How do I change or amend my birth certificate to the name I have used for 35 years?

Full Question:

My husband was adopted by his stepfather when he was very young. He went to live with his biological father as a teenager. His biological father told him that he had his name changed back to his original birthname.My husband has been going by his biological last name for over 35 years. He applied for his birth certificate to get his passport and found out his biological father never changed his last name back to his biological last name. What do we need to do now to get this straight and so he is legal to use jis original biological last name? He has been filing taxes,has sscard and drivers license in his biological last name. We have a mess.I have contacted the Horry County courthouse where the adoption took place and they have no records of the adoption but his birth certificate in VA has his adopted name.
03/11/2017   |   Category: Name Change   |   State: South Carolina   |   #33762

Answer:

In South Carolina there are two ways to get a birth certificate changed. One is to contact the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and ask if you can provide evidence of what name you have used such as your drivers license, social security card, etc..  They may also require an affidavit from your adopted parents or biological Father or Mother. Contact them for specifics to determine if they will change it without a Court Order.

The second way is to get a Court Order chaning your name. South Carolina has name change procedures that are provided below. You can contact the clerk to see if the forms are available or if you might need to get an attorney.

In order to amend the birth certificate you should include that request in your Petition so the Order will provide that the birth certificate be changed. You may also have to make the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) a party to the proceeding if you are asking for a birth certificate to be changed as part of the name change proceeding.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATUTES
Title 15. Civil Remedies and Procedures
Chapter 49. CHANGE OF NAME
Current through 2016 Act No. 306.
§ 15-49-10. Application for change of name
(A)    A person who desires to change his name may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit, setting forth the reason for the change, his age, his place of residence and birth, and the name by which he desires to be known.
(B)    A parent who desires to change the name