The UK Deed Poll Office

Can I change my child's name?

Yes, you can but you must ensure that you have obtained consent from those who have parental consent for that child. In the UK the mother automatically assumes parental consent at the time the child is born.

The laws regarding parental responsibility in relation to the father vary slightly throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so please see below for more information. Alternatively, click here to view our helpful 'Parental Responsibility Flowcharts'.

Births registered in England & Wales:

A father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother upon the child's birth, or subsequently thereafter. If the father is not married to the mother then he will only have parental responsibility if he is named on the birth certificate from 1st December 2003.

Births registered in Scotland:

A father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother upon the child's birth, or subsequently thereafter. If the father is not married to the mother then he will only have parental responsibility if he is named on the birth certificate from 4th May 2006.

Births registered in Northern Ireland:

A father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother upon the child's birth, but not if married subsequently thereafter. If the father is not married to the mother then he will only have parental responsibility if he is named on the birth certificate from 15th April 2002.

Notes:

  • If either parent has deceased then sole parental responsibility will pass to the sole living parent.
  • If there is a court order giving someone else parental responsibility then their consent must also be obtained.
  • If both parents have parental responsibility for the child, but permission cannot be obtained from one of them i.e. because they refuse to consent, or because their whereabouts are unknown, then you will need to apply for a Specific Issue court order. This is required, in the absence of the other parent's consent, to make the change legally binding (official).

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us using the details on our contact page.

 

Parental Responsibility Flowcharts

These helpful charts will determine who has parental responsibility for your child.

NOTE: If both parents have parental responsibility, but consent from one parent i.e. the mother or father cannot be obtained, then click here to learn how to apply for a Specific Issue court order. This is required, in the absence of the other parent's consent, to make the change legally binding (official).



England and Wales (Births Registered in)

pr flowchart england and wales



Northern Ireland (Births Registered in)

pr flowchart northern ireland



Scotland (Births Registered in)

pr flowchart scotland

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