Woman gets paid $5000 to let the internet name her baby

Nadine Kalinauskas
Shine On
March 1, 2013

Natasha Hill, 27, is letting the internet name her unborn child.

Hill is the winner of a contest run by baby name website Belly Ballot in which she'll be paid $5,000 for letting strangers weigh in on the future moniker of her son or daughter, to be born in September.

"Online voters will choose Baby Hill’s name from a list of five girl and five boy names, supplied by the website, which will include advertiser-sponsored suggestions. Voters will be allowed one vote per person per sex," TODAY reports.

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"I'm so excited to have won!" Hill writes in a post on the Belly Ballot blog. "The whole Belly Ballot concept is so social and fun, and can’t wait to see what everyone votes for!"

Belly Ballot's founder, Lacey Moler, insists that Hill won't be forced to name her first offspring anything "crazy" like Hashtag or Nike.

"Nothing crazy or a brand name or anything," Lacey Moler explains, adding that contest has been so popular — 80 women entered the contest — she might run a second one.

Not everyone thinks crowdsourcing a baby name is a good idea.

"This is crazy. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for even considering this. What are you going to tell your baby when they ask you how you chose their name? Don't do it, you will regret this," the commenter Voice of Reason writes.

Even Hill's boyfriend isn't completely convinced strangers should be trusted with the task.

"He thinks people are going to use it as a chance to do something pranky,” Hill tells NBC San Diego.

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"This might not appeal to everyone, and we definitely respect parents who choose to keep their name and the baby naming process more private," Moler tells SheKnows.com. "However, we are allowing baby naming to become more social, and a lot of parents love being able to include their friends and family in the process."

Hill insists her baby's grandparents are on-board with the unconventional naming strategy.

"Sure, they understand that I'm going through this creative name process. But they know that I’m going to be a loving and nurturing mom, which is the most important part of parenting," she says.

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Hill says she won't look at the website to see which names are up for consideration.

"I'm afraid if I look at them I’ll get my favorite one," says Hill, who had previously considered names including Katorah (no, she doesn't know what it means) and Winter. "And then I’ll be disappointed."

But what if the name is really, truly terrible? Hill suggests she'll use a nickname instead. And since Hill hasn't signed any contracts, she'll likely be able to change the child's name legally without any serious repercussions.

Hill plans to use the $5,000 to pay off debt and start a college fund for her baby.

Voting starts March 18 and ends March 22.

Would you let strangers name your child if the price was right?

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