View Full Version : Changing a minor's name

02-19-2015, 07:47 AM
Quick question about changing your name in the US: Do teenagers under the age of 18 need a parent/guardian's permission to legally change their name?


T Robinson
02-19-2015, 07:56 AM
From reading the legal sections on name changes in the newspaper (legal notices, not legal advice), I would say yes.

Drachen Jager
02-19-2015, 08:34 AM
Normally yes, though I'd imagine an emancipated minor could change their name.

02-21-2015, 07:40 PM
Not only must the legal guardian of a minor child consent to a name change, generally, they are the ones who have to petition for the name change. A minor usually can't do it on their own.

02-21-2015, 07:44 PM
And sometimes it is more than the legal guardian. My hubby's cousin had a child with a man who left her before the boy was born. But he was named on the birth certificate. When her second husband wanted to adopt him, and change his last name, the birth father would have had to agree. Which he did not. So the kid waited until he was 18, no longer needed the sperm donor's permission, and changed it then.


02-21-2015, 11:27 PM
In California, both parents have to be notified, but they don't have to agree. The judge can decide to grant the name change if he feels it is in the best interest of the child. Additionally, there are programs in place for victims of domestic violence and assault, such as the Safe at Home program.

And yes, under the age of 18 (minors), the parent/guardian petitions for the name change.

Siri Kirpal
02-21-2015, 11:54 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Just for the record, my father (b. 1924) and my FIL (b. 1918) did not use the last names on their birth certificates. (In my FIL's case, there was no available certificate as the archives burned.) They just began using an anglesized (sp?) version of the original name (Dad's case) or mother's maiden name (FIL's case). They just did it. Getting passports later in life was tricky, but both of them managed it. This was long before Homeland Security, of course.


Siri Kirpal