What if I can’t obtain consent to my child’s change of name?

If a child’s father shares joint parental responsibility, but you don’t know where he is, or if there are other clear and strong reasons why you are unable to obtain the consent of the father, you should produce a letter stating your own consent to the child’s change of name and explaining why you cannot obtain the other parent’s consent.

For example your letter might give details about

  • Your efforts to find the father

  • Details of reported violence or abuse by the father

  • The father being imprisoned for a serious offence

  • Details of a court order being in force preventing the father having contact.


You would then provide a copy of this letter plus the child’s Deed Poll document to any UK organisation that requested written proof of full parental consent. (We do not require a copy of this letter).

Please note however that this type of written statement may not be accepted by some key organisations including the Identity and Passport Office, and a Court Order may be required in addition to the Deed Poll document, before your child’s passport can be amended to show the new name.

If the father shares joint parental responsibility and you do know where he is, but he has expressly refused his consent to the child’s change of name, you may apply for a Court Order to request permission to change the child’s name.

If you change the child’s name against the wishes of the father, he may dispute the change in the future.

To apply for your child’s change of name by Deed Poll please click here

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