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Q: I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in September. We named him James, but from day one we called him Kimo, which is James in Hawaiian. We regret not naming him Kimo and I would like to amend his birth certificate. Is that possible?
A: Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
Amendments to birth certificates are used to correct errors and cannot be used to change information on the certificate. Changing information on the certificate requires a court order.
Since both parents are in agreement the process is straight forward. All of the forms you need are available here: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/namechangechild2.htm
First you would complete the Petition for Change of Name including the Attachment to the Petition for one child. Both parents sign the Attachment. Next complete the Order to Show Cause and the Civil Case Cover Sheet. File all the forms with at least 2 copies of each in the court in the county where you live.
You must publish the Order to Show Cause in a newspaper of general circulation once per week for 4 weeks in a row. Bring the proof of publication and the Decree Changing Name form to your court date and the judge will sign it. An appearance may not be required. Here is information about the process from the Sacramento Superior court http://www.saccourt.ca.gov/forms/docs/cv-142.pdf
Once you get a certified copy of the Decree Changing Name you can change your child’s birth certificate, social security card and other legal documents. Visit www.cdph.ca.gov or call (916)445-2684 for information regarding amending the birth certificate.
Another resource is this 60 minute video which explains the process in detail: http://www.saclaw.org/videoDetails.aspx?vid=25
The Sacramento County Public Law Library also has a free Name Change workshop every Monday from 1:30 – 3:30 http://www.saclaw.org/pages/cshc-workshops.aspx
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