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Can I Change My Daughter's Surname?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 28 Sep 2020 | 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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I’ve been married to my husband for almost 16 years. My daughter is now 17 and has NEVER met her biological father because he left us got in trouble then got deported. And I have no idea where to find him in Mexico. What can I do to change her last name to her step dads?
Mom - 28-Sep-20 @ 2:07 AM
can i stay overnight with my ex partner we are both on benefits, can our money be stopped and what are the rights and law regarding overnight stays ?
specks - 22-Jul-20 @ 9:46 PM
My ex changed my childrens surnames years ago and i was never contacted for permission and i am on there birth certificates and have parenteral responsibility for them. What can i do about this? She did stop me from seeing them for a while and this is then when she changed there surnames. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Loza - 4-May-20 @ 8:39 AM
i married my wife with one kid and we are married with in community of property and i want to change her biological father surname to mine,where must i go and what can be needed at home affairs
mashudu - 6-Nov-19 @ 3:51 PM
hi, got divorced recently. the father pays child maintenance but doesn't see his daughterthe family name of my daughter is the first name of my exwhen she was bornwe gave her his first name because he has no family name. can I change her family name( which is his first name)to my family name? thanks
Sarah - 23-Apr-19 @ 4:38 PM
As a 77year old my only wish is for me to have included with my surname is of the surname of my stepdad...my stepdad surname being in the middle. What is the procedure for this,any advice would be much appreciated.
Stocky - 12-Apr-19 @ 12:15 AM
Hi, my daughter is 7 years old and she have 2 surnames mine and biological fathers, she doesn't know her real father, now I'm married and my husband wants give to her his surname. But I don't have any contact or information about my daughters biological father since she was 1 year old. Can I change surnames without his permission? Thank you
Ram - 13-Feb-19 @ 1:57 PM
Zandile Baloyi and Alfred Baloyi recently divorced. Zandile has changed her surname to her maiden surname (Dlamini), and she also wants to change her daughter’s surname to Dlamini. With reference to authority, Advise Zandile whether this is possible and, if so, which procedure should be followed
Thapzen - 4-Feb-19 @ 11:15 AM
My daughters dad want to change his and our 2 year old daughters surname to his mother’s maiden name how do I go about this? Many thanks
Jess - 18-Sep-18 @ 5:53 PM
Hello, my daughter has got my surname. Her father is on the birth certificate ,and we are not married yet. How do l changeher surname to have it sale as herfather? Do l need to re register the birth? Thank you!!
Annie - 9-Sep-18 @ 12:42 AM
My daughter was born with my surname and would like to have her biological fathers name on her birth certificate. My ex husband gave her his name but since has removed himself as legal guardian and disastblished all legal and parental obligations by the court. How do I go about changing her name and giving her the biological fathers last name without his consent or adding him as father on birth certificate
Kelly - 16-Jul-18 @ 3:58 PM
MozH2 - Your Question:
I'm wanting to change my daughter's surname from their biological fathers name to mine. They are 9 years of age and havent had contact with him from the ages of 1/2 years due to him being abusive towards me which lead to him going to prison on 2 separate occasions and also resulting in me having a restraining order on him which lasted 7 years. He is on the birth certificate but I do not want to contact him for obvious reasons. I'm really stuck with where to go on this. Thanks in advance for any advice given.

Our Response:
If thre is a restraining order in place and with the father's history, the courts may agree to a name change without the father's consent, or they may seek his consent on your behalf etc
LawAndParents - 6-Jun-18 @ 2:48 PM
I'm wanting to change my daughter's surname from their biological fathers name to mine. They are 9 years of age and havent had contact with him from the ages of 1/2 years due to him being abusive towards me which lead to him going to prison on 2 separate occasions and also resulting in me having a restraining order on him which lasted 7 years. He is on the birth certificate but I do not want to contact him for obvious reasons. I'm really stuck with where to go on this. Thanks in advance for any advice given.
MozH2 - 5-Jun-18 @ 11:18 PM
My daughter and son who are 14 and 12 don't see their biological father and especially my daughter wants to be known by her step dads surname and my son has also said when we get married he wants to change his surname. It says in previous parts that a mother can change the name without fathers consent if the birthday was registered before December 2003 which my daughter was born in October 2003 so can I change it for her without her father knowing and how would I go about this please. Could I re register her birth with her stepdads name on it or am I getting confused?
Rissa84 - 1-Jun-18 @ 7:33 PM
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
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
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