Name change of a child without adoption
Hello, I have a real delima. My husband is contimplating letting the mother of his daughter and her new husband, adopt his nine year daughter. They including the daughter want everyone in their house to have the same last name, they have a 3 year old also. Is there anyway that he can do a name change without the adoption. That would be signing away all his parental rights. This is his only child. We live 6 states away and only get to see her maybe 2 times a year, but they have had a father daughter relationship up till this point, The mother says she will let the father see her and have contact, without the father paying child support, which by the way has never been late. But the forms sent ask that he sign the informed consent papers to terminate any parental rights and also state in a section that it will terminate his rights whether or not any agreement for visitation or communication had been discussed or agreed upon. Is there anyway since it means so much to the other parties to have the name changed, for this to be done without an adoption? HELP!!
The Adoption Petition
An adoption petition generally can be modified to include a provision identifying the purpose of the adoption as well as any conditions relative to it. The adoption itself will require termination of parental rights from a legal standpoint but he can add a provision relative to visitation and participation in the child's life ... which from the sound of your posting is not the problem ... and if it is easier for the child and she wants it my advice would be to grant the wish ... another route to take is a Guardianship Agreement which again petitions the court and I believe would allow name change or the use of her step-father's name ... where it would be noted most would be in the future when she applies for a security card, job, security clearance, etc. when she would have to complete the section relative to known by any other names ...

An attorney will generally offer a free consultation appointment which I would high advise to make sure he/she provides you with the legal facts to this and even reviews all of the paperwork prior to signing same.
YES, you can change a child's name without changing the status of the child within your family. You go to the courthouse and get a petition for name change. In my state the forms are on-line. It will ask you the reason for the name change and you have to have it notorized that you are not doing it bc of criminal reasons. You then pay the fee (around $10 here), and the court will contact you with a court date. You go before a judge and he/she will either grant or deny your request. You then go down to the Soc Security Admin and get a new SS number.

Both parents have to sign the petition to change the name.
name change
Yes it is possible, my mother changed my name with out my fathers knowledge. A changed name does not mean that rights have been removed.
I suppose this message might be coming too late, but I feel compelled to answer it. First, I can only give general advice since I am not an attorney. But adoptions and name changes are two totally separate things. Adoptions are not usually required when a parent simply wants to change her child's name. And your husband cannot have his parental rights terminated, or his daughter's name changed, without notice and an opportunity to be heard and voice his objections. That is basic constitutional law.
day in court
While in principle, I suppose you are right Erik, we are allowed to have our day in court as long as we are notified. My father wasnt notified and by the time he had found out to much time had passed, making it impossible to do anything about it.

Now laws have changed to help prevent this from happening but they still do happen. My rights were terminated and my child was adopted without my knowledge. I was not an absent father either. Her mother took her and decided she no longer wanted to share. IҒve done everything I can think of to get my day in court (yes including hiring an attorney). I also understand that under constitutional law I am entitled to due process (I should have been notified). However since I was not notified I am only entitled to one year to defend myself, I found out 2 years after the fact. Remember every state has different interpretations of the law.

I know the initial post is not mine but if you can tell me how a person is guaranteed his day to protest, by all means please let me know. If you know an attorney in Illinois who is willing to push it to the Supreme Court in order to change things please give me his/her number. There are all sorts of people who bend the law and the rules to fit what they want. Not everyone does the right thing.
This sounds like something Attorney Leving would get into. He's in Illinois, probably chicago. Search for him on the web and call him. He's a big father's rights attorney. I can't remember his first name.

I can't give legal advice, and I do not know the specific facts in your case or the specific laws in Illinois. I do know that Illinois has a putative father registry, the contact info for which is listed in my directory, which is published as an article on this website. If you were not an absentee father, then you MAY have a claim that you established a relationship with the child significant enough to forego the need to register.

Ohio too has a one-year deadline for challenging an adoption. However, in In re Knipper (1986), 30 Ohio App.3d 214, the court held that the legislature does not constitutionaly have the power to bar attacks on adoptions within one year without also requiring proper notice to the parent, which includes the need to use reasonable diligence in locating the parent. The case cited and followed Armstrong v. Manzo, a US Supreme Court case--which means Armstrong applies nationwide. Thus, Illinois may have made similar rulings. If you want to know how to research that, let me know.
one year limit
Yes I would like any info you can send me. I've heard of that attorney and I have read some good and bad stories about his office. Thanks
Also if you could send me your web site too.
My website is I think there is an article on there about how to prevent your infant from being adopted. I only visit my website when I add to it, and I haven't added anything in a few months. The article also talks about where to find lawyers in your area. You can go to or call your county bar association.
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