Naming pre-born deceased children


Something I read here this morning prompted me to consider the question of naming deceased children who were never born. Before my wife and I married we lived together for 4 years, both Catholics but not practicing. During those years we conceived two children 2 years apart. The first was an eptopic pregnancy (in the Fallopian tube, not the uterus). There was zero chance of survivability so the fetus was removed at about 5 weeks old. Really not much beyond the embryonic state but still a child with a soul. The second child was a miscarriage about a month and a half into the pregnancy. We did not have a chance to know the sex. Both of us are now practicing and devoted Catholics and have one beautiful, healthy teenage daughter. Once we got serious about our faith we talked a lot about the two children we lost and we pray for/to them, referring to them as our unborn children. We’ve often wondered if they were going to be boys or girls. We never thought of naming them to give them some sort of identity but after seeing posts on the subject I’m wondering if that’s something we should do or if there is any necessity in it at all, not knowing their sex? There were several different names we considered for our daughter before we knew she was going to be a girl but I don’t know if we’d want to “give” those names to our deceased unborn children. I’m also curious if anyone else has done this or had these same questions.

Because I just thought of this I don’t know how my wife would feel about it. Just curiousity for me right now, I guess.

totus + tuus,



First off, let me say I am so sorry for your losses. :hug1: My DH and I just went through our second early loss and even though you are only blessed with your baby for a short time, it is still very hard to go through the pain of losing your child.

My DH and I decided to name both of our children because we know they are in heaven and were perfect little souls even though their bodies were so small. With our first child, we chose two names–a boy and a girl name–Michael Audrey. With our second, I had a feeling we were having a girl, so we named her Victoria Hope.

I am so glad we did this because it gave more closure to our grief and we can refer to them by name instead of the “first miscarriage” or “second miscarriage.”

All that being said, it is a highly personal decision to name your deceased child–I would never consider it wrong to not name your child, but do consider it a very special way to remember them.

You may want to check out the thread “Mommies of Little Saints” on the parenting forum where many other women have experienced a loss. Not everyone chooses to name their babies, but I do not know a single person who did and regretted it.

God bless.



I’m sorry for your losses. My second goddaughter was “born an angel” at six months gestation due to chromosomal abnormalities. But she had been old enough for us to know that she was a girl.

I would suggest that if you and your spouse decide to name your two angel children, that you both pray about it and see if either of you are led to a feeling as to the gender of the babies. In lieu of that, you could name each with a more or less androgynous name (such as Morgan, Lindsey, etc.) with the second name “Maria.” Many men, and many male saints, had the second name “Maria” in honor of the Blessed Mother. Anyway, I think that’s what I would do.

God bless.


I’m sorry for the loss of your 2 children :hug1:

I too lost a child before knowing the sex but that didn’t stop me from naming him. I was only 9wks 2 days when I miscarried him but both my husband and I had had dreams that he was a boy, so the day I miscarried him, we gave him the name of Julian.

Even if you didn’t know the sex of your babies, you guys can still name them. Did you feel you knew the sex of the baby when your wife was pregnant with each of them? Maybe you can give them 2 names each, one of a boy and one of a girl. Like Kevinsgirl did above.

Please join us on the Mommies of Little Saints on the Parenting forum.


Here is a link to the Shrine of the Holy Innocents

you can place the names of your unborn babies in the Book of Life and they will be prayed for during Masses.

My prayers go out to you and your wife.


I am in the minority it seems, in that I never had any desire to name my lost preborns. My losses were very early, though, less than 12 weeks both times. Perhaps if I had been further along and known the sex… I don’t know.

I guess I just figure God knows their names. I haven’t forgotten them. I wonder sometimes… will I meet them in Heaven (should I make it)? Will they be boys or girls?

Naming can be healing for the parents. But our lost little ones don’t need names. It’s a personal choice. Don’t feel bad if you choose not to. It doesn’t mean you loved them or miss them any less.


Hi Simon,

Firstly, I’m sorry for your loss.

We named ours…but only my husband and myself know the names.

We haven’t shared with our families, I am not sure they would understand.

We haven’t told our living children, we will when they are older.

I use the names in prayer. We had early miscarriages, so we don’t know the genders…we believe the first one was a boy, I sort of feel the second was a boy…but I am not certain.


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