Altering the surname of a minor

A client asked: My wife and I have been raising her son. The biological father had passed. How can we change his surname to mine?

You can change the surname of a minor:

  • If a child is born out of wedlock and the mother marries a person other than the child’s biological father and wishes to change the child’s surname to that of her husband.
  • If a mother, after her divorce from or the death of her husband (father of child), wishes to change the child’s surname to her maiden surname or to another surname she bore legally; or if she has remarried, to the surname of her new husband.
  • If a child is born out of wedlock but registered under the biological father’s surname and the mother wishes to change the child’s surname to hers
  • If a minor is under the care of a guardian and the guardian wishes to change the child’s surname to his/hers.
  • Other situations not mentioned above where a good and sufficient reason for the change exists.

Applications must be on a duly completed Form BI-193.


  • The natural father’s written consent, unless waived by a competent court is a statutory requirement in the case where the child was born in wedlock.
  • The mother’s husband, whose surname the child is to assume, must also give his written consent to the assumption.
  • Both the natural parents’ written consent is required as well as a good and sufficient reason, in writing, for the change. Obviously, in this case – because the father has died – his consent is not a requirement.


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