Legal Question in Family Law in Missouri

changing name of child

How do I change the last name of my son to the last name of his biological father? We were not married at the time of his birth, and so my name is his legal last name on the birth certificate.

Asked on 6/07/03, 12:05 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
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Re: changing name of child

Although you may be able to just change the child's last name through the usual legal process of filing a Petition and obtaining a Court Order, your question suggests that you might really need some other legal relief. Has the "biological father" ever been determined to be the "legal father"? In other words, has there been an administrative determination by the Division of Family Services, or a judicial determination in a Paternity suit? If not, then simply changing the child's last name will not make the man legally the child's father. He will have no duty to support the child. The child would not inherit from the man when the man dies, and conversely, the man would not inherit from the child should the child predecease him. Also, in the event that you and the "biological father" split up, he will not have any legal right to have any contact with the child at all. This would be true even if you have been together for years and the child considers the man his or her father. Are you married to the "biological father"now? If so, a step-parent adoption may be advisable. So, I would advise you to consult with an attorney to determine what your actual legal needs are, depending upon your own wishes and considering the best interrest of the child.

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6/07/03, 1:08 am

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