Category: Adoption

Do I need consent from my ex to change our child’s name?

If a parent wishes to change their child’s surname, they should first seek the consent of any other person with parental responsibility.

There are several reasons why a parent may wish to change their child’s name after a separation or divorce. If the parents were married, then it is quite common for one party to revert to their maiden name. Similarly, if one person remarries, they may wish for the child to take their new family name.

Whatever the reason for the name change, everyone with parental responsibility should consent to the change in writing before it can be changed.

When there is consent

If all parties with parental responsibility are happy with the proposed name change then the change can be made via deed poll. If the child in question is aged between 16 and 18 then they too must sign the deed poll to consent to the change of name.

When there isn’t consent

If your ex disagrees with the name change and you cannot get their consent, then you will need to apply for a Specific Issue Order to change the child’s name.

The court will then decide whether the name change is in the best interests of the child. A few factors that will influence their decision includes the length of time the child has had their existing name, the reasons for the change, the effect changing or not changing their name could have on the child, and the child’s wishes.

Specific Issue Orders can also be requested by the opposing parent in order to prevent the name change.

Requesting a Specific Issue Order

If you require a Specific Issue Order to either apply to change your child’s name or prevent it being changed, get in touch with our team of specialist family law solicitors here at Lund Bennett by calling us on 0161 927 3118.

Adoptions Fall 18%

After a long period of growth since 2011, the number of adoptions fell in the 12 months to March 2016 for the first time while the number of children in foster care continues to rise.

Statistics also show that the 2,700 babies under the age of one were placed in council care in 2015. The rise has been largely put down to government pressure on social workers which has been driven by high profile failings such as the Baby Peter neglect scandal of 2007.

The falling trend in adoptions is predicted to continue with the number of children placed for adoption also falling. This is likely to have implications for the psychological wellbeing of children according to a recent article in the Independent newspaper. Some children are said to suffer psychological attachment disorders that lead to behavioural problems in later life.

The number of children taken into care has risen 96% from 5,500 in 1995 to 10,790 in 2016. While there is pressure on social workers to avoid the failings of the past it may be that too many children are now being placed in care with no studies to back up if this is really best solution for the children involved. However, it’s a tricky balance to strike when nobody wants to see a repeat of the Baby Peter Case.

Sharia Law And Adoption

Adopting children from other countries can be a complex process. It is also one that can sometimes end in heartbreak for those who may be forced to return a child as a result of them being unaware of the laws and customs in other countries.

Adopting a child from a Sharia country is more complicated than most due to strict rules that place restrictions on the rights of adoptive parents. In Sharia Law, biological parents always have the final say when it comes to their children which means those seeking to adopt a child must become guardians. Biological parents will continue to have legal rights over the child and there will often be a form signed to ensure this is the case before a child is handed over.

Under what is known as the kafala system, biological parents can request that their child can be returned to them even when the child has settled in with their adoptive guardians. Complications don’t end there however.

UK nationals will need to seek permission from the local authority for the child to enter the UK and proof must be provided that the child is being brought in under a private fostering arrangement or as a Kafala child.

a special guardianship order under the Children Act 1989 will need to be obtained so that adoptive parents will be able to take responsibility for the child.