Can you change a child’s name in Scotland?

Frequently asked questions

When it comes to changing a child’s name, the following are some of the most often asked questions.

Can I change my child’s name in Scotland?

Yes. The child’s name can be legally changed by registering the change of name with the National Records of Scotland. If this is not possible or practical, the child’s name can be changed in a less official manner through a Statutory Declaration.

Do I need the other parent’s approval to change my child’s name?

The decision to change a child’s name, like any other involving a child, should be taken with the child’s best interests in mind.  When changing a child’s name, either by registering it at the National Records of Scotland or by Statutory Declaration, the parent must obtain the consent of the other parent if the other parent has parental obligations and rights over the child. If a parent has sole parental obligations and rights over a kid, they do not require approval from the other parent.

How can I formally change my child’s name?

To formally change the name of a child under the age of 16, the child’s birth must first be registered in Scotland. In addition, the application must be completed by a qualified candidate. A qualified applicant is someone who meets the following criteria:

  • If just one parent has parental obligations and rights in connection to the children, they are considered the sole parent.
  • Both parents if they share parental obligations and rights over the kid.
  • If neither parent has parental responsibilities and rights, any other person has those responsibilities and rights.

You apply for a name change by answering a series of questions and filling out documents from the National Records of Scotland. The paperwork and name change are then recorded in the Scottish National Registers. You will also need to pay the necessary fee at the time of recording.

The new name will be written on all birth records after the change has been recorded, along with the old name.

If you do not want to make a formal change or it is not possible, you might want to use a Statutory Declaration instead.

What if the other parent isn’t on board with the change?

If there is a dispute between two parents who both have parental responsibilities and rights, the parent who wants to change the child’s name may have to go to court for permission to do so. If a name is changed independently the parent who does not consent may petition the court for an order requiring the name to be changed back to its original form. All of this may incur large fees and may be both confusing and stressful for the children.  Before attempting to change the child’s name on your own, you must get advice from a professional.

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