How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30151
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was trying to find information on how to add a last name

Customer Question

I was trying to find information on how to add a last name to my bsby biryh certificate
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Alabama
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes also i want to know information on joint custody of a child
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

To add you name to a child's birth certificate as a parent, the first step is to file a Petition to Establish Paternity, which puts the mother and the court on notice that you're attempting to create a legal relationship here. (Either parent can actually file this.) You can ask the judge to order the mother to present the child for a DNA test. When it comes back, the judge will issue a court order that you are the parent, which can be used to add your name to the birth certificate. At the same time, the judge will enter orders for child custody and child support. The court actually has forms for establishing paternity available online:

If the parents can agree on a parenting plan, the judge will usually sign off on it. If you can't, then the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine what is best for the child. The judge starts with the presumption that a child benefits from having a relationship with two biological parents rather than one.

Changing a baby's last name requires a Petition for Name Change of a Minor Child. Paternity must be established before the judge will entertain the motion, but it is possible to file both at the same time. He'll just put the name change on hold until the paternity test comes back. If the other parent won't agree to the change, both parents will have an opportunity to explain to the court why the name they prefer would be best for the child. Here is a form for that:

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.