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Can I Change My Daughter's Surname?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 2 Jan 2017 | 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'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
Hi my ex is telling me he is leaving r daughter with his partner while he works which means she will only see him when he picks her up from school for an hr an when he drops her off at school in the morning i am not happy about this as my daughter only met her an started stayin there last wk an i havent a clue about her only that she has her own child 3 days a wk which makes me worriedhas he got the right to do this as he is not listening to anythink I say in the matter it's his way or no way i have battled with him for wks over him taking r daughter to meet her as he kept telling me it wasn't serious an kept running bk to me for a yr an he just took her without my permission last wk to stay in a new house in a room on her own an Met a new person all at once which I think is far to much for a 5 yr to deal with also I didn't have a clue where my child was stayin either he is very threating towards me an i just don't know what i stand
sweety - 23-Sep-16 @ 9:33 AM
Hi, My daughters have gone to tjere fathers for a week I've just found out he is working for that full week,but in the court order it states that he! Has to be there with them and not at work. What can I do,he isn't answering calls and has turned his phone off. Can I phone the police or can I go to the house of who is Loki g after them and take them back
Rachael - 29-Aug-16 @ 3:25 PM
Bee - Your Question:
My daughter has not seen her biological father from birth for 9yrs ,is it possible to change her surname without her dad consent.

Our Response:
If you cannot get consent you will need to apply to the courts for a court order (form C100) for a specific issue order.
LawAndParents - 8-Apr-16 @ 12:33 PM
My daughter has not seen her biological father from birth for 9yrs ,is it possible to change her surname without her dad consent.
Bee - 7-Apr-16 @ 8:16 AM
Hi my daughter'snot seen her father for nearly 5 years nowshe is 9 she wants to change her surname?is this possible without getting the father involved please?
caz - 23-Mar-16 @ 8:47 PM
Hi. My 8 month old daughter hasmine and my ex partners surnames, he is on the birth certificate but hasn't had any contact with her since she was 3 weeks old, would I be able to take his surname off without his permission, if I cant now would I be able to do it in the future if he's still not in contact with her.
laura - 17-Mar-16 @ 1:56 PM
My 11 year old son has been asking us if he can change his name by deed poll when me and my partner get married in two years. His biological father hasn't seen Him or his 7 year old brother for nearly a year now and wants nothing to do with them. Can I legally get their names changed in two years if they have no contact at all with them?
Becmumma - 12-Mar-16 @ 10:10 PM
Hi, my husband's ex wife has double barrelled his childen's surnames without his consent; placing her name second and without a hyphen so that his surname gets dropped. She has registered them at the schools, doctors etc with the double barrelled name. My question is what can my husband do about it, where does he stand legally? He pays child maintainance every month (not via CSA) and sees the kids at least once a month (usually every other weekend). Are there any letter templates that he can use to clearly and succinctly point out that what she has done is illegal and request that she changes the children's surnames back to their original name before taking her to court? (Trying to resolve at the lowest level first). Also should he contact the school, doctors etc to highlight that they are not using the children's correct surname? Thanks in advance.
CD - 5-Mar-16 @ 10:18 AM
chocolatefingers- Your Question:
Hi my partner ex partner wants to change her daughters name to her new married partners he hasn't seen the daughter in three years even though he wants to his name is on the birth certificate but she has her mums surname can she change her name through dead poll without his consent thanks

