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Can I Change My Daughter's Surname?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 20 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Name Change Child Parental

Q.

My daughter has my surname as her biological father and I weren't married and split when I was a few weeks pregnant. I'm now having my second child and my partner and I are getting married soon. Can I change my daughter's surname to that of my partner?

(L.G, 29 September 2008)

A.

A person with parental responsibility for a child can change the child’s name without any special procedure simply by calling the child by the new name. It is not necessary to change the name by Deed Poll. As the child’s mother, you automatically have Parental Responsibility. However, anyone else with parental responsibility will also have to agree to the Change Of Name. Whether or not you would need the consent of your daughter’s biological father will depend on certain factors.

The biological father of a child may have parental responsibility if he:

  • Was married to the mother when the child was born
  • Was registered on the birth certificate as the child’s father - for births registered from 1 December 2003 onwards
  • Subsequently marries the child’s mother and /or enters into a parental responsibility agreement with the child’s mother
  • Re-register’s the child’s birth so that he is named as the father
  • Gets a court order which gives him parental responsibility for the child

In some cases, a father without parental responsibility could get a court order overturning a change of name if the court decides that the name change is not in the child’s best interest. If objections are raised to the proposed change of name, you could apply for a court order approving the new name.

For a child under 16 years of age, the name can be changed without the child’s permission. However, a child who objects to a change of name could apply for a court order reversing the change. The court would take into account the child’s maturity and understanding of the situation, and any adverse impact it thinks the change could have on the child’s wellbeing.

Proving a Change of Name

For everyday life it is sufficient simply to tell people that you wish the child to be known by a new name. However, for some official functions – such as applying for a passport – something more official may be required. An alternative to changing the name by Deed Poll is to get a statutory declaration. A statutory declaration is a formal document, on which your signature must be witnessed by a solicitor, which could be used to state officially that the child’s name has been changed.

Re- registering the Birth to Show the Change of Name

A name entered on a birth certificate cannot be changed on the original certificate unless it was spelled incorrectly. To record a change of name the birth must be re-registered. However, a birth can only be re-registered to show the name of the biological father or of the child’s adoptive parents.

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Hi, I have a daughter who is 3 and hasn’t seen her biological father since she was 8 months old. He has no contact with her, doesn’t pay maintenance and he’s recently changed his surname. Can I change my daughters to my surname?
Kr55 - 20-Apr-18 @ 9:23 AM
Sue - Your Question:
My daughter is 15 on her birth certificate is her father's surname. As we have not seen or heard from him since she was 2yrs old she chose to be known by my surname and is done by all her schooling etc She want to officially change it as she will be applying for her learners permit bank account etc. We have no $$$ and was wondering how we go about it.

Our Response:
The name can be changed with the father's consent. If consent is given, the cost is £36. If consent is not given, you can apply for a court order - the cost of which is £215. Once you daughter is 16 she can change her name by deed poll anyway, so might make sense to wait until then?
LawAndParents - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:42 PM
Tracy - Your Question:
Hi, I have a 5 year old daughter who has never seen her biological dad. He pays maintenance through his wages being arrested as he’s not willing to pay on his own. Her biological dad wanted nothing to do with her and is not on her birth certificate. I have met a new man who treats my daughter as his own and my daughter loves him as a Dad, we are having a baby together and I wondered would it be possible to change my daughters surname to my partners surname so both my kids have the same surname without the consent of her biological father? It’s my surname she has. Thanks for your time.

Our Response:
You will need the consent of the biological father. If the father refuses consent, you could apply for a court order but the courts will look at all the circumstances and decide based on the best interests of the child.
LawAndParents - 6-Apr-18 @ 12:31 PM
Hi, I have a 5 year old daughter who has never seen her biological dad. He pays maintenance through his wages being arrested as he’s not willing to pay on his own. Her biological dad wanted nothing to do with her and is not on her birth certificate. I have met a new man who treats my daughter as his own and my daughter loves him as a Dad, we are having a baby together and I wondered would it be possible to change my daughters surname to my partners surname so both my kids have the same surname without the consent of her biological father? It’s my surname she has. Thanks for your time.
Tracy - 5-Apr-18 @ 5:41 PM
My daughter is 15 on her birth certificate is her father's surname. As we have not seen or heard from him since she was 2yrs old she chose to be known by my surname and is done byall her schooling etc She want to officially change it as she will be applying for her learners permit bank account etc. We have no $$$ and was wondering how we go about it.
Sue - 31-Mar-18 @ 10:47 PM
Both my boys have my last name but their father is on birth certificate we decided to use my name at time due to circumstances but now we wish to change it to the fathers name how can i go about this in the easiest way possible
Loopz - 6-Mar-18 @ 10:47 PM
Decisions - Your Question:
Hello.me and my future wife decided that after the wedding we will both have hers and mine surname.I have a daughter from a previous marriage that has my surname.if I will add my new wife surname to mine do I have to do the same with my daughter?thank you.

