How to Change Your Child’s Name

Thursday 19 January 2012 - Filed under Info

A child brings joy to one’s life and with it priority of life changes. Once a child is born, the difficult task is to decide on a name for your child. It can be tiring as finding a suitable name for your child can take a lot of time. And at time even after you have chosen a name for your child, you may find it wasn’t quite so perfect after all. So, here arises the need to change your child’s name. Well, changing your child’s name is not an easy task as you to follow certain rules and regulations. Changing your child’s name is something the United States allows, provided you follow a proper procedure. You need to have the authorization from a legal body about the change in your child’s name. This is important as unless it is done legally, you cannot make changes in your child’s birth certificate, Social Security Card or passport. Here’s how you can change your child’s name legally:


Know the Process: Every state has its own rules and regulations as far as changing your child’s name is concerned. Contact your local court to learn the exact process you’ll need to go through. For instance, in Minnesota, your child must be a resident for a minimum of six months to qualify for a legal name change. In California, if you’re filing for the name change as a single parent, it is important the other parent have a copy of all the paperwork at least 30 days before the court date. If you and your spouse are applying together for a change in your child’s name, the necessary forms must be signed by both of you. You can learn about the exact procedure, necessary fees online also.


Get the Forms: Once you have an idea about the process as how to change name legally for your child, it is time to fill the forms. Many states such as California, Colorado, and Utah offer forms online. You just need to download the forms. Other states, such as Idaho, provide free, downloadable forms only for low-income families. You can also get the necessary forms court. Visit the court on a working day and purchase the form from there. Although the requirements from changing your child’s name vary from state to state, you need to deal with forms for petition for a name change, court order approving your desired name change, petition giving public notice of the name change and a final decree from the court authorizing the name change. In your petition, you need to mention the reasons for wanting to change your child’s name. Also you may need to certify that you are not doing so for fraudulent purposes.


Submit the Forms with Necessary Fees: Before submitting the forms, make several copies of the documents for your own records. With the forms you will also need to submit some more documents. You also need to pay fees, which also vary from state to state, For instance the fees is $65 in New York City and $150 in Alaska. Once the paperwork is done, you need to wait for one to two months to receive the court order approving the name change.


Apply for change in Social Security Card: Once the court gives the order of the change in your child’s name, it is time to make changes in his or her Social Security Card. To report a legal name change to the Social Security Administration, you’ll need to fill out an application for a Social Security card. You can obtain the application by visiting your local Social Security office or downloading the form from their official website. In some states you will need to make your request in writing and will need to pay a processing fee.


Make changes in Birth Certificate: You must also change your child’s name in his or her birth certificate. This change is important so that vital details of your child are accurately recorded for future use. Use your court order to request an amended birth certificate for your child. To make the changes in the birth certificate you must contact the Office of Vital Records in your state. In most states, parents can make changes to a child’s birth certificate without requiring a court order within 6 to 12 months of the birth of their child. The fee for a birth certificate change is usually between $15 and $40.


Formal Usage: Once everything is complete, you need to use the new name of your child formally. You must inform your family friends and relatives about the change in your child’s name. You can even publish an advertisement in the local newspaper mentioning about the change in the name of your child. The more people start using the new name of your child, it will be better for your child. He or she will soon get adjust with their new name.


Well, if you also wish to change your child’s name legally, this is the procedure you need to follow. Remember every state have their own rules and regulations to change name legally and you must follow them accurately. Also make sure that if your child is going to school, his or her consent is also important.


Here are some important links of official websites of states offering information on the procedure to change your child’s name legally:

1. Alaska (
2. California (
3. Colorado (
4. Connecticut (
5. Delaware (
6. Hawaii (
7. Idaho (
8. Iowa (
9. Utah (
10. Kentucky (
11. Virginia (
12. Maine (
13. Vermont (
14. Maryland (
15. Washington (
16. Massachusetts (
17. Wisconsin (
18. Minnesota (
19. Montana (
20. New Hampshire (
21. New Jersey  (
22. New York (
23. Oregon (
24. Pennsylvania (
25. Texas (
26. Wyoming (
27. Mississippi (

2012-01-19  »  writer

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