Changing a Child’s Surname

Looking to change the surname of your child? For various reasons, a parent might decide that changing a child's surname is necessary. The surname of the child is the name of the family unit to which the child belongs. Usually, a child will be given the surname of the father, unless the mother wants to have a different surname for her child, and the father of the child agrees.

When the child is born to married parents, they will register the name of the child on the birth certificate. If the child is born to unmarried parents, the father doesn't have to register the child's birth, and he doesn't have the independent right to have their own name on the child's birth certificate. In the case of divorce, children will usually keep the same surname they had before the divorce occurred. When living in the stepfamily with different surnames, the child might have the same surname as his or her new family unit.


How to Change a Child's Surname

If you remarry or set up a new partnership, you cannot just decide to change your child's last name. The Court will make the final decision about the best interest of the child involved. To ensure that changing a child's surname after marriage is successful, everyone with parental responsibility for the child has to provide their written consent. Depending on the situation, the Court might approve the surname change of your child or they can order a Specific Issue Order which states you don't have the permission to change your child's surname.

In the majority of cases, the request to change your child's surname is denied if you didn't submit the written consents of all those with parental responsibility. This means that the mother or father do not have permission to change their child's surname with only their consent, unless they are the only person with parental responsibility.

To ensure that changing a child’s surname is legally recognised, the person with parental responsibility for the child should execute a Deed Poll. If the child is aged between 16 and 18 years, he or she has to sign the Deed Poll which is considered as a consent to a surname change. The Deed Poll has to be accompanied by the birth certificate of the child. Moreover, the surname change has to be in the best interest of the child.

Parental Responsibility

You can't change your child's surname if all of those with parental responsibility didn't give their written consent. When talking about parental responsibility, it is a legal term for legal right and responsibility a parent, guardian or relative has for the child. This means that the person with parental responsibility needs to provide a home for the child and protect and maintain it under all circumstances.

To change your child's name successfully, you will need to be sure to gather the consent of every person with parental responsibility and ensure you are keeping your child's interest in mind.

The UK Deed Poll Office is not a government agency. Our function is purely as a document provider for the self-declaration of an unenrolled deed poll. We are here to assist in your name change journey, as we have done for over 100,000 UK residents.


Join the thousands who have trusted the UK Deed Poll Office to help change their name. Fill out our fast, simple, and affordable online application to receive your Deed Poll in no time!
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