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dnavinnie

Changing stepchild's last name

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Does anyone have experience changing their stepchild's last name in the Philippines after marriage and before the CR-1 interview? I want to change my 8 year old stepdaughter's last name and get her a new passport while waiting but I don't want to run out of time. I realize I have around a year but I don't know how long a changing last name and getting a new passport issued will take. Thanks for any help. BTW...my fiancé has never been married and there is no father listed on the birth certificate.

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1 hour ago, dnavinnie said:

Does anyone have experience changing their stepchild's last name in the Philippines after marriage and before the CR-1 interview? I want to change my 8 year old stepdaughter's last name and get her a new passport while waiting but I don't want to run out of time. I realize I have around a year but I don't know how long a changing last name and getting a new passport issued will take. Thanks for any help. BTW...my fiancé has never been married and there is no father listed on the birth certificate.

Her name is as shown on her birth certificate, or was her name misspelled on her birth certificate?   Or are you thinking to change her last name to yours now that you are married to her mom?   That is called adoption, and you really want to wait until in the USA to do that one unless you have lots of time.


Hank

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1 hour ago, Hank_ said:

Her name is as shown on her birth certificate, or was her name misspelled on her birth certificate?   Or are you thinking to change her last name to yours now that you are married to her mom?   That is called adoption, and you really want to wait until in the USA to do that one unless you have lots of time.

I was thinking of changing her last name to match mine but I didn't consider the adoption process we would have to go thru. This is why the wise folks here are so helpful. Thank you Hank. I will make sure we have all of the proper documentation if asked why she has a different last name than her mother's.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dnavinnie said:

Does anyone have experience changing their stepchild's last name in the Philippines after marriage and before the CR-1 interview? I want to change my 8 year old stepdaughter's last name and get her a new passport while waiting but I don't want to run out of time. I realize I have around a year but I don't know how long a changing last name and getting a new passport issued will take. Thanks for any help. BTW...my fiancé has never been married and there is no father listed on the birth certificate.

 

1 hour ago, Hank_ said:

Her name is as shown on her birth certificate, or was her name misspelled on her birth certificate?   Or are you thinking to change her last name to yours now that you are married to her mom?   That is called adoption, and you really want to wait until in the USA to do that one unless you have lots of time.

I have looked into this for my step son and it looks like the easiest option is to wait until he is naturalized (he and my wife will be eligible in one more year barring any delays in the ROC process) then do a simple name change in the county court and get a US passport with his new last name. If you don't want to wait you could also go through the adoption process for your state then it is my understanding the child will "automatically" become a USC once the process is complete and you can get them a US passport with the new name. You will still have to go through a long drawn out process (the way I understand it) to make the name change official in the Philippines but this way you can change the last name and still be able to travel in the mean time. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I should add it is my understanding that the difference between a simple name change and adoption is that with adoption the child has more legal rights to things like inheritance and other things but I'm not a lawyer so you might want to research that.

Edited by jg121783

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5 minutes ago, jg121783 said:

 

I have looked into this for my step son and it looks like the easiest option is to wait until he is naturalized (he and my wife will be eligible in one more year barring any delays in the ROC process) then do a simple name change in the county court and get a US passport with his new last name. If you don't want to wait you could also go through the adoption process for your state then it is my understanding the child will "automatically" become a USC once the process is complete and you can get them a US passport with the new name. You will still have to go through a long drawn out process (the way I understand it) to make the name change official in the Philippines but this way you can change the last name and still be able to travel in the mean time. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I should add it is my understanding that the difference between a simple name change and adoption is that with adoption the child has more legal rights to things like inheritance and other things but I'm not a lawyer so you might want to research that.

Correct.   During the Naturalization process a person can take a new name if they so choose.     The new name in the passport would be the new name chosen during Naturalization.

 

Adoption would make you the child's father .. complete this in the state where you reside.   And that certificate would have to be filed with the Philippines to make the name change official for his passport from there.   I do not know the finer details on that.

 

Oh, FYI if the USC adopts the child .. the child would be eligible for USC at that time.


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

      HandArrow.gif.adeb854ba620933849ae921ca0b44a0c.gif  Link to the Visa Process for Manila Embassy once you have your NOA2 : Click Here

 

Contact Hank: HERE

K-1 visa approved 21 March 2012

...Citizenship... complete!

