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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I applied for my childrens 1st passport 6 weeks ago, at the

Customer Question

I applied for my children's 1st passport 6 weeks ago, at the beginning of the year January i also changed my children s surname via deed poll. i sent all the relevant information to the passport office, certificates supporting letters etc.. explaining that the children s names ha been changed by deed poll as there biological father was not in the lives an hadn't been for more than 5 years. i have received no child maintenance, i have no contact details for him etc..
i received a letter from the passport office yesterday explaining that they note the children an now know as there new surnames, two whole paragraphs about parental responsibility and then say i should reply to them stating wen i married the children's biological father and if there are any court order, custody orders or parental responsibility orders in place.
I am lost?? i don't know what to do next. I have legally changed my children's name by deed poll as i explained at the beginning and myself and my children have no clue where there biological father is. Do i need a court order? or parental responsibility order? Iam not sure how all this works.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and were you married to their father?
Were you not warned about this problem when you deed the documentation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi clare,

my childrens ages are 10, 9 and 5

My elsest son who is 10 doesnt have a father named on his birth certificate and my other children have his name on the birth certificate and i married him 31st july 2006. decree absolute received in nov 2010.

no i wasnt aware i had all these issues when i deed the documentation.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
I am surprised that this was not explained to you - and you should make a formal complaint to anyone who assisted you.
I am afraid that you need the permission of either your ex or the court to change the children's names officially
Accordingly I am afraid that you have NOT actually legally changed the children's names - you have simply arranged for them to be known by another name.
You have two choices
You can simply accept that their passports remain in their old names and leave things as they are - where the children are known by the names that you and they prefer
Alternatively you can apply to the court for permission to change the names.
You will need to take active efforts to trace your ex - contacting his family members and instructing an enquiry agent in order to serve the court documentation upon him.
If he truly cannot be found then there is still no guarantee that the court will agree to the change - but there is a chance - and a better one if you actually simply hyphenate the last names
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details