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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102496
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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is it legal to change the maternal name on a birth certifi

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is it legal to change the maternal name on a birth certificate?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

This depends. Can you please tell me:

1) Who wants to change it?
2) By "maternal name," do you mean the mother's name or the last name of the child?
3) Is the child being adopted? What is the back-story to this matter?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

back story: my daughter was adopted in 1998 at age 4

maternal would be my name... not hers

the state of birth was south Carolina and the adoption was in Illinois.

the adoption was not with my consent.

there was not attempt to contact me / notify me ect.....

my daughter is now 21 and does not understand for genealogical purposes how this was possible... given tht her adopted mother spoke to me and was in contact with me...

the divorce and adoption were publicly printed in the local paper...however i lived in a different state and was not privilege to the paper....

Thank you for your clarification.

One more follow up, please:

1) What is attempted to be accomplished here? To re-adopt her? Or to have her change her name to yours? Or to somehow "void" the childhood adoption?

2) Or, something else?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she does not want the step mother ( adopted mothers) name on her birth certificate.

she is beside herself that there would be any attempt to " erase" me ( her birth mother) from her words...what if she or her siblings had illnesses...needed a kidney...ect.....


Thank you.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

I am not sure what exactly happened back in 1998. However, it seems that the step-parent has pushed through the adoption one way or another. Now that she is an adult, that adoption cannot be "undone." The matter is over.

The birth certificate can only be modified if there is a custody action, in most cases. As she is an adult, no such action is possible. So, the birth certificate cannot be changed. I am sorry.

However, you can legally adopt her again as an adult. This will make her as much your daughter legally as having your name on the birth certificate for purposes of estate, probate, and otherwise. Please let me know if you need information on this procedure by using the REPLY button.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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