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changing your child's surname

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#1 courtney-b

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:00 AM


As the title suggests, we would like to change the surname of our children. Has anyone done this? Is it difficult?

We live overseas and travel a lot. I never changed my surname when we married. We discussed including both of our surnames when we had children but thought it would be easier just to go with my husband's. I really, really regret this now. I get asked all the time for proof that I am the mother when we are travelling, and it has made me realise that I want my name to be part of theirs as well. My husband is supportive either way.

Our children are 3 and 1 and haven't started formal school yet so it won't be a problem in this regard.

Thoughts and experiences?


#2 Lyn86

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:35 AM

Why not just change your name?

#3 kerilyntaryn

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:50 AM

I was going to say the same,  cant you just change your name

#4 MooGuru

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:55 AM

As someone who really doesn't want to change their name, I would say no to "can't you just change your name".
If both you and dh agree and your children don't really have a strong sense of identity linked to the name then it should be doable.

Edited by MooGuru, 24 January 2013 - 05:57 AM.

#5 BronR

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:29 AM

Does you Medicare card have your name and your children's name on it.

I am in the same situation as you but Medicare card has always sufficed in this situation as proof I am the mother.

#6 pjemc

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:35 AM

My mum changed mine and my sisters surname when i was about 8 and sis was about 5. We had different Dads and mine passed away  when i was a bub and sisters dad wasnt much of a dad and left. Mum used to get called Mrs my dads surname and mrs my sisters dads surname  by the school. The teachers who knew her called her Ms her own surname and she got a bit over being called 3 different names.. She kept our dads surname but added hers to the end. Wasnt a big deal to me or my sister and actually we liked it better all having the same.

#7 mylittlemen

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:39 AM

We lived in Europe when the kids were little and I often travelled alone with them so experienced similar hassles (I didn't change my name and don't intend to). Our children have my last name as an extra middle name. I always travelled with a letter from my husband with his consent to the children travelling internationally without him (US expat friends of ours have told us this is actually a requirement on some US airlines). In addition, customs and airline staff would usually finally see my last name buried in amongst the middle names and this was sufficient.

To do it officially, I would check the process in the country you live in (assuming your children were born there) or contact BDM in the State you are from.

#8 bebe12

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:21 AM


It is easy to do if you and the kids dad agree.

If you don't have other parents signiture it does have to go through family court.  We had to do this for DD, but judge looked at form, smirked and shock his head, said yes and we were gone 1 minute after seeing him, but had had to wait 4 hours to get to front. (i think he couldn't believe how simple this one was compared to all the other cases in front of him that day. most had been DV applications, or seeing people who had broken them.

The we just filled in forms once we got the official court document.

With DS he has both surnames of DH and i as i know lots of people who have had travel issues especially in Europe. As DH travels with work it was an important consideration.

#9 cinnabubble

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

Why on earth should she have to change her surname? That attitude sh*ts me to tears.

OP, presumably you have to manage it with the authorities in the country(ies) in which the birth was registered.

#10 Bluenomi

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

A friend recently changed her child's surname. They just reissued his birth certificate with the new last name and a note on the back that he was known as former name from x date to x date. That was in the ACT. Apparently you can't change names by deed poll anymore, they reissue a new birth certificate instead.

#11 Eeyolet

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:03 AM

My parents changed mine and my older sisters surname when we were 2yrs and 7yrs old. It didn't bother her at all and she was already at school, I don't know any different as I was so young. I was issued a new birth certificate and never had to use the old surname on forms or anything.

With us we had the surname completely changed (from Mum's to Dad's when they got married) so just adding another name isn't too big of a change at all.

#12 courtney-b

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:40 PM

Thanks for all of the replies. Everyone has different views on this, but changing my name is not an option I will consider, in the same way that it wasn't an option I would consider when we got married.

Both children were born in Australia so I will look into changing this next time we are home. Thank you for sharing your experiences.


#13 Mpjp is feral

Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

We also travel a lot, my kids don't have the same surname, and were adopted from overseas so are of a completely different ethnicity to me. I just carry passports and copies of their paperwork w me and never had an issue.

Where are you travelling? Many cultures don't share surnames w all family members..

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