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Can I change my child's name?
A child's legal name can usually only be changed by Deed Poll providing everyone with Parental Responsibility (PR) for the child consents to the name change.
PR is a legal term and this article will explain the meaning of PR, who has PR for a child, how PR is lost, and also who may need to provide consent before your child’s name can be changed. This article also includes information about what to do if the consent of an absent father cannot be obtained.
For the purposes of changing your child’s name, a ‘child’ is defined as a young person under the age of 16 years. If your child is aged 16 or over (or approaching their 16th birthday) s/he must apply for their own Deed Poll using the adult deed poll application form.
Sections in this article
Click on the links below to view each section of this article.
1. Definition of father
2. Consent requirements
3. What is Parental Responsibility (PR) and who has it?
4. Important advice for mothers with sole PR where the father has regular contact
5. Changing a child's name without the consent of a father whose whereabouts is not known
6. Changing a child's name without the consent of an absent father whose whereabouts is known
7. Changing a child's name without the consent of an absent mother
8. Changing a child's name if the person named on the birth certificate is not the biological father
9. Applying for a court order to change your child's name without the consent of the other parent
10. The difference between sole custody and sole PR
11. Can a birth certificate be changed?
12. Important advice about booking a holiday
13. Example letters of consent
This page was last checked today by Miranda O'Hara, Senior Deed Poll Officer.