A boy called Emma?: Proposed Finnish naming law By Aaron May 21, 2015 Share Share Copy Link Imagine a boy named Emma or a girl named Joshua. Sounds strange? Sounds normal? In Finland, these gender-switching names may become a reality. The current Finish naming law, dating from 1985, is about to be obsolete. Until now, the law banned giving a female child a male name, and a male child a female name, but a new proposal may change that. The law, considered controversial by some, would allow parents to give their children names regardless of the gender to which they might be associated. However, chosen names may not be offensive, inappropriate or incite harm to children. Other countries also have unique naming laws, such Norway where you must ask for permission to change your surname to one that 200 or fewer people bear. In the US, many states require that names need to adhere to the 26 letters of a standard keyboard. So a child can be called Jose, but not José. In other countries, certain names are banned. What do you think of the proposed Finnish law? Should a name should be clearly male or female, or is there some leeway? Are there any gender-switched names in your family tree? Let us know in the comments below.