Milton nonprofit Children Without Borders changes name after dispute with Doctors Without Borders

Children Without Borders, the small Milton nonprofit whose name landed it in a trademark dispute with the international, Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders, has changed its name to Children’s Well-Being.

The new name “captures the range of benefits and programs we offer our clients who rely on us to stay healthy and escape poverty. This is a step forward,’’ Jennifer Tegan, executive director of Children’s Well-Being, said today in a statement.

Children’s Well-Being, founded by an orthopedic surgeon from Milton in 2007, sets up clinics in Costa Rica to provide medical care and services to families in need. Officials say it cares for thousands of children and parents each year.


Dr. George Whitelaw, the founder, said the organization has “remained dedicated to our cause and focused on helping those that rely on the Children Without Borders clinics to be healthy.’’

“I’m proud of the challenges we’ve overcome and excited for the future as Children’s Well-Being Foundation,’’ he said in the statement.

The officials said the name change reflected their organization’s “evolution’’ since its inception. “The name change is also the result of a trademark dispute with another nonprofit organization,’’ the organization said.

The Globe reported in 2010 that Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name, Medecins Sans Frontieres, had sent the Milton organization a cease-and-desist letter.

Doctors Without Borders officials said they were acting to protect their doctors, many of whom work in dangerous countries, and they did not want confusion to be generated about their group’s “working principles.’’

The Milton organization preemptively filed a federal lawsuit against Doctors Without Borders, seeking a judgment declaring that its name did not infringe on the larger organization’s trademark. The dispute never went to court and was settled between the two groups without the smaller organization having to pay any damages, a Children’s Well-Being official said.


Children’s Well-Being said it planned to celebrate its new name and expanded programs tonight at a Hingham fundraising event. More information can be found online at

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