Changing Child's Last Name?

Lounge By maryjsgirl Updated 25 Apr 2008 , 5:05pm by mkerton

maryjsgirl Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 3:36pm
post #1 of 24

My son is ten and he wants to change his last name to my and my husband's. His biological father has never been in the picture although there is a court order for child support, nothing has been paid.

We don't want to go through the adoption process, because we don't feel it's needed. My husband has raised him since he was a baby. My husband is all he knows and IS his REAL father.

I was wondering if anyone has changed their child's surname. If so can you give me some detail on cost and steps to get it done.

Does anyone know of any way to change it without having to deal with the court system?

23 replies
darandon Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 4:02pm
post #2 of 24

From when a friend of mine went through something similar, you have to get the bio-dad's permission to give up rights so that your husband can adopt your child.
It's not fair, but that's what has to be done.

ccr03 Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 4:29pm
post #3 of 24

Is the only way a minor can charge his last name is through adoption?

butterflywings Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 4:39pm
post #4 of 24

it really depends on your state. i don't think you'd have to go through the adoption process, or gets the bio-dad's permission, if you are just changing the last name to match yours - but here again, it depends on your state. unfortunately, you DO have to go through a court procedure to change the name, as the social security admin won't change without legal documentation and you can't change on anything else w/out proof of SSN change.

there are several free legal sites out there that give general legal info for your specific state. just do a google search for name change procedures in indiana. also, some lawyers will give basic info consultations w/out charging you a fee, especially for something simple like name changes.

good luck.

busymom9431 Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 6:33pm
post #5 of 24

I have a VERY similar situation and I have often wondered the same thing. I am also in Indiana so if I find out any good info. I will let you know. Good Luck!

tchrmom Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:14am
post #6 of 24

I don't know about for a child's, but here in Georgia you have to go through the court system to drop your first name if you are an adult. I got married, and since I was called by a nickname for my middle name, and I wanted to keep my maiden name as my new middle name, I had to put a notice in the legal section of the paper for 4 weeks and then get a judge to sign the paperwork for my name to be changed. I doubt you can do this anywhere without the courts.

jules06 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:48pm
post #7 of 24

When I changed my surname years ago, I did it by Deed Poll,which is a legal document that binds you to the declaration that you are abandoning your last name & will only be using your new name etc etc.
You can change a childs' name if those providing parental responsibility consent to it ( ie.you & your husband), particularly if you are unable to locate the biological father & can show he has no input in your sons' life.

Do you have anything like this in the U.S ?

maryjsgirl Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 3:12am
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by busymom9431

I have a VERY similar situation and I have often wondered the same thing. I am also in Indiana so if I find out any good info. I will let you know. Good Luck!




Thanks! Good luck to you too. icon_wink.gif

mkerton Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 2:17pm
post #9 of 24

I was always under the impression that you had to do the adoption thing, but perhaps thats because that is the route that my cousin did with her son. My sister has hopes one day that when she meets someone that he will adopt her daughter........ I can see that it maybe isnt necessary, but wouldnt your son LOVE to have it all said and done that your DH was his Dad?

miss_sweetstory Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 8:39pm
post #10 of 24

HI Maryjsgirl,
Here is a link to the Indiana state code that references name changes to a minor. At first read it appears that it only requires ONE parent's permission. Most states make the necessary forms available for free at the County Clerks office; however there is usually a filing fee when you return the forms (costs vary widely by state).

http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title34/ar28/ch2.html

An aside, you may want to consider the adoption route at some point in the future so that your DH as legal rights to your son in the event that anything should happen to you. Hopefully there will never be a need, but life is full of the unexpected and it would be devastating for all if legalities were to come between a father and son.

KatieTaylor77 Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 2:59am
post #11 of 24

As someone who has suffered from the whole step-parent name issue for over 20 years . . . PLEASE just have your husband adopt your child!

My birth father was never really in the picture and didn't pay child support consistently. After my mom remarried, they learned that at the time in our state, my step-dad could legally adopt me without my birth fathers consent as long as my birth father had not attempted to make any contact or paid child support for a certain time period. Problem is, he always paid SOMETHING right before that deadline, and would never consent to the adoption.

Insted, my mom just put my step-fathers last name on my paperwork when I changed schools. No one realized what happened . . . no one cared . . . and so all through school I used my step-dads last name. The problem with that is that when I went to college . . . all my records were under a different name and at one point they told me I had legally not attended school since third grade! It took almost 3 years to straighten my school records out.

As an adult, I went to change my name legally and my birth-father contested it. Somehow the judge thought he had a valid arguement and I didn't get my name changed completely . . . I was just able to legally hypenate it. IT SUCKS!

Please do your child a favor and go through the necessary legal steps. My mom didn't and it caused a lot of headaches for me later in life.

maryjsgirl Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 3:09am
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

HI Maryjsgirl,
Here is a link to the Indiana state code that references name changes to a minor. At first read it appears that it only requires ONE parent's permission. Most states make the necessary forms available for free at the County Clerks office; however there is usually a filing fee when you return the forms (costs vary widely by state).

http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title34/ar28/ch2.html

An aside, you may want to consider the adoption route at some point in the future so that your DH as legal rights to your son in the event that anything should happen to you. Hopefully there will never be a need, but life is full of the unexpected and it would be devastating for all if legalities were to come between a father and son.




