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.


If you have Sole Parental Responsibility


However, even if you have sole parental responsibility, to avoid problems later, you are advised, if the other parent is around, to consider obtaining their consent, we provide template consent letters as a courtesy, totally free of charge, for you to use. This will help ensure that the other parent does not contest the name change later and will be your proof that they consented to the child’s name change.

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If you have Shared Parental Responsibility

If another adult shares legal parental responsibility for your child, for example the child’s father or legal guardian, you would need to make sure that they agree to the child’s name being changed. When using your child’s Deed Poll to have the child’s name changed with the various name record holders, you will need the parental consent letter/form and a letter requesting the name change. We provide both the parental responsibility letters/forms and the letters requesting the name change, free of charge, when you apply for one of our Child Deed Polls.  These template letters and forms form a part of  the comprehensive Information Pack we provide with each application.


In Cases involving an Absent Parent or Violence

If you don’t know the whereabouts of the other parent or legal guardian, or there are very clear and strong reasons why you are unable to obtain their consent, such as violence, then we do have special template letters/forms for such circumstances.  Such extreme circustances are not necessarily an impediment to you changing your child's name.  If you wish to apply and cannot trace the other parent or legal guardian, or are afraid of the danger of violence from the other party, then when you make the Child Deed Poll application you need to let us know in the 'Any other information' field on the application form so that we can send you the appropriate templates.

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