Would I need to terminate father rights in order to change my sons last name? There was a different man whom signed the birth certificate who is now taken off the certificate, but biological father has not been there since day one.
1 Answer from Attorneys
There are a number of ways to change your child's last name. The most common way to do it is to file a Petition for Name Change for a Minor. If there is a presumed, adjudicated, or acknowledged biological father, then the father either has to agree to the order OR you have to explain to the judge, over dad's objections, why your child's name should be changed--Explain how it will make your child's live better.
If no one is on the birth certificate and no one is ordered to pay child support, then you might be able to file your petition for name change and immediately try to explain to the judge that there is not presumed, adjudicated, or acknowledged father; that your child's name does not match either his likely biological father or you; that it will be socially easier on your son if his name matched someone he is related to and, in this case, that person is you. Even if the judge denies your motion in that moment, he or she is likely to explain AT A HIGH LEVEL what else you need to do before the name change can be granted.