A naming law restricts the names that parents can legally give to their children, usually to protect the child from being given an offensive or embarrassing name. Many countries around the world have such laws, with most governing the meaning of the name, while some only govern the scripts in which it is written.
In Imperial China, a naming taboo prevented people from using the same names as the reigning Emperor.
Under the Law on Personal Names, first names are picked from a list of approved names (18,000 female names and 15,000 male names as of Jan 1st 2016). One can also apply to Ankestyrelsen for approval of new names, e.g. common first names from other countries. Names must indicate gender, cannot have surname character, and must follow Danish orthography (e.g. Cammmilla with three m's is not allowed).
Since 1993 the choice has been free in France unless it is decided that the name is contrary to the interests of the child. Before that time the choice of first names was dictated by French laws that decreed which names were acceptable. Napoleon Bonaparte created the law.
Names have to be approved by the local registration office, called Standesamt, which generally consults a list of first names and foreign embassies for foreign names. The name has to indicate gender, it cannot be a last name or a product, and it cannot negatively affect the child. If the name submitted is denied, it can be appealed; otherwise a new name has to be submitted. A fee is charged for each submission.
Umlauts (ä, ö, ü) and/or the letter ß in family names are recognized as an important reason for a name change. (Even just the change of the spelling, e.g. from Müller to Mueller or from Weiß to Weiss, is regarded as name change. In German ID cards and passports, however, such names are spelled in two different ways: the correct way in the non-machine-readable zone of the document [Müller] and transcribed [Mueller] in the machine-readable zone of the document, so persons unfamiliar with German orthography may get the impression that the document is a forgery. German credit cards may use the correct or the transcribed spelling only. It is recommended to use the exactly same spelling in the machine-readable zone of the passport for airline tickets, visas, etc. and to refer to this zone if being asked questions.) Internationally and by many electronic systems, ä / ö / ü are transcribed as ae / oe / ue, and ß is transcribed as ss.
During the Nazi period, Germany had a list of approved names to choose from that was passed on January 5, 1938 as the "Second Regulation under the law re The changing of Family and Given names." The law had one list of names for ethnic Germans and another for Jews.
A child's name must be chosen from a list of pre-approved names. If the intended name is not on the list, the parents need to apply for approval. Applications are considered by the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences following a set of principles. Children born to a foreign citizen may have their name chosen according to foreign law.
Parents are limited to choosing children's names from the Personal Names Register, which is a list of about 1800 names for each gender. The Icelandic Naming Committee maintains the list and hears requests for exceptions.
Names considered ridiculous or shameful are banned by law.
Similarly to China, Japan has a certain set of characters that can be used in a child's name.
A law to ban russified names was proposed.
On and after 2006, the National Registration Department of Malaysia (JPN) may decline to register objectionable or undesirable names, including names based on titles, numbers, colors, vegetables, fruits, vulgarities, and equipment. Parents who wish to register such names despite JPN objection must make a statutory declaration to that effect. 
Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act of 1995, names are prohibited which "might cause offence to a reasonable person; or [...] is unreasonably long; or without adequate justification, [...] is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank." This is determined by the Department of Internal Affairs, which is responsible for registering names at birth.
In April 2009, a six-year-old Norwegian boy named Christer pressed his parents to send a letter to King Harald V to approve his name being changed to "Sonic X". They allowed Christer to write it himself but did not send it until he badgered them further, and the king responded that he could not approve the change because Christer was not eighteen years old.
Portugal has a set list of names approved and not approved published periodically by the Institute of Registration at the Ministry of Justice.
Swedish first names "shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name."
The authorities of Tajikistan have announced the preparation of a list of 3,000 pre-approved names, all referred to Tajik's culture, thus banning Arabic/Islamic names and suffixes, deemed divisive.
Among increasingly religious Tajiks, Islamic-Arabic names have become more popular over Tajik names.
The Tajik government has used the word "prostitute" to label hijab wearing women and enforced shaving of beards, in addition to considering the outlawing of Arabic-Islamic names for children and making people use Tajik names. Tajikistan President Rakhmon (Rahmon) has said that the Persian epic Shahnameh should be used as a source for names, with his proposed law hinting that Muslim names would be forbidden after his anti hijab and anti beard laws.
The UK has no law restricting permitted names, but names which contain obscenities, numerals, misleading titles, or are impossible to pronounce are likely to be rejected by the Registering Officer. 
Restrictions vary by state, and most are imposed for the sake of practicality. For example, several states limit the number of characters in a name, due to limitations in the software used for official record keeping. For similar reasons, some states ban the use of numerals or pictograms. A few states ban the use of obscenities. Conversely, a few states, such as Kentucky, have no naming laws whatsoever. Courts have interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment as generally supporting the traditional parental right to choose their children's names.
One naming law that some find restrictive is California's ban on diacritical marks, such as in the name José. The Office of Vital Records in the California Department of Public Health requires that names contain only the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language. There is no law restricting the informal use of diacritical marks and many parents do this.
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