The parents, who hail from Tjörn in western Sweden, could think of no better way of keeping Michael Jackson’s memory alive than by giving their newborn daughter the name of the recently deceased music icon, TV4 reports.
But the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), which oversees the approval and registration of names in the country’s national population registry, rejected the couple’s request.
According to the agency, it is inappropriate to give a girl a name which has been well-established as a name for boys.
The rejection comes despite the parents’ wishes to have Michael be one of their daughter’s middle names, rather than her first name.
“It seems ridiculous and we’ve spoken with a friend in the United States who sadi that Michael is a unisex name,” the mother told TV4.
According to the database of names maintained by Statistics Sweden (SCB), there are currently 38 women in Sweden with the name Michael, two of whom have Michael as their first name.
The family said they are considering launching an appeal against the Tax Agency’s ruling.