I am in the process of adopting my child and am not sure how to proceed with changing his last name. I thought this was done automatically through the court system, but I guess I was wrong.
What do I need to do now?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.
Where I practice in Pennsylvania, a name can generally be formally changed on the birth certificate of a child by initiating proceedings in the orphans’ court. The petitioner for such an action will file the appropriate paperwork in the county where he or she resides. A petition is required to have certain relevant information; and statutory provisions for the name change of a child can be found in 54 Pa.C.S.A. § 701(a.1). Usually the court will grant a name change of a child when it is shown that such a change is in the child’s best interests.
Due to the extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.