Canan18year old have her lastname changed without having to notify her biological father?

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Canan18year old have her lastname changed without having to notify her biological father?

An college student, age 18 (almost 19) would like to have her last name changed to that of her step-father. He is the only father that she has really known. Her biological father had his parental rights taken away when she was about 10 years old. She would like to have her name changed before the fall semester of this year. She turns 18 about 2 weeks after fall semester begins. What can she do that will not require her having to locate and contact her biological father? He does not live in this country.

Asked on July 31, 2011 Alabama

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are very lucky to have had someone to raise you like their own child and it truly a loving gesture on your part to have you name changed to your step fathers.  First, if your biological father's rights have been terminated you need not be chained to his last name nor do you have to contact him in any way to change your name. When this happened did your step father also adopt you in the same proceeding?  If he did then your borth certificate should have been altered at that point in time and you could do so now without the need to do as you wish here.  If he did not, would be now?  That is an important step for you as a child in every other way to insure that you are taken care of in the event of his death.  You are not considered a legal heir otherwise.  And it may be a problem for you to use his last name here or change it legally.  You can without a doubt change it to your Mother's maiden name.  But I would ask an attorney in your area about what you want to do.   Good luck to you.  

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are very lucky to have had someone to raise you like their own child and it truly a loving gesture on your part to have you name changed to your step fathers.  First, if your biological father's rights have been terminated you need not be chained to his last name nor do you have to contact him in any way to change your name. When this happened did your step father also adopt you in the same proceeding?  If he did then your borth certificate should have been altered at that point in time and you could do so now without the need to do as you wish here.  If he did not, would be now?  That is an important step for you as a child in every other way to insure that you are taken care of in the event of his death.  You are not considered a legal heir otherwise.  And it may be a problem for you to use his last name here or change it legally.  You can without a doubt change it to your Mother's maiden name.  But I would ask an attorney in your area about what you want to do.   Good luck to you.  


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