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, jg121783 said:

 

I have looked into this for my step son and it looks like the easiest option is to wait until he is naturalized (he and my wife will be eligible in one more year barring any delays in the ROC process) then do a simple name change in the county court and get a US passport with his new last name. If you don't want to wait you could also go through the adoption process for your state then it is my understanding the child will "automatically" become a USC once the process is complete and you can get them a US passport with the new name. You will still have to go through a long drawn out process (the way I understand it) to make the name change official in the Philippines but this way you can change the last name and still be able to travel in the mean time. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

My initial worry was that we might have problems traveling with my stepdaughter's last name being different than her mother's but now I am thinking as long as we have the proper documents we should be ok. Your advice is perfect. I will put that on the back burner and worry about the other two thousands things to do! hahahaha

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2 minutes ago, Hank_ said:

Correct.   During the Naturalization process a person can take a new name if they so choose.     The new name in the passport would be the new name chosen during Naturalization.

 

Adoption would make you the child's father .. complete this in the state where you reside.   And that certificate would have to be filed with the Philippines to make the name change official for his passport from there.   I do not know the finer details on that.

 

Oh, FYI if the USC adopts the child .. the child would be eligible for USC at that time.

This is great information for me to file away. Thanks.

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46 minutes ago, dnavinnie said:

I was thinking of changing her last name to match mine but I didn't consider the adoption process we would have to go thru. This is why the wise folks here are so helpful. Thank you Hank. I will make sure we have all of the proper documentation if asked why she has a different last name than her mother's.

The different names will not be a problem.   That is understandable considering she is now married.

 

You used the child's name as shown on her birth certificate for her I-130 ?    Then all is good, the mother's birth certificate will match.    


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

      HandArrow.gif.adeb854ba620933849ae921ca0b44a0c.gif  Link to the Visa Process for Manila Embassy once you have your NOA2 : Click Here

 

Contact Hank: HERE

K-1 visa approved 21 March 2012

...Citizenship... complete!

 

 

 

 

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Also just FYI most US courts will NOT allow you to do a name change for a minor to make everyone in the family have the same last name in these situations./ The court considers it as the family is getting a benefit (everyone with the same name) with out the step parent taking legal responsibility for the child. When adopting the step parent becomes legally responsible for the child, getting a paper name change does not. Makes sense? 

 

So your choices are to do a name change at naturalization or go through the formal adoption process. You are free to try the court name change- they will let you fill out the forms and pay and show up at court because it is your right to apply for a name change but it will 99.9999% not be granted.... Another option is for YOU to change your last name to theirs- unpopular but the end result will be you all have the same last name.

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Just started the adoption process recently.

 

We looked into doing it after my wife and step daughter arrived and two attorneys advised waiting as their experience with our local court was they didn't like to subvert the immigration process and were usually unwilling to grant the adoption until the child derived citizenship through the mother.

 

That's all complete now and since the biological father is deceased its a fairly easy process but still about 6 months worth of waiting.

 

Not sure how you would change the last name through the N400 as the minor derives citizenship from the mother's N400, so unless you pay the fee and file separately for the child I don't know how it could be done that way as there was no space on my wife's application to change a derivative child's last name.  

 

All in fee for uncontested adoption here was $1000 including court fees, guardian ad litem, and attorney.  Probably could have been cheaper by a couple hundred filing myself.......

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On 3/18/2019 at 11:57 AM, jskibo said:

Just started the adoption process recently.

 

We looked into doing it after my wife and step daughter arrived and two attorneys advised waiting as their experience with our local court was they didn't like to subvert the immigration process and were usually unwilling to grant the adoption until the child derived citizenship through the mother.

 

That's all complete now and since the biological father is deceased its a fairly easy process but still about 6 months worth of waiting.

 

Not sure how you would change the last name through the N400 as the minor derives citizenship from the mother's N400, so unless you pay the fee and file separately for the child I don't know how it could be done that way as there was no space on my wife's application to change a derivative child's last name.  

 

All in fee for uncontested adoption here was $1000 including court fees, guardian ad litem, and attorney.  Probably could have been cheaper by a couple hundred filing myself.......

The laws and procedures vary by state. Here in WI the adoption process is long and expensive and you are required by law to hire an attorney (making it more expensive). They also require home inspections and other things that are an invasion of our privacy. On the other hand you can go down to your county court and pay a filing fee for a name change and the court hearing in many cases is just a formality. As you mentioned though they might delay the name change until the immigration process is completed. For us the issue is my step son is the only one in our family without my last name and he wants his name changed. Then there is the issue of passports and traveling and that is where waiting until his naturalization comes in so he can get a US passport.


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