Changing your child's name
Changing your child’s first name before their first birthday
You can change your child’s first name free of charge, as long as you can prove that:
- the new name has been used within the first 12 months of registration
- the child has been baptised under the new name
A fee of £4 or £7 applies for a new birth certificate, if needed. This procedure can only be used once.
The form you need to complete to change their first name, will depend on whether or not your child has been baptised. Full details, including the relevant forms, are available from your local registration office.
Changing a child’s surname or changing a child’s first name after their first birthday
If you want to change your child’s surname if they are under 18, or change your child’s first name if they're aged one or over, the following conditions apply:
- If the parents are married to each other, you may change the surname of your child if you both agree
- If the parents are divorced, both parents must give their consent
- If the child’s birth was registered after 1 December 2003 and the parents have never married, both parents must give their consent
- If the child’s birth was registered before 1 December 2003 and the parents have never been married, and if there is no parental responsibility order or agreement in place, the mother may change the child’s name.
- Children aged 16 or 17 must sign the consent form
- If the natural parents marry after the child’s birth
If there's been a court injunction involving a child’s name change then you should ask the solicitors involved in the injunction to change the child’s name.
If you adopt a child, the name change will be organised by the Children’s Services Department that has organised the adoption.