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How to add father and change child's last name on Birth certificate

Beaverton, OR |

I live in Oregon and won custody of my son who lived in California after child protective services removed him from his mother's custody for the second time. How do I have my name put on his birth certificate and change his last name to mine. Can this be done here in Oregon or do I have to go to court in California?

Paternity has already been established and the state had been garnishing my paycheck for 2 years. I filed for joint custody / visitation after she went into hiding with my son. The mother has bipolar and schizophrenia and had locked my son in a room isolating him from all human contact . My son was 4 1/2 years old and in diapers with the communication skills of a 2 year old when child protective services took him from his mother. Apparently, this was the second time protective services had placed him in fostercare. Unaware of this, I moved to Oregon last year to be with family after being laid-off from my job and all my efforts to locate my son had failed . She would never agree to the name change. There is a final hearing in 2 weeks to establish a schedule for supervised phone calls and visitation. I was told the worker will handle it and I do not have to attend. Can the worker submit an afidavit for a name change in my behalf at this hearing?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

These are two different procedures. Changing the child's name could be done as part of a custody case; but if you have custody now, you could bring a separate action in court to change the name. The mother would have the opportunity to object - whether the court will listen to her will depend on the best interests of the child. It's the general rule that one parent merely wanting the name change isn't a good enough reason; but if her rights really are being terminated, then that might be enough.

Getting your name on the birth certificate is a separate matter. I don't understand from this set of facts how California's child protective services found you and granted you custody without a finding of paternity having been issued already.

You should consult with an attorney who can discuss your situation in more detail.

Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. www.northwestlawoffice.com

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Paternity has already been established and the state had been garnishing my paycheck for 2 years. I filed for joint custody / visitation after she went into hiding with my son. The mother has bipolar and schizophrenia and had locked my son in a room isolating him from all human contact . My son was 4 1/2 years old and in diapers with the communication skills of a 2 year old when child protective services took him from his mother. Apparently, this was the second time protective services had placed him in fostercare. Unaware of this, I moved to Oregon last year to be with family after being laid-off from my job and all my efforts to locate my son had failed . She would never agree to the name change.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin

Posted

Well, if paternity is already established, then amending the birth certificate is a simple matter, if it hasn't been done already. The Clerk of the Court is supposed to certify the finding of paternity to the Center for Health Statistics, and they issue a new birth certificate (ORS 109.094). If this hasn't happened, you can consult with an attorney and they can have the court set it right.

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