French authorities moved to ban two parents from calling their baby boy "Amber" earlier this year because the name is considered to be feminine and may cause the child to suffer unclear sexual identity, The Telegraph reported.
The baby was born in January but when the two mothers went to register his birth, they were reported to the Lorient prosecutor who said the name was a girl's name and could prove damaging to the boy by causing confusion over his sexual identity.
Amber, or Ambre in French, is considered to be the female version of the word Ambroise, which means "immortal," The Local noted.
However, the boy's mother, Alice Gondelle said she knew of 37 male Ambres in France.
The parents appeared in a family court and, while they initially won the case, the decision was appealed and set for retrial in April 2019.
The couple, who wondered whether they are the victims of homophobia, have gained the backing of Les Enfants d'Arc-en-Ciel, a group campaigning for the rights of gay parents.
"Society is very unfair," said Gondelle, according to The Telegraph. "It allows ridiculous first names like 'Clitorine.' I wonder why it is that with a name as classic and ancient (as Ambre) can't get through and it is the state that is attacking us in the courts?"
It is common for parents to face legal woes when it comes to rules regarding baby names in France, largely because until 1993, they were forced to select from a list of acceptable names set forth by authorities, The Local reported.
In 2011, one couple were prevented from naming their child "Daemon" due to its connotations with the devil, and in 2014 a court ruled against another couple wanting to name their daughter "Nutella" as it could "lead to mockery and unpleasant remarks," Yahoo noted.
The rulings are based upon Article 57 of France's Civil Code, which states that, "when a name, or a combination of names, is considered contrary to the interests of the child, the civic officer shall promptly notify the prosecutor, who may refer the matter to the Family Court."
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