Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility is defined as 'all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child'. The law does not define in detail what parental responsibility is, but provides a list of the following key roles that are considered to be a part of parental responsibility:

Child Deed Polls

A child under the age of 16 is referred to as a minor.  To change the name of a minor, someone over the age of 16 needs to change their name for them.  The person changing the name of a minor needs to be the parent or legal guardian.  The parent or legal guardian needs to have what is described as “parental responsibility” for the child to be able to legally change their name. The parent, a legal guardian or adult with parental responsibility for a child under the age of 16, would need to apply to change the name of a child under the age of 16.

Can I change my Birth Certificate?

When your change your name using a Deed Poll document, you may want to change the name on a birth certificate to reflect your new name, however, this is generally not possible.  Within the United Kingdom, a birth certificate, like a marriage or divorce certificate is what is called an historic document.  You cannot get any historic documents changed over from an old name onto a new name.  This is because the information  contained within the birth certificate, when it was issued was correct, since the name used on the birth certificate was correct at the time it was issued, it is not possible to retrospectively alter this to reflect any change subsequently.

Changing The Name of Your Child

You can change the name of a child under 16 years of age if you have parental responsibility for the child.  To change the name of someone over the age of 16 and under the age of 18 you need their consent in writing. Anyone over the age of 18 can change their own name as an adult and they no longer need someone with parental responsibility to change their name for them.