Thanks for the link!

You are right about the adoption issue. Its sad that between the government wanting their cut and rights of people who care less about their children make things so hard for people just trying to do the right thing.

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 4:15am
post #13 of 24

Wow, that's alot of good info!

I used my step-dad's name most of my childhood. Folks were divorced when I was 2, mom remarried, and when she registered me for school (private) she just used step-dad's last name. Nothing was ever official, and my bio dad's last name was still used on anything legal. I went back to that name after high school, just to make it easier.

Now that I think about it, I am wondering how I got a job when I used step-name but my social security card was in legal name. Huh...

VannaD Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 4:26pm
post #14 of 24

i owuld also love info on this. Im in La. I have a 3.5 yr old whos birth father has never even seen or talked to her or me since before she was born. I met my husband when she was 2mths and he's her daddy and the only one shes ever known.

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 4:43pm
post #15 of 24

OMG I was cleaning out my closet yesterday and came across my baby book...I had stuffed my first W9 in there...there it is...never-legal step dad's name and my SSN! How in the HECK did I get away with THAT?!?! The only thing I can think of was that by the time I had started working, my bio dad had died. But still...name never legally changed. I always fill in the name as an AKA when filling out any forms.

Wouldn't happen nowadays...

kcniese Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 4:45pm
post #16 of 24

I live in Indiana I know whne I talked to my lawyer he said that if the son's birth father does not have any contact with my son for three straight years, that his birth father does not have any say in his life. With the father been out of the picture for so long gives up all his rights. But I would go to the courts to get it changed and legal. So if something happens where the father does come back you have it on paper.

miss_sweetstory Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 12:57pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanna1487

i owuld also love info on this. Im in La. I have a 3.5 yr old whos birth father has never even seen or talked to her or me since before she was born. I met my husband when she was 2mths and he's her daddy and the only one shes ever known.




Hi Vanna1487:
Here is a link to the LA stautes regarding name changes.
If you read down a bit you'll find the law regarding name changes for a minor. Please note that this is a "for-profit" site...it was the only one I could find with the current laws that didn't require you to download a pdf file to read. As I said in my earlier post, you should be able to get the forms for free, or at very low cost directly at the county court or family court. Hope all goes smoothly!

http://www.namechangelaw.com/states/la/louisiana.htm

Ann

Ann

VannaD Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 3:25pm
post #18 of 24

Thanks Ann. I actually read those before, some of it makes since the rest is legal Mumble Jumble that i dont understand. I need to talk to someone I called the county clerk of court yesterdya but nobody answered, probably because it was lunch time. I want to get this done before my DD starts school, it just makes me nervous, mostly bc i know so little about the process and I dont want there to be anyway my ex can come back and have any type of contact w/her. Like I said he's a complete stranger, not even on the birth certificate and she has my last name

flayvurdfun Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 9:36pm
post #19 of 24

different states different rules. I have a 17 year old who my husband wanted to adopt 11 years ago and even though my sons father never had any contact with my son, in fact name isn't even on birth certificate, we had to have him sign a paper releasing all parental rights, and he refused to do so even though he pays child support, just to be an a**... so good luck!

lynda-bob Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 2:34am
post #20 of 24

My cousin had her son's name changed a few years ago. The father wasn't in the picture, and she had to go through lawyers and court systems. I remember her saying it wound up costing like $700 and to "provide notice" to the "father" they had to run some sort of classified ad notifying him for a certain amt. of time since they had no idea where he was.

flayvurdfun Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 5:53am
post #21 of 24

Isn't that just horrible! Someone WANTS to take on the child and isn't permitted to until months of unnecessary anguish!

booger Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:24am
post #22 of 24

Isn't that the truth~

VannaD Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 4:11pm
post #23 of 24

totally agree with that. You never know if Dead Beat Dad is going to sign child over or not, usualy just to spite mom.... If I made the rules if bio dad knew he had a child and didnt bother with child for more than a year (enough time and then some), all rights should be dropped, no going to court or getting a lawyer, after all moms dont get a year to decide..."hmmmm.... do i want to be a parent or not??? Ill just let the baby hang out for a year before i decide if i want to care for it or not." YEAH RIGHT! CPS would scoop that kid up and mom would be striped of her rights... Oh and another rule would be a certain chain store wouldnt be allowed to sell cakes!! icon_biggrin.gif

mkerton Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 5:05pm
post #24 of 24

In my state, even fathers who WANT To sign away their rights can only do so if there is someone else to adopt that child. In my sisters case, the father of her baby was ready to sign away his rights but she wasnt in any relationship and didnt have anyone to become my niece's father. What we worry about now, is will he become a jerk about it later if she does meet someone and not do it (nevermind he hasnt seen her since she was 6 weeks old--she is now 6 1/2 nor has ever paid a dime of any sort of support). Its a flawed system for sure!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%