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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » My stepdad was abusive and I no longer want his last name

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Author Topic: My stepdad was abusive and I no longer want his last name
BreakingSilence
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Hello,
I no longer wish to have a relationship with my stepdad for several reasons. 5 years after everything has happened I realize I want no part of him. How can I change my last name back to my birth given name? Is there an easier way considering I've had this name before? Is there anyway I can prove my birth last name existed? Could I remove my stepdad's name listed as my "father" , and replace him with my real dad's name? I would really like to do this so that I no longer feel controlled by him in anyway.

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Sometimes the only thing we can do is accept what we have no control over.

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Onionpie
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Hey Destiny'schild, I'm sorry that you had to go through all of that from your stepdad. I totally understand why you don't want to have anything to do with him.

Changing your last name is a fairly straight-ahead legal process (straight-ahead relative to other legal processes...), but it does have some paper work, and from what I know, it usually has a fee attached (I know someone here in ontario who wanted to change their middle name and it costs about $100). Do you have your birth certificate, and does it include your last-name that you were born with? If so you can provide that. I think you can also change the status of your relationship with your stepfather, and that would be another legal process that may have a fee attached.

However, unfortunately, this is not really our area of expertise so we won't be able to help you much here. But government institutions (like city hall, passport centres/other government-issued ID places) will be able to give you a lot more information and direct you to the right place. Good luck!

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BreakingSilence
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Thank you for responding. Unfortunately my birth last name is not attached to my birth certificate .

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Sometimes the only thing we can do is accept what we have no control over.

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Onionpie
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Okay. Well, I don't know if it's required to prove that your previous last name was your original name, so you may still be totally able to do it -- you'll have to talk to the government office about that! Sorry I couldn't be of more help!
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BreakingSilence
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That's fine:) thank you so very much for your help and understanding!

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Sometimes the only thing we can do is accept what we have no control over.

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Atonement
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I don't think you'd need to prove your birth name to change it back. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can legally change your name to whatever you want.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Just to be more clear, Destiny, name changes in the United States cost money -- and there's no way around that -- but for the most part, you get to choose any name you want. You simply have to go through the legal process and pay the fee, which varies from state-to-state.

So, what you'd want to do is either do a web search for name-changes in your state, or go to your local city hall to get the information.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Claire P.
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There is also the option of an informal name change, if you are in the US. It depends on which state you live in, and the common law in that state regarding informal name change.

Official organizations like government groups or schools usually prefer when a person's name matches the one on their birth certificate (or other official documentation you can provide- such as legal name-change papers). But if you are just talking about the name you would like to be referred to in every day life outside of those institutions, in many states, you can simply start using that name.

When my mother immigrated to the US (after marrying my dad), she just started going by (and signing her name as, etc.) the name that had been her nickname her entire life, plus an abbreviated version of her maiden last name and my dad's last name. This was not the name on her birth certificate, nor on her marriage license. And my dad has never included her maiden name in his signature/last name. She has never had any issues- and when she became a citizen just 5 years ago, she finally legally changed her first name to the nickname, but really just because, why not?

[ 09-09-2012, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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