Changing a Child's Name

This is from the home site:

"At any time can a parent change a minor child’s last name without the other parent’s permission?

In North Carolina, a parent may not change the name of a minor child without the consent of the other parent, except in the following instances: the other parent is deceased; the minor child has reached the age of 16; the minor child has the consent of the custodial parent who has supported the minor child and the clerk of court is satisfied that the non-custodial parent has abandoned the minor child; or the non-custodial parent has been adjudicated as having abandoned the minor child."

Hope this helps.

Thanks stepmother…

More information on what I’m trying to zero in on…

A child was born to me and my wife during our marriage. The child’s birth certificate has/had my last name on it. Eventually my wife abandoned the marriage after telling me that the baby was not mine biologically. Because the baby was born during our marriage I have/had legal status as the baby’s father - regardless of biology.

At one point my ex presented me with a paper that she claimed was a DNA report verifying that the baby was not mine biologically. She demanded that I sign a paper she wrote up stating that at some point I would be willing to let her change the baby’s last name, based on this “evidence”. I countered that the paper would have to also say that I did not want to give up my parental rights to the baby, regardless of the name change. I signed it and it was notarized.

However, she refused to give me a copy of the DNA report and she never gave me the “paperwork” that I was supposed to sign to let her change the baby’s name. I assumed she never pursued the matter.

I have since found out that she has managed to get the baby’s name changed anyway. I still have never been given any evidence (I even had the DNA stuff subpoenaed at one point, which she never provided) that verifies that the child was not mine. I think she may have committed paternity fraud and used the baby to woo her lover deeper into a relationship.

If what you posted is correct, I don’t see how she could have legally changed the baby’s name without me signing the appropriate paperwork. I don’t see how my notarized letter stating my willingness to sign papers in the future could have been used to justify the name change, especially when the same paper I signed stated that I wanted to remain in the baby’s life as her father - and I certainly haven’t abandoned the child.

What’s your opinion on this? Does it sound to you like something shady has taken place?

My questions to you would be: How is this going to affect your custodial rights? Did she have the name changed to her lover’s last name? What do you hope to accomplish if there’s a way to show that she has lied about paternity? Do you want the child’s name changed back? Or are you just trying to find out once and for all if the child is yours?
Yes this does sound a little shady…IMHO it sounds as though maybe the original paperwork was changed so that your signature remained intact but the permission changed…may be why you never received a copy.
Could you request your own DNA test?

How is this going to affect your custodial rights?

  1. My ex claims that she has had all of my custody rights to this child severed. However, she is unwilling to explain how or when this was done. I think she’s lying.

  2. As things stand, she has prohibited me from having any contact with this child. There is no custody agreement in place that addresses this child in any way. If she has been lying to me about me not being this child’s father, and I still have custody rights, then I intend to be a part of this child’s life.

Did she have the name changed to her lover’s last name?

So she claims. However, if it was done she would have had to do it without my consent - meaning she broke the law. Additionally, she has refused for over a year to give me a copy of the DNA report or any documentation demonstrating that the child’s name has been changed. I had a subpoena issued for this documentation 4 months ago and still have not received any of it.

What do you hope to accomplish if there’s a way to show that she has lied about paternity? Do you want the child’s name changed back?

I had originally consented to allow her to change the child’s name because she had engaged in extreme alienation tactics and had cut off my contact to my other 3 children. She said that she would sign a custody agreement and allow me to see my other kids if I would sign her paper about changing the 4 child’s name. However, I never agreed in word or writing to forfeit any parenting rights to the 4th child. If the child is mine both biologically and legally, of course I want the child’s name changed back to mine - especially if it was changed illegally.

Or are you just trying to find out once and for all if the child is yours?

That is a big reason, yes. I loved that child as my own. I didn’t know any different. My ex tricked me into believe the baby was mine, and then has apparently changed the baby’s name to someone elses as a way to manipulate him too. I need to know if this child is mine.

Could you request your own DNA test?

I don’t know. I suppose it would have to be ordered by the court if my ex won’t consent.

Based on the facts of your post it does not sign like the document you signed will be sufficient to change your child’s last name.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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A married couple has a child together. The child’s birth certificate bears the father’s last name. The couple divorces. Can the custodial mother legally change the child’s last name without the knowledge or consent of the father?