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If I have a baby and the father's last name isn't include in the birth certificate, what's the process in CA to change it later?

Glendale, CA |

I'm pregnant but not married and I'm unsure of having my boyfriend's last name on the birth certificate at the moment of birth... If I used only my last name maybe later we can change it. I'd like to know how will be the process and the fees. Thanks a lot. Amy

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Attorney answers 2


If you later decide to change your child's last name, you can File a Petition for Name Change with the Court. You will have to provide notice of the Petition to certain persons, likely also the child's father. Basically, you cannot obtain a name change in an effort to defraud anyone. You then have to publish the request for Name Change in a newspaper that is local to you and you will have to take the Notice of Publication to the Court to prove that its been done. The notice that is published has the date, time and place of the hearing on the name change included so anyone who wants to object can appear and explain to the court why the name change shouldn't be granted. You may be able to file the petition without paying the court filing fee if your income is below certain levels and you file for a Fee Waiver Application at the same time as filing the Petition, but its up to you to pay for the publication in the newspaper.

Good Luck

The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Said information does not constitute the formation of any attorney/client relationship. The information is provided without consideration. An Attorney / client relationship can only be formed upon the execution of a formal retainer agreement and payment of retainer fee between a consumer and my office. We are a federally designated debt relief agency.


I believe that Ms. Roberts-Ross has answered your question well, however I just wanted to be sure that your question pertained only as to including your boyfriend's last name as part of your baby's name, and not also regarding listing your boyfriend on the birth certificate as the father.

If you are having questions about listing your boyfriend as the father on the birth certificate, that raises a variety of other issues and could have many consequences going forward - which you would want to discuss with an attorney. If you are not married to the baby's father when the baby is born, in order to have his name listed on the birth certificate as the father, you will both have to complete a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity - which can even be done at the hospital. You can find out a bit more about this process here: and/or by contacting an attorney for additional information.

However, if you were simply asking about your child's name, then the answer from Ms. Roberts-Ross should be more than sufficient.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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