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Deed Poll Helpline

A comprehensive guide to changing

your name by Deed Poll in the UK

About Deed Polls

Changing Your Name

Reasons for a Name Change




Time Saving Tip: The quickest and easiest way to change your name in the UK is to

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.


There are many reasons why a family might decide to change a child’s name after adoption. In most cases the adoptive family change the child’s name to give them a sense of belonging to their new family. However, it could be for safety reasons if for example the child has come from a difficult family background. An adopted child may have an unusual name with a difficult spelling, and the family may feel it is in the best interest of the child to change this name.

With older children who may want to change their first name, parents may let them be involved in choosing this.  By encouraging this, the child is given a sense of control and involvement with choices in their life.

With regard to a child who has been formally adopted, they do not actually require a Deed Poll to change their surname, as the adoptive birth certificate acts as evidence of this change. The birth certificate would be accepted to show that the child has changed their surname to the adopted family’s surname.

Copies of the adoptive Birth Certificate can be obtained from the General Register Office for a fee. Information on all adoptions in England and Wales are recorded in the Adopted Children Register, which is held at the Registry Office. Any adoption, which was registered on or after the 1 January 1927, will be on this Register. Adopted adults over the age of eighteen have the legal right to apply for access to information held in this register.


Choosing a Name

Some parents decide to keep the child’s father’s name as a middle name and then add the adopted family’s surname. This way they become part of the new family but also maintain their identity.

Adoptive parents may choose a name they like the sound of, or a name with a religious meaning. Some families choose a name of a much loved relative, such as a cousin or grandparent, giving the child a sense of belonging and sharing the family heritage.

Families, who adopt children from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, sometimes choose to keep their birth name and add a Christian name as a middle name. This allows the children to maintain their language and culture whilst having an English middle name should they wish to use it. Some people feel that the first name is important and may be used in later life for making connections to the child. Many adoptive parents feel that by keeping the child’s birth name as their first name, they are respecting the child’s birth parents and the child’s past.

It is also possible for adoptive parents to give the child a new first name and keep their birth name as a middle name, so it is not completely lost.

Sometimes, if the child has had an abusive or painful past, the family may choose to give the child a new first name and middle name, with the intention of giving the child a ‘fresh start’.


Time Saving Tip: The quickest and easiest way to change your name in the UK is to

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.



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