M.D. asks from McKeesport, PA on April 30, 2007
Questions About Name Change.
My 2 oldest kids father and I haven't been together for 4 years. I am now married for 2 years. My husband loves my kids (which are 5 and 4)and they call him dad. Their biological father jumps from job to job, has 7 other kids, and never sees our kids. We both tried to give him the opportunity to be in the kids lives but it never works. I have no ties to his family. My husband wants us all to have the same name (we have a son together). How do I go about this? I heard he needed to consent, but my kids dad can't even be found to give permission.
M.G. answers from Erie on May 02, 2007
My sister just went through this last year. She has 2 kids and had gotten married a few years ago and her husband wanted to adopt the kids. To do this, my sister had to track down the kids father and get him to give up his rights to the kids and then her husband was able to adopt them. I do know that you will probably have to go through a lawyer or someone at the courthouse. I hope this helps.
L.H. answers from Philadelphia on May 01, 2007
When it comes to name change. If the father is not paying child support for at least 1yr. You can have the courts take away his rights and then have your husband adopt him. If he is paying child support then you have to get him to sign off his rights and then have you husband adpot him.
My husband us waiting till my twins are at the right full age before we change there name. Happy to hear that there is another man out there that is willing to step in and be a true dad to the kids.
R.M. answers from Pittsburgh on May 01, 2007
their birthfather's rights need to be terminated and your husband needs to adopt them for a name change - best wishes!
H.B. answers from Allentown on May 01, 2007
I have the same questions about my son. Your childrens father saounds A LOT like my sons father only he doesnt jump job to job he just doesnt bother to work so he doesnt have to pay child support! Nice right?! Well to answer your question as far as I know if he is on the birth certificates he does have to sign his rights over which means filing paper through the court. If he isnt on the birth certificate just call you local court distric they should be able to tell you where to go tofind more info. When I get married I want my son to have what ever name I am going to have but now that he is getting older and I am not married yet I will leave the decision up tohim. At birth I gave him an option from the get go he has both of our last names so he could choose fro himself I am still going to leave that open for him to decide but I want him to always have the last name that I do. Good luck!
K.R. answers from Philadelphia on April 30, 2007
Hi, Iwhen I had my daughter, she took my maiden last name. I never told her real father about her(or put his name on the bc)She wasnt planned and he was a short lived fling. My now husband took the father role ever since she was like 4-5 months. When she was 3, we got married. He wanted to take legal action and adopt her. We paid alot for a laywer I never told anyone about her father(biological) so it was like he didnt exist, We went to court and he adopted her. When we were there, her new name was on a certificate with a gold seal. After that, we went to the social security office, and changed her name to her #. Also a new bc that has my husband as the biological daddy. In your case, their dad has to sign over his rights for them and then your husband will have to adopt. It is a shame that something so simple in my eyes has to be drawn out and cost an arm and leg to happen. Your husband sounds like a real good person to want to do this.
Take care and good luck,
M.S. answers from Philadelphia on May 01, 2007
go file for a name change and then publish it in the paper, he will have 20 days to response and if he doesn't you'll still have a court date and the the children will have his name!!!
K.E. answers from Reading on May 01, 2007
His parental rights need to be terminated before an adoption or even a name change could take place. If you wanted just the name change without terminating his rights, you must find him and get his permission. If he has had no contact for 6 months, the court can terminate his rights based on abandonment (if you're in Pennsylvania). As another mother said, you will have to give notice in the classifieds and then he'll have the opportunity to attend the termination hearing and contest it. However, if you can prove he had plenty of opportunity in the last 6 months, but was missing in action, there won't be a problem with termination. If he does contest it, take him to court for support - usually if a man has no interest, he'll voluntarily terminate his rights when he finds out he'll have to pay support.
You definitely want to get lawyer for this. Fees are generally less than $1000 for step-parent adoption in the Berks/Montgomery/Lehigh County area. You want this done right so it doesn't come back to bite you in the butt later!
Best of luck,
J.S. answers from Pittsburgh on May 01, 2007
You legally cannot change any of your children's names unless your husband adopts your kids. This requires their biological father to give up all rights to his children and then after a 30 day waiting persiod her can proceed with a step partent adoption. If you need more info...let me know. I just went thru this process myself and can lead you into the right direction.