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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
NZ couple to name child Superman
By Phil Mercer
BBC News

Baby to be named Superman
Superman's parents say they will still refer to him as 4Real
A couple in New Zealand is planning to call their newborn son Superman after officials rejected their original choice of 4Real.

Pat and Sheena Wheaton have been frustrated by rules in New Zealand banning names that begin with a number.

Mum and Dad decided to call their son 4Real after seeing an ultrasound image of him. It was then they realised that their baby was "for real".

They are considering legal action to force officials to reverse the ruling.

Name game

The name might sound more like a comedian's catchphrase or a fruit juice, but the Wheatons were deadly serious.

Sadly for them, the authorities in New Zealand did not share their enthusiasm for the unusual - their choice was rejected by the country's registrar of births, deaths and marriages.

The rules state that first names starting with a number are not allowed.

The law also advises parents to avoid names that could cause their child to be teased or made fun of.

Undeterred, the Wheatons now plan to call their newborn son Superman, but have said they will refer to him as 4Real.

The baby's family argues that if people can be known as John Williams III, for example, then why can a number not be used at the beginning of a name?

Officials in New Zealand have been involved in similar disputes before.

In the past they have had to intervene to stop parents naming their offspring Satan and Adolf Hitler.

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