Our Response:
No, your daughter has no connection biologically with your new wife, so there's no reason to do this unless your daughter lives with you and you want her to have the same full name.
LawAndParents - 5-Mar-18 @ 10:05 AM
Hello..me and my future wife decided that after the wedding we will both have hers and mine surname.I have a daughter from a previous marriage that has my surname.if I will add my new wife surname to mine do I have to do the same with my daughter?thank you .
Decisions - 2-Mar-18 @ 2:00 AM
Greentea - Your Question:
Planning on getting married to my new partner, he has been in my daughters life for four years now. When we get married my daughter has requested that she wants the same surname as my partner and I. I was never married to her dad, but I know he will not condone her changing her surname, even though she has my surname since birth. Just confused on what to do, any advice would be helpful. Thanks

Our Response:
You will need to apply for a court order if the natural father will not consent. The court form you need is C100.
LawAndParents - 27-Feb-18 @ 11:12 AM
Planning on getting married to my new partner, he has been in my daughters life for four years now. When we get married my daughter has requested that she wants the same surname as my partner and I. I was never married to her dad, but I know he will not condone her changing her surname, even though she has my surname since birth. Just confused on what to do, any advice would be helpful. Thanks
Greentea - 24-Feb-18 @ 9:17 AM
Mindie - Your Question:
I remarried last year my new partner and have two sons from a previous marriage. I have joint PR with my ex husband with the boys and he pays maintenance and sees them here and there when it suits - basically I provide access 50% of the yearly weekends and extra dates here and there when requested - sadly his parents utilise his access more than him but it’s important I feel they maintain a relationship with them so left the weekends in place ( the boys enjoy it) My youngest ( age 9)wants to change his surname to his step dads but I’m not sure that his biological family are going to approve. how do I stand ?

Our Response:
You will need the consent of his father to change your son's surname. It might be worth talking to the father about this and discussing the possibility of perhaps a double-barrelled alternative? (i.e Using both surnames)
LawAndParents - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:04 PM
I remarried last year my new partner and have two sons from a previous marriage. I have joint PR with my ex husband with the boys and he pays maintenance and sees them here and there when it suits - basically I provide access 50% of the yearly weekends and extra dates here and there when requested - sadly his parents utilise his access more than him but it’s important I feel they maintain a relationship with them so left the weekends in place ( the boys enjoy it) My youngest ( age 9)wants to change his surname to his step dads but I’m not sure that his biological family are going to approve .... how do I stand ?
Mindie - 7-Jan-18 @ 7:07 PM
geoff - Your Question:
My 12yr old step daughter asked me and her mum when are we getting married last-night and she wants my surname can any one help.i have been part of her life for 8 years and she calls me dad her biological father doesn't care owes ££££ in maintenance and for the 1st 2yrs of her life he was abusive, aggressive drugs and drink kept vanishing for days and weeks partying. she has seen him on and off for years a day here a day there but has had no contact now for 18 months+ she said she doesn't want anything to do with him now. can any one please advise on what to do next/implications? thanks

Our Response:
If the biological father won't consent, you will need to apply for a court order to change the name. This costs £215 but you can get help with payment if you're on a low income/benefits.
LawAndParents - 2-Jan-18 @ 2:05 PM
my 12yr old step daughter asked me and her mum when are we getting married last-night and she wants my surname can any one help. i have been part of her life for 8 years and she calls me dad her biological father doesn't care owes ££££ in maintenance and for the 1st 2yrs of her life he was abusive, aggressive drugs and drink kept vanishing for days and weeks partying. she has seen him on and off for years a day here a day there but has had no contact now for 18 months+ she said she doesn't want anything to do with him now. can any one please advise on what to do next/implications? thanks
geoff - 24-Dec-17 @ 10:22 AM
Kelly - Your Question:
Hi, my daughter is 6 years old and I always had a lot of problems with her dad, now he has agreed and said he wants to remove his surname from my daughter's name and "stop being her dad" (his words to her) ?? as I change CSA as collet. Can I remove his surname? What can I Do? He keeps emotionally blackmailing us putting my baby girl and me in so much stress as am pregnant with his second child :/.

Our Response:
A name can be changed by deedpoll with the father's consent. It will not affect CSA payments
LawAndParents - 7-Nov-17 @ 9:50 AM
Hi, my daughter is 6 years old and I always had a lot of problems with her dad, now he has agreed and said he wants to remove his surname from my daughter's name and "stop being her dad" (his words to her) ?? as I change CSA as collet. Can i remove his surname? What can I Do? He keeps emotionally blackmailing us putting my baby girl and me in so much stress as am pregnant with his second child :/.
Kelly - 31-Oct-17 @ 10:07 PM
cat - Your Question:
Hi my daughter has just turned two,her biological father wants nothing to do with her because l was just a bit of fun according to him, he pays maintenance and thats it, hes not down on her birth certificate because l didn't think he was her father do l have to change her surname to his or can l leave it the way it is?

