Changing a Child's Last Name in Louisiana

By Maeri Claire
Some name changes in Louisiana require a court order.

birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

There are several reasons why someone would want to change a child's last name in Louisiana. Name changes occur due to adoption, divorce, marriage, for protection and more. The process to change your child's last name in Louisiana varies depending on the reason and the age of the child. Some situations require a court order to change the last name. The easiest changes are when last name is simply misspelled.

Complete the Application to Amend Certificate of Birth, available on the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals website. This form must be completed by the parents or legal guardians unless one of the legal guardians is deceased, was not awarded any custody rights by a court, or if one parent has failed to follow a court's ruling for a minimum of one year.

Gather as many of the following documents as you can if you are submitting for a change of last name due to a spelling error. Baptismal certificates, hospital letters and/or midwife letters are all acceptable documents of evidence.

Obtain a court order for the name change if your are completely changing your child's current last name. Contact your closest district court to receive a Petition for Name Change. Complete the form and submit it back to the court. Wait for the court to either grant or deny the name change.

Provide an Acknowledgement of Paternity for children under the age of 13 who require a name change and were born outside of a marriage. This form must be submitted by the mother and father together. If the father will not acknowledge paternity, the mother will have to file a lawsuit to establish paternity.

Supply a five-year record for children who require a last name change and are 13 or older. A five-year record is a record created at least five years prior to the date on which you submit the request for name change. It must include the registrant's name, date of birth, place of birth and parents' names. Sufficient documents include an application for social security number, school records, marriage application or baptismal record.

Send all documents of evidence along with the completed Application to Amend Certificate of Birth to the Louisiana Vital Records Registry, attention to Document Alteration Section, PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160. Include a money order in the amount of $18 plus fifty cents for each mail submission. You will also have to send an extra $15 if you cannot supply a copy of your child's current birth certificate. If you wish to receive a copy after the amendment has been made, you must also include an additional $9.

About the Author

Maeri Claire specializes in oral and written communications, and has been writing technical and training documents since 2003. Claire graduated in 2000 from an academy in British Columbia.