There are many situations that allow a child to change his or her last name. To change a child's name, the parents or legal guardians must file a petition with the court. Generally, the parents will need to issue their written consent before a court will grant a change of surname.
After an adoption, parents may change the child's last name to the adoptive family's surname.
When a step-parent adopts his partner's child, the child may change her surname to reflect the new parent's last name.
If the identity of a child's father is unknown at birth and the court later determines his or her paternity, the child may take the father's surname.
Although it is rare, courts may choose to change a child's last name to the mother's maiden surname after a divorce.
Parental Name Change
If one of both parents legally change their last name, a child may change his or her surname name to that of the parents.