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How long does it take to change a child's name?

(14 Posts)
BertieBotts Sat 11-Jul-15 19:19:06

And does anyone know if you need to be resident in the UK to do so?

We (Me, DH and DS - DH is stepfather) live in Germany but we are all British citizens. We'll be visiting England in the summer and I'd like to get DS' name changed if possible.

He still has XP's name, but XP has had zero contact for the last four years (his choice, I've never stopped or prevented him) and DH has basically brought him up for the last five years. It would actually be easier for us all round if DH could just adopt him, but it's such a ludicrously lengthy process through the UK system that that seems unlikely. To go through step-parent adoption in Germany, changing the name is useful in advance, plus once his name is on his school records, apparently it's hard to change it.

I know that I need XP's permission since XP has parental responsibility but am (possibly naively) assuming this will be fairly easy to do if we're actually in the UK. I have no idea where he currently lives, but I know people who know him so could probably contact him.

Any advice/experience? I am totally dreading passport control since I took DH's name, I'm going to have to carry DS' birth certificate plus my marriage certificate and our proof of residence in Germany and then try to explain that the father is estranged and no I don't need a permission letter from him. confused

AnyoneForTennis Sat 11-Jul-15 19:21:48

Well is he likely to agree?

Heck5897 Sat 11-Jul-15 19:22:31

Google deed poll. It was straight forward for us but then we didn't have any complications in relation to fathers

BertieBotts Sat 11-Jul-15 19:23:12

I think so. I mean there's a chance he'll be difficult about it, but I've given him several opportunities for contact and as soon as I do he goes quiet on me, so I assume he doesn't want anything to do with him.

FTCarer Mon 13-Jul-15 10:16:32

As british citizens you have to use British law to change names.

You really do need to seek permission first, if you think its complex now just wait and see how difficult it gets when you're ordered to change the surnames back again!

Collaborate Mon 13-Jul-15 10:34:32

It depends on where your son was born. If in the UK, and the father is on the birth certificate, he'll have Parental Responsibility. You'll then need his consent.

If born outside the UK the father won't have PR under UK law. There would be no strict requirement to obtain father's consent, though I can't say what laws you'd fall foul of in Germany.

BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-15 12:09:24

Oh that's interesting to know. I didn't know that we had to do it through the UK system.

Yes DS was born in the UK and I already said that his father has PR and that I know I need his permission. I was just wondering if it's something we can do when we're back for a few days or whether it's something which will require a longer trip.

Plus, can anybody tell me what "permission" means in a legal sense? I mean, I'm assuming that it doesn't count if I just ask him? We need some kind of notarised letter or something?

Bellemere Mon 13-Jul-15 13:10:55

I would get his permission in writing in case he later claims he never gave permission.

BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-15 13:26:00

An email or letter? Or would it have to be witnessed by somebody?

Deeperdown Mon 13-Jul-15 13:33:03

Bertie passport office told me a signed permission letter was ok along with deed poll and did not need to be witnessed .

CainInThePunting Mon 13-Jul-15 13:33:13

They obviously need permission in writing with his signature on it. There wasn't any need for a witness when I did it.
That will probably be your most difficult aspect as its then just a case of filing in the forms, paying a fee and then waiting for the documentation to come through. I don't remember how long it actually took but probably about a month.

CainInThePunting Mon 13-Jul-15 13:33:43


CainInThePunting Mon 13-Jul-15 13:37:12

Sorry, that reads a bit hmm and I x-post with Deeperdown.

BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-15 14:40:33

Okie doke smile Thanks all!

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