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Can I Change the Boy's Name?

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  • Can I Change the Boy's Name?

    The short version of my story:

    My son's bio-father has not seen or tried to contact him for more than a year. In January 2006, he petitioned for a determination of parentage, visitation and child support. A paternity test proved he was the father, but after that, bio-father disappeared. His lawyer eventually dropped him, and the case was dismissed in November (my assumption is that the realization that he owed thousands of dollars in child support and the realization of the cost of future child support made him change his mind about pursuing the case).

    I have been married since 2005, and my husband wants to adopt. We are currently pursuing stepparent adoption, but it is long, tedious and expensive, with no guarantees.

    My question:

    Can I change my son's last name? He currently has my maiden name (which I still use as well because I hyphenated). Bio-dad had his paternity test, but he is not on the birth certificate, he has no visitation, pays no support and makes no effort to contact us. I certainly know that changing my son's name to my husband's does not give my husband any legal rights, that's not what I am going for here. I simply would like us all to have the same last name. It's not life or death, but the adoption could literally take years. It's not the most important thing, just something I would like to see happen.

    Do I have to seek any sort of approval from bio-dad to do this, or can I just go about it myself?

  • #2
    You would need the father's consent to change your son's last name. If you cannot locate him, or if he is unwilling to consent, you can file in court to change it without his consent.

    In your situatuion, though, I don't know (well, really, I wouldn't "know" in any situation, now would I???) that a judge would order it, especially since your son does have YOUR last name.
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)