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Deaf Couple Had Their Baby Officially Registered With A Sign Name

VIDEO [CC] - Deaf baby becomes first person in Britain to have her sign language name that means smiley face legally recorded on her birth certificate.

LONDON - A Deaf couple have become the first people in Britain to record their baby's name in sign language on her birth certificate.

Theatre director Paula Garfield, 47, and her partner Tomato Lichy, 39, from Wembley, north London, wanted to record Hazel's name in British Sign Language (BSL), but said they were initially told by their local Brent Register Office that it was impossible.

Now their personal name for four-year-old Hazel, a reference to her smiling face, has pride of place on her birth certificate - as UbOtDDstarL.

Hazel's sign name, like many others, is not simply the letters H-A-Z-E-L spelt out.

Instead it is a made-up combination of symbols which, when taken in context, describes her personality in a way only her parents and friends can fully understand.

Hazel's sign name is written as UbOtDDstarL, which represents a combination of hand movements.

The U represents the chin, bO means a 'baby O' made with the thumb and forefinger, tD means 'hands facing the signer', Dstar means 'the handshape opens' and L shows the shape of the hand.

Put that together and it makes a small O shape held at the chin, which then opens into an L shape.

Ms Garfield told MailOnline she had a battle of up to nine months with the Register Office. The issue was finally sorted around four years ago, but the case has had little publicity.

'My daughter's sign name is what it is because her first expression was a smile,' she said. 'There's no way to translate it perfectly into English.

'But we went to the register office and they said it was "ridiculous, you can't register a sign name, don't be silly". So we got in touch with a solicitor, who said the law allows people to have their name on a birth certificate "in their own language".' ... Read more:
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