My daughters ‘father’ has never been in her life, he left when she was born. I thought that he was going to be a decent dad and because it was the done thing and I didn’t even realise I could give her mine, signed the birth certificate with his surname. Now almost 5 years on, I have a wonderful fiancé and we have a n almost one year old together. We have been together since my daughter was 3 months old and she knows him as her daddy. I keep putting off our wedding because I don’t want my daughter to be the only one who doesn’t have a matching last name. I want us to be a family. She is old enough to notice now but she isn’t old enough to understand why her name is different (which I will explain to her when the time comes) Even though he has absolutely nothing to do with her and doesn’t even pay a cent of child support He flat out refuses to sign the forms to give her my last name. Please, has anybody been through this before? Is there any other way to have it changed? Has anybody managed to change their child’s name without the other parents permission?

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Posted anonymously, 20th February 2014


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  • I didn’t force this issue – wish I had of though… my son is 24 yo has never had contact with his dad but will not relinquish his last name… good luck



  • Consult legal aid as technically the surname is ususally the father’s as I am sure that is the law .



  • I have lots of friends who gave dads name on the birth certificate but he’s not involved with the child, so they just use their own surname, no changing on the certificate though. When it comes down to it, he is the dad and they should have the option of being able to know him if they want at a later stage



  • Wow by the sounds of it he definitely doesn’t deserve to have a daughter carry his surname!! I would be seeking advice from family mediation or court as to what you can do the have it changed! She is your daughter and you have ever right to have her name changed if he isn’t in the picture… Why does he car anyway? It’s not like he has anything to do with her! Good luck :-)



  • Love to know how you went with this.



  • If he appears on her birth certificate and will not agree to change her surname then the only way to change her surname officially is to apply to the Court (Local Court, Federal Magistrates Court or Family Court) for an order that allows your child’s surname to be
    changed. The Court will not make an Order allowing your child’s surname to be changed unless it believes that the name change will be in the best interests of the child.
    The Hawkesbury Nepean Community Legal Centre has a factsheet on this and it states: If you apply to the Court to get an order you must have a good reason for wanting to change your child’s last name. It is unlikely that separating from the child’s other parent will be considered a good reason on its own. The Court must find that it is in the best interests of the child to change their surname NOT that it is in your best interests.
    You can download the necessary forms for an Application to the Court from
    http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au. You should get legal advice before you apply to the Court for an order allowing the name change.



  • How did you go with the name change?



  • there are some good comments here



  • I would get legal advice. You can usually get free advice from a public lawyer.



  • Contact the magistrates office and see what your options are.



  • I do believe you can get your new husband to adopt your daughter when you get married….that is one way of getting her name changed, I would also be looking for back payment on any child payments until your ex sees sense.



  • my husband although given his dad’s surname, started using his mums maiden name before starting school. He was issued a stat dec at one point by births, deaths and marriages, however, this did not make it legal it just meant he could use this name. He did not legally apply to change his surname until we were planning on getting married as I refused to take on a surname that he did not use.



  • thats a hard one contact a lawyer. :)



  • Isn’t her surname already different to yours? If you signed it with his name I mean? And would she know that is not the norm unless you tell her? I just think it matters much more to you than her – and I can of course see why as he is a dead beat dad that don’t deserve such title but I think that unless you point out that she is different she won’t really know! Good luck!



  • Hope you have found someone to help you with this! You are a great mum for wanting the best for your kids! Hope things get solved soon!


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