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Child Deed Polls: What You Need To Know

There can arrive a moment in your child’s life where changing their name can become mandatory. And that is okay. 

If you’re in the UK, you can change your child’s name by applying for a Deed Poll for him/her.

However, there are certain things you might need to keep in mind while applying for it. If you are looking for an easy guide that will help you file a Deed Poll for your child, you are at the right place.

This article highlights some important things you need to consider while applying for a Deed Poll to change your child’s name. 

Have a look. 

Introduction to Child Deed Polls

Anyone above the age of 16 in the UK can get their name changed, via the Deed Poll, without requiring any consent. This is applicable as long as there is no court order which overrides this decision.

However, for any minor below the age of 16, proper parental consent is required to change their names. A parent or guardian of the child can apply for a Deed Poll. But, for the name change to be official and implemented, the HM Passport office requires the signed consent of all the people who hold ‘Parental Responsibility’ for the child in question.

Parental Responsibility

The law of Parental Responsibility falls under the country’s statute of which the child is a resident. In the UK, different areas have different laws. The generic laws abided by the citizens in Northern Ireland, Wales and England are mentioned below:

  1. In most cases, ‘legal’ parents hold the Parental Responsibility of a child. However, they are not fundamentally the child’s biological parents; the ‘legal’ parents of a child may be two men or two females.
  2. According to the law, the ‘legal’ mother of a child is the one who gave birth to him/her. Although, this doesn’t hold in the case the child is adopted or had a surrogate mother.
  3. Legally speaking, the ‘legal’ father will usually be the Biological father, especially when he is married to the ‘legal’ mother when she was bearing the child.
  4. In England and Wales, as of December 1, 2003, the ‘legal father of a child is the one whose name is scripted on the Birth Certificate.
  5. In Scotland, a single father would only have Parental Responsibility if the birth of his child was registered (or re-registered) on or after May 4, 2006; his name should be there in the registration.
  6. In adoption cases, the names on the child’s Adoption Certificate will determine who are his/her ‘legal’ parents.
  7. As far as surrogacy is concerned, the couple who opted for surrogacy would have to file for a Parental Order in court. This procedure will allow them to be stated as the ‘legal’ parent of the child.

Signing the Deed Poll

There should be unilateral consent on the name change of the child. Under that circumstance, both the legal parents agree to change their child’s name. Both the parents will have to sign the Deed form for it to be implementable.

If, for any reason, one of the parents cannot sign the form, the said parent should sign a written consent letter. 

You should also make sure to take consent letters from anyone else who holds Parental Responsibility for your child.

I’ve Changed my Child’s Name – What Next?

Once the Deed Poll is signed and implemented, you will need to notify some relevant parties and organizations about the name change. If you don’t do that, the name could prove to be ineffective. 

This can include:

  • The child’s School
  • Music, Book reading or any club they’re a part of.
  • Their Government identity card/s etc.,

Final Word

If the time comes to change your child’s name, do not fear the process. With the right knowledge, things can go smoothly. 

So, if you have the relevant documents, know about Parental Responsibility, and the required knowledge, the name change process becomes quite simple for you. 

Good luck!