Blog post by Kate Bishop
In order to legally change a child’s name in South Australia, the parents will either have to agree about the child’s last name and then register a Change of Name with the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office.
Or the parent seeking to change the child’s name will need to apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘SACAT‘) for an order changing the child’s name.
Such application is made pursuant to section 22 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (SA).
If SACAT is satisfied that the change of name is in the best interests of the child and approves the change, then the parent seeking the change of name can apply directly to the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in order to change the child’s name.
In circumstances where the other parent has died or cannot be found, the parent wishing to change the child’s name may apply directly to the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, rather than SACAT. The same can occur if the applying parent is the sole parent named on the birth certificate.
Section 26 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (SA) deems that a child of any age must consent to the change of name unless the child is unable to understand the meaning and implications of the change of name.
In parenting disputes, the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia does not make orders changing a child’s name. But may make an order providing for the name by which the child is to be known, the name used in enrolling the child into school etc.