Marriage Celebrant
  Karen Dearing J.P

Click here to edit subtitle


Legal Considerations in Naming Ceremonies

When a child is born in Australia (even on the way to Australia) he or she is immediately considered and recognised as an Australian. The birth must be registered with the The Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State where the baby was born.

The parents are required to complete a registration form giving details such as the date of birth, name of the baby, details of the baby's parents and the doctor or midwife who attended the birth. Copies of the document, known as either a Birth Registration Statement or Birth Registration Form (this name can vary between the different states) are available at hospitals, birthing centres and also from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, in most cases the form is give out to the parents by hospital staff.

Each completed form must be sent to Births Deaths and Marriages within 60 days of the birth of the baby and is compulsory,  there is no fee for registering the birth of a child, but it is the parents responsibility to  register their childs birth.

All births must be registered (including stillborns) for multiple births, a birth registration statement for each baby must be completed. Once a birth is registered, a birth certificate and/or a commemorative birth certificate can be obtained by applying to Births Deaths and Marriages. In most states the registry charges a fee to supply birth certificates; the amount depends upon whether it is a standard birth certificate or a commemorative one.

The family name of the baby is usually the father's family name, or the mother's or a combination of both. All of the options are legal family names for the baby.

Regardless of marital status, both parents are required to sign the birth registration statement/s. In the event that only one parent is registering the child's birth, the registry office will require a letter attached to the statement detailing why it is not practicable to obtain the signature of the other parent.

Celebrant Role in the Legal Process

My role as the celebrant has no legal obligation, or any involvement in the registration of the birth. My role is to create and provide a memorable naming ceremony that meets the requirements of my clients. 

What is a Name Giving Ceremony

A namegiving ceremony gives parents, godparents and guardians the opportunity to acknowledge and pledge their responsibility and role they will play in the growth of their child and the child’s future.

Together we can craft a very personal and expressive ceremony where you can include any family traditions or incorporate any symbols that may have an important meaning to you.

Some Symbols to consider:         

Unity Candle-lighting, Scattering of flower petals (rose petals are usually nice), Sprinkling of Magic Dust, Planting a tree in honour of your little one.                                              


What's Included

  • A relaxed obligation free interview to discuss your requirements, please allow approx 45minutes for the first meeting.
  • Presentation of Naming Certificate/s as part of the ceremony presented at the conclusion of the ceremony to the parents.
  • A certificate of appreciation for the godparents and guardians can be arranged. (please discuss with celebrant)
  • Other consultations as required by email, phone or in person.
  • I will arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the commencement of the ceremony.
  • Professional presentation of the ceremony.
  • Beautifully presented keepsake of the child’s ceremony

At the first meeting, we will:

Discuss conditions of engagement: i.e. fees etc
Confirm the date, time and venue
Discuss the ceremony requirements:-
              Confirm names of parents and the baby, and the baby's age at the time of the ceremony
              Confirm whether other significant adults or children will be involved in the ceremony
              Show examples of ceremonies and selection of readings and poems
              Show examples of the presentation certificates
              Discuss ideas for the ceremony
              Discuss ways to personalise the ceremony i.e. rituals
              Discuss whether the meaning of the name is to be a feature of the ceremony
              Whether there will be guests with special needs i.e. elderly grandparents, parents of babies
              How many guests will be attending
              Will a PA system be required if an outdoor setting, the size of the venue and number of guests will determine this

I look forward to hearing from you soon to discuss your requirements

Karen Dearing
Civil Celebrant