Our Response:
No she will need the consent of the father. The mother might claim that the father has no contact or cannot be traced, so it might be worth his formally recording that fact that he wants contact with his daughter (via a mediation service or the courts).
LawAndParents - 5-Feb-16 @ 2:35 PM
hi my partner ex partner wants to change her daughters name to her new married partners he hasn't seen the daughter in three years even though he wants to his name is on the birth certificate but she has her mums surname can she change her name through dead poll without his consent thanks
chocolatefingers - 4-Feb-16 @ 9:34 PM
Hi my sons is 5 years old and hasnt seen his 'father' for over 2 years now. We went through court as he got into some trouble with the police and now is not allowed to see my son, which was ordered by the courts. I dont know where he is living or any contact numbers for him. My son has a double surname with mine n his dads surnames.. could i drop his dads surname and just have mine? Thanks
Nat - 30-Jan-16 @ 11:07 PM
Hi when I had my daughter in 2003 I was with some one and put his name as father and used his surname as I'm not with him no more can I change her surname and how would I do it
Angie - 5-Dec-15 @ 1:22 PM
Hi. I have a daughter of 6 and traditionally married to her mom. i do everything for both of them but the wife doesn't wanna change surname of the child and herself. we are on separation now due to this problem. i still need my daughter use my name. how can I follow this procedure!
mike - 28-Oct-15 @ 8:48 PM
Hi me and my wife have just been married and she has two children from a previous relationship.My step daughter and stepson have her maiden name my step daughter was born in 2000 so theres no real issue for her name change but my stepson was born in 2004 and his bio farther is on the birth certificate he has hit and miss paid csa and has only had contact for 3 month witch was brief and ended in the kids not wanting too see there bio dad my step kids have not seen there bio dad in 3 years he is under fraud investigation bye csa as he is a waste of space we don't need his money I have a good job but I have a son with my wife who is my bio and has my surname and my step son and daughter want the same name as their mother and me and little brother so we can be complete do we need his permission too change their surnames ? Please help us
ste - 24-Oct-15 @ 8:43 PM
Hi, my 15 yr old daughter was given my surname at birth and her father is not on her birth certificate but her father and I are still together and getting married next year.Can we change her name to his surname and add him to her birth certificate? I know I should have done it years ago but never got round to it!
P - 12-Sep-15 @ 7:24 AM
Hi, my daughter is nearly 5, and she has her fathers surname, and he is in the birth certificate he was hit and miss seeing her and hasn't seen her for the last 12 months, unfortunately he passed away a few months ago, his family have never had anything to do with her and still now after his death they haven't been in contact! Would I now be able to chance her surname to mine and the rest of the family. I don't want to be heartless but I feel this is the right thing to do! I will make sure she knows who her dad was, and keep a photo for her when she is older!
Pp - 4-Sep-15 @ 8:10 PM
better off without h - Your Question:
Hi, I split up with my son's dad about 6yrs ago we wer never married and my son has his surname (which is dirt in my town) I dont want the stigma of his dad's surname stopping my son achieving wot he wants in life, also after 14yrs my son's so called father and I use the term father loosely he's with someone else now and she has a kid and he said my son won't get another thing off him till he gets a DNA, I no he's the father but if he wants to hurt me fine but I won't stand back and let him hurt my son anymore, he doesnt pay child maintainance and hasn't seen my son for over a yr, can I change my sons name to my surname. Thanks

Our Response:
You can apply to the courts to change if the father will not consent to it. If he gives his consent you can simply apply to the deedpoll office using this form.
LawAndParents - 25-Aug-15 @ 10:33 AM
Hi, I split up with my son's dad about 6yrs ago we wer never married and my son has his surname (which is dirt in my town) I dont want the stigma of his dad's surname stopping my son achieving wot he wants in life, also after 14yrs my son's so called father and I use the term father loosely he's with someone else now and she has a kid and he said my son won't get another thing off him till he gets a DNA, I no he's the father but if he wants to hurt me fine but I won't stand back and let him hurt my son anymore, he doesnt pay child maintainance and hasn't seen my son for over a yr, can I change my sons name to my surname.Thanks
better off without h - 22-Aug-15 @ 10:30 AM
Hi I want to change my son's surname do I need his dad's consent as his on birth certificatehe hasn't seen our son for over a year or paid anything towards him for nearly 2 years I don't know where his living or work in either
lou - 13-Aug-15 @ 8:13 PM
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