Adoptions create numerous beneficial changes for non-traditional families. Whether there is a stepparent adopting a stepchild or a grandparent adopting a grandchild, adoption proceedings can benefit the adults and the children involved.
They can give a child a sense of security and cement a relationship with a parent who is not their biological parent. Adoption can help a family connect with certain state services and protect the legal rights of the adults who fulfill parental roles for the child.
With the big legal changes coming during adoption hearings, you might overlook another important, related change sometimes necessary during adoption proceedings. You may need to file paperwork to change the name of the child going through an adoption.
Name changes during adoptions are faster
Typically, if you want to change a child’s last name or surname, you must do so by filing paperwork and publishing notice of your intent. Only after meeting those statutory requirements can Oregon residents legally change their names.
Families already intending to go through adoption proceedings can double up and handle the adoption at the same time that they handle the name change. The courts even waive the requirement for pre-change notice publication when a name change for a minor is part of adoption proceedings.
You do need to file the right paperwork at the right time and pay certain costs to the courts when requesting a name change in conjunction with an adoption. Still, doing both steps at the same time can be the best approach.
Not every child wants to change their name
Sometimes, as when a foster parent, stepparent or grandparent adopts a child, the child may want to keep their name the way that it is. Their name may preserve their bond to a deceased or missing parent or to the other side of their family.
For others, changing their name can be an important step, making them feel like they’re part of a new family or severing a tie to someone who abused or abandoned them. Adoptive parents should have a discussion with the child about their preferences when deciding what to do about their name.
Understanding the rules that apply in Oregon adoption scenarios will help your family make the most of this big upcoming change.