Sometimes, out of certain reasons, you want to change your child’s name. It may be because you got divorced or there is a security reason for that (if you and/or your child have been witnesses). Regardless of the reason, changing your child’s name isn’t a simple process. It’s because it’s not something you can do on your own or overnight. In order to change their name, you have to do it legally.
In simple words, their name will change on all of their documents and records, starting from a change name on birth certificate. And, that means changing their identity and who they are. Indeed, changing a name isn’t just a legal process. It’s also an emotional process for your child since they are changing who they are. They are changing part of them and their life.
Although changing your child’s names isn’t as simple as changing your name as an adult, it’s not that difficult. Yes, you may require additional documents and consents, but the process is more or less the same. So, if you are on the way to make this change, let’s have a look at the process.
What Do You Need To Change Your Child’s Name?
First of all, let’s clarify that children are all people who are younger than 16. So, if your child has less than 16 it’s still considered as minor by the law. That puts you in charge of the name change process since they need consent from their parent or anyone with Parental Responsibility. However, in order to legally change the name and put it into effect, you will need written evidence of the consent of all people who have Parental Responsibility. And, you will have to send it to the HM Passport Office.
Who Has A Parental Responsibility?
According to the law of the UK, the legal parents of the child hold Parental Responsibility. They can either be the child’s biological parents or other people who take care of them, e.g. two women or two men. It can also be the child’s foster parents, their guardian, the person who obtains a residence order in their favour or any person who is related to the child by a court order.
Lawfully, the legal mother is usually the biological mother of the child. However, if the child has a surrogate mother or was adopted, the legal mother is the woman who takes care of it. Similarly, the legal father is usually the biological father. But, in England and Wales, a legal father can be the person named on the birth certificate, as of 1 December 2003. In Scotland, an unmarried biological father can have Parental Responsibility if the child’s birth has been registered or re-registered on 4 May 2006 or after and his name is on the registration. In the case of surrogacy, legal parents are the couple who arranged the surrogacy.
Changing your child’s name is a pretty straightforward process If you have consent from all people who have a Parental Responsibility you can apply for a Child Deed Poll. You can do that by filling an application form either locally or online. While you might get stuck when applying for a Deed Poll in the local institutions, you can easily apply online. A lot of people do it online because it’s legal, faster, saves your time, and it’s very simple. If you do it online.
- You only need to fill out an application form and pay for the Deed Poll with your card.
- You will get your Deed Poll delivered in a couple of days.
- After you receive it, along with duplicate copies, you should sign and witness all copies.
- Once you have your child’s Deed Poll signed and witnessed, you can notify all relevant institutions, such as HM Passport Office, school, hospital, and local authorities. In order to do that, you have to write a notification letter in which you provide all relevant data, such as:
- If you have sole or joint Parental Responsibility for your child;
- If you have a sole Parental Responsibility, you should provide information regarding the reason for being a single parent in front of the law.
- If you have a joint Parental Responsibility, you have to state if you are together, divorced, or the partner has died. If you aren’t together, you need to enclose a copy of their letter of consent or a death certificate, as well as other relevant details.
Although changing a name is a big and very important step, there are certain situations when you have to do. In such a case, you should find the easiest way to do it. After you apply, you need to gather all the required documents mentioned here and take them to the relevant institutions and authorities.