Our Response:
No, if you entered her name on the birth certificate and it's been that way for two years, you do not have to change the surname.
LawAndParents - 20-Oct-17 @ 3:26 PM
Hi my daughter has just turned two,her biological father wants nothing to do with her because l was just a bit of fun according to him, he pays maintenance and thats it, hes not down on her birth certificate because l didn't think he was her father do l have to change her surname to his or can l leave it the way it is?
cat - 18-Oct-17 @ 4:57 PM
My daughter is 21 this year and is considering changing her surname to my new married one. Her farthers name is on her birth certificate but we left when she was 5 years old and he has never bothered with her. How does shr stand legally and what does she have to do to change it. Many thanks
Minty - 29-Apr-17 @ 1:48 PM
I'm 15 years old and 6months. My biological dad and mom broke up 5/6 years ago,my dad was rarely there when I was younger he was always out drinking and with other women, he has always favouritised my older brother who is currently 18. I also found out as a baby before I we born he wanted to have me aborted for a number of weeks before my mom turned round an said with or without him she would have me! 12 months ago we had an argument, his girlfriend who also treated me unequally compared to my brother and purposely pushed me out was also present, he stood shouting, swearing and even raised his hand to me in temper but did not actually hit me. This broke out into more shouting and swearing and in fear I called my mom and my great nan picked up straight away, ever since then I have gone no where near him or any of them and had no contact. After not having any contact with him for 12 months I have decided I want to change my last name to my mum and step dads last name. Is this possible with only my moms permission??
Naii - 2-Jan-17 @ 4:12 PM
I'm 15 years old and 6months. My biological dad and mom broke up 5/6 years ago,my dad was rarely there when I was younger he was always out drinking and with other women, he has always favouritised my older brother who is currently 18. I also found out as a baby before I we born he wanted to have me aborted for a number of weeks before my mom turned round an said with or without him she would have me! 12 months ago we had an argument, his girlfriend who also treated me unequally compared to my brother and purposely pushed me out was also present, he stood shouting, swearing and even raised his hand to me in temper but did not actually hit me. This broke out into more shouting and swearing and in fear I called my mom and my great nan picked up straight away, ever since then I have gone no where near him or any of them and had no contact. After not having any contact with him for 12 months I have decided I want to change my last name to my mum and step dads last name. Is this possible with only my moms permission??
Naii - 2-Jan-17 @ 1:50 PM
My daughter has not seen or had any communicationwith her father (his choice) since July 2014.Do I need his consent to change her name as he won't communicate at all and does he still have parental rights considering he turned his back on her? Doesn't want to see her or communicate with her.
Mashy - 29-Nov-16 @ 9:23 PM
I would like to change the surname of my son.We have been together long time but now split up.He has been on the birth certificate however I would like to change his surname and move on.What is the procedure?
me - 20-Nov-16 @ 8:35 PM
My daughter is 1 yr both myself and her dads name are on the birth cert altho she has my surname at present. Her dad and I are now gettin married how do I change her surname to her dads.
jj - 17-Nov-16 @ 7:31 PM
Mazza- Your Question:
My daughter has my surname and not her fathers , we broke up 6 years ago ,I've had another baby I get remarried soon , my daughter wants my new married name the same as her sister so she's not the odd one out , As she has my name do I still need consent from her father?

Our Response:
Yes you will need consent from the father or in his absence a court order.
LawAndParents - 17-Nov-16 @ 11:38 AM
My daughter has my surname and not her fathers , we broke up 6 years ago ,I've had another babyI get remarried soon, my daughter wants my new married name the same as her sister so she's not the odd one out , As she has my name do I still need consent from her father?
Mazza - 16-Nov-16 @ 10:53 AM
Rich man- Your Question:
My ex partner has moved house n move our son to new nursery n is refusing to tell me I do have parental responseablity how can I find out we're my child is ?

Our Response:
You have parental responsibility if you are the natural parent of the child and if you're the father, your name is on the birth certificate. A someone with PR, you have the right to a say in important decisions like where your child goes to school.
LawAndParents - 14-Nov-16 @ 2:22 PM
My ex partner has moved house n move our son to new nursery n is refusing to tell me I do have parental responseablity how can I find out we're my child is ?
Rich man - 12-Nov-16 @ 4:46 PM
c - Your Question:
Can I change my daughters last name it was a mistake putting her so called father on it seen her twice in six months do I have the right

Our Response:
If she has the name of her biological father and he has parental responsibility then you will need to obtain his consent before changing the name.
LawAndParents - 11-Oct-16 @ 2:34 PM
Can I change my daughters last name it was a mistake putting her so called father on it seen her twice in six months do I have the right
c - 10-Oct-16 @ 8:20 PM
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