How to Change Your Baby's Last Name in Illinois

By Anna Assad

Illinois allows you to change a baby's name as long as you're the baby's parent, have custody of the baby and have lived in Illinois for at least six months. The court must find that the change of name is beneficial for the child and will consider the wishes of both parents. If both parents consent to changing the baby's name, the process is relatively simple and handled through the Illinois Circuit County Court of the baby's residence.

Step 1

Visit the Illinois Circuit County Court Clerk's office of the county the baby lives in. Ask for the Petition for Change of Name and the Order for Change of Name forms. Some counties refer to the order as the "Decree of Change of Name".

Step 2

You need your name, your baby's current legal name and the name you want to give her. State your relationship to the child -- such as "mother" -- in the labeled spots. You, because you're applying on behalf of the child, are considered the "next of friend" on the form. Enter the date you will file the petition. You must run this notice in a newspaper at least six weeks before you file the petition, so give yourself enough time. You must file the petition on the day you entered on the notice. File the notice with the clerk and request three copies. Pay any associated fees.

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Step 3

Contact a local newspaper that is published at least once a week in the county you're filing the petition in. Ask if the newspaper will send the proof of publication to you or directly to the court. Give a notice copy to the newspaper. Pay the publication fee, which varies by newspaper.

Step 4

Complete the Petition for Change of Name. Forms vary slightly by county, but state law requires the following information: the baby's current age, place of birth, name, and your name and relationship to him. Sign and date the petition. Ask the other parent to sign and date the petition.

Step 5

File the petition in the circuit court. A filing fee applies, but the amount varies by county. Ask for a copy of the filed petition. The clerk with give you the hearing date or send you the date by mail.

Step 6

File the certificate of publication in the circuit court if the publication proof was sent by the newspaper to you. Ask the court clerk for a stamped copy for your records.

Step 7

Prepare the sections of the Order for Change of Name form you're responsible for. You must bring the order form to the hearing. Use the petition copy as a guide for completing the order form sections; the information must match. Fill in the baby's current name and the new name but don't sign or date the document.

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