Changing a Child's Surname

Organisation:

Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration

Description:

The surname of a child can be formally changed in the birth register and on the child's birth certificate if the child is a minor (under the age of 21) and the child is known by a surname other than the surname on the child's birth certificate in any of the following circumstances:

  • The child was born outside marriage and was registered with the surname of the farther but is known by the surname of the mother.
  • The child was born outside marriage and is known by the surname of the mother or surname of the mother's husband (child's stepfather) and not the surname listed on the birth certificate.
  • The child was born inside marriage and is known by the surname of the mother or the surname of the mother's husband (child's stepfather) after the death of the child's father or the divorce of the child's parents.
  • The child is known by the surname of the child's guardian (for example if both parents have died).
  • It is also possible for a child was born outside marriage and registered with the surname of the mother to change his or her surname to the surname of the father, if the father has acknowledged the child.

 

Requirements:

There are some special requirements for changing a child's surname as listed in the table  below:

Surname given to child on birth certificate Surname child uses in practice and wishes to adopt Requirements
Father's surname (Parents were married) Mother's or stepfather's surname If the child's parents were married, the father must be deceased or the parents divorced before a child can apply to have the surname of the mother or the stepfather.
Father's surname (Child born outside of marriage) Mother's or stepfather's surname The stepfather must consent in writing to the use of his surname.
Mother's surname (Child born outside of marriage) Father's surname The father must make a sworn statement acknowledging that he is the father. The mother's consent to the surname change is required.
Either parent's surname Guardian's surname The guardian must consent in writing to the use of his or her surname.

 

Procedure:

The person must apply in person to the Registrar of Births at the nearest office of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.

The following documents are required:

  • Your child's birth certificate or baptismal card.
  • The ID card, birth certificate or passport of the person whose surname the child will be adopting. (If this person does not have a ID card or birth certificate, the Ministry will accept a school certificate, baptismal certificate or marriage certificate that confirms the confirms the person's name).
  • Written consent of the stepfather or guardian allowing the child to adopt his or her surname (if the surname being adopted is the stepfather's or guardian's).
  • A sworn statement from the father acknowledging the child as his own (if the surname being adopted is that of the father of a child born outside marriage).
  • A sworn statement indicating the reasons for the change of surname and the applicant's contact details (residential address, postal address, email and telephone number).

When a child's surname is changed, a new birth certificate will be issued.

 

Fees:

As of 2013, the fee is:

  • N$80 if the application is made by the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 21.
  • N$220 if the application is made by a person aged 21 or older on his or her own behalf.

Contact Information:

Contact No Head Office: +264 61 292 2111