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?
Family Law Attorney
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.
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