Have you recently gone through a sticky family situation, gotten divorced or remarried or simply wish to make a symbolic change to shape the future of your children? A variety of reasons could exist for wanting or needing to change your child’s last name, including situations involving adoption or divorce. Changes in your family's structure over the course of time might leave you feeling that everyone would be happier or better represented if you could change the last name of your kids. Fortunately, when you reside in Ontario, there are two fairly straightforward procedures you can follow to successfully change the name of your child.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
You will need to complete a form called the Application to Change a Child’s Name and either deliver it in person or mail it to ServiceOntario at 47 Sheppard Ave. in the East ServiceOntario center.
Changing a Child’s Last Name
Changing a child’s last name in Ontario can be as simple as completing and filing a form, depending on your circumstances. However, to legally make this change, there are a few criteria that must be met. First, the child must have lived in Ontario either for the past year or since her birth if she is less than a year old. In addition, she must be 17 years old or less. Lastly, she cannot be married.
In addition to these basic rules, Ontario requires that no court orders or separation agreements be in place that would prohibit the change of your child’s name. All adults who have legal custody of the child must provide permission for the change, as well. Any written and legally binding agreements that speak to the custody of the individual must be submitted to the court at the time that you attempt the name change. Ontario requests that copies of these agreements be certified. If you are unable to obtain certified copies, you will need to submit the originals.
You will need to complete a form called the Application to Change a Child’s Name and either deliver it in person or mail it to ServiceOntario at 47 Sheppard Ave. in the East ServiceOntario center. At the time you submit the form, you’ll also be required to submit payment. If you are just requesting the change for your child, the fee is $137. If you’ll be attempting to change your own name at the same time, the fee for your child is just $22.
Change of Name Certificate
If the government approves your request, you will receive a change of name certificate. This document will include both your child’s previous name and his new name. You will be able to use this certificate as a legally binding document to change his name on his health card or other documents.
To change a name on a health card in Ontario, you must visit a ServiceOntario center. There, you’ll be expected to bring a completed copy of a Change of Information form and either a certificate of marriage, a Canadian change of name certificate, a record of marriage, a notarized affidavit, a divorce certificate, a certified court order, an adoption certificate or a citizenship or immigration status document in the correct name.
In addition, if you have a red and white health card, you will also need to bring three original documents to prove your citizenship or eligible immigration status, Ontario residency and identity.
Birth Certificate Ontario Name Change
When you complete a ServiceOntario name change, you’ll also receive a new birth certificate reflecting this alteration. It does not contain parental information, though a certificate outlining this information as well can be requested via the Request for Birth Certificate application. There is also a fee required to file this form.
It is possible to order a birth certificate online, provided that the child’s birth was registered in Ontario. In all instances, obtaining a new document will negate the validity of any previously issued certificates.
If you are at least 13 years of age, you can apply for your own birth certificate. Parents or guardians of a child, as outlined on an existing birth certificate, are also eligible to apply for a replacement document for their children. It is also possible to apply for a birth certificate for a deceased person. In some instances, such as a case of guardianship or when a deceased individual is involved, it may be required that you present certain documents when applying.
- child image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com