It is a relatively straightforward process to change a child’s name via Deed Poll. The person responsible for the child (parent or guardian) must apply for the name change.
The permission of the child (under 16) does not need to be agreed. If the child is however opposed to the name change they can protest the proposal through Court. The name in a Birth certificate cannot be changed except in unique circumstances.
16-18 year olds must seek their own Deed Poll and do not require to seek consent.
Deed Poll is a document that provides proof that an individual has changed their name. It is acceptable to all relevant bodies as proof of a name change. A Deed Poll is a form of Legal contract but only relates to one person (differing from the traditional contracts that require two). It is legally accepted by all organisations, companies and bodies within the UK and British Embassies across the world.
There are now literally hundreds of websites and organisations offering to supply Deed Poll documentation. In order to attain a Deed Poll, you may be asked to prove that you do not intend to commit a crime such as fraud by changing the name of your child.
When completing the relevant Deed Poll correspondence, fill in the specific section relating to the children. It is important to sign and date the form before submitting. You will also be asked to attach items such as a Birth Certificate.
When you have successfully applied for your child’s Deed Poll you will need to send it to all organisations that hold records on the child. An attached letter explaining the name change is often required for official agents.
A recent law change (December 2007) now means that parents cannot place their children on their Passport. This means that proof of the Deed Poll has to be presented to the IPS (Identity and Passport Service) before a document can be issued.
It is important to be aware of reasonability over a child’s name. If the parents are unmarried then the mother has the right authority (unless challenged by the father through Court). If parents are married then the responsibility is joint and shared between them. It is advised that a parent should notify the father / mother of the child if they intend to change their name.
When a child’s name has been changed it can then be used for a variety of purposes including registering with a GP, signing up for school or Nursery.
From here, it should be simple matter of using the child’s new name and ensuring that all parties have been notified.