral to your child’s persona as his/her name, how much more of that child would you be willing to sell later?

    Sorry, but if anybody seriously wants to defend this, then I submit to the court that their right to breed should be revoked.

    1. Seriously, do NOT try to tell me that standard parental prerogative involving the health and well being of a child is a form of rape. I would use that word a lot more carefully.

      Of course it isn’t, that was the point! If I were you I’d use words like “child prostitution” a lot more carefully.

      1. Pardon me, sir. Your privilege is showing. This is absolutely not the place or the time to go into the ramifications of the word rape nor its effects on those who have experienced it.

        But, I’ll grant this – maybe the prostitution reference was hastily chosen as well.

        So, if you’d prefer a change of metaphor, then let’s talk about it in terms of property.

        It is still, in fact, a rather definite line being crossed.

        Your name is the single most common identifier you have. Very few things belong to you in the same way as your name. The world relates to you by your name. I can’t think of anything that is more intimately owned by an individual. Your name and the identity you attach to it could be seen as the original form of intellectual property.

        And these parents would sell that out from underneath their child. So is it instead property theft?

        1. So we’re now agreed that it’s inappropriate and distasteful to use sexual assault/forced prostitution as a metaphor for what these parents appear to be doing. Good, that’s all I was trying to say.

  17. Reminds me of those clowns in Colorado where they hoaxed their kid might be in a run-away balloon. This soon to be born child is already handicapped with asshats for parents…welcome to the world kiddo!

  18. I think the moral status of selling middle-name rights would depend strongly on what you do with the money.

    If it goes to the parents, say this is no good. But if, say, it forms the basis of the child’s college fund, or something else the parent’s wouldn’t be able to afford on their own, then I say go for it. The child can always change it when they reach adulthood (since they aren’t bound by any contracts their parents signed) and in the mean time, they don’t need to use the name if they don’t want to.

  19. This is a dumb idea. Who’d pay more than a C-note for somebody’s middle name? Most people’s middle names aren’t widely known outside their families, unless they become serial killers or actors whose first and last names were previously registered into SAG by somebody else. (Many of the same people, ha ha ha.)

    In today’s economy would any business think this was a remotely sound proposition? If the deal went through it’d be newsworthy for about nine hours, just about all the publicity would be bad, and everyone would come out of it looking like assholes.

  20. For everybody saying that $750,000 per year could be a life-changing amount of cash for the kid, allowing them to go to college, live securely, etc. keep in mind that the deal is between the parents and the company. I’d bet dollars to donuts that if it goes through, the parents will spend the majority of the cash immediately on things for themselves, and the poor kid will still be screwed when it gets to college age.

    1. Bingo. The kind of money grubbing assholes who would do this in the first place are just the ones who would squander it.

  21. If this is real, it’s their first kid. They’ll coil into a ball of shame the moment they lay eyes on the baby.

    Unless it’s their fifth or later, of course. Then what the hell.

  22. All I can say is if this works out for the parents, they had better invest every penny and not spend a dime of it. Chances are better than even the child will sue them later on, particularly if they go through with having him/her tattooed.

    People really ought to have to pass some sort of licensing to be able to have kids.

  23. I made name my child a game(not a serious one).
    I joked with my wife about how we should get people to “Fetus A Name” for our child. I know its a terrible pun it led us to make where friends and strangers can suggest and vote on names for our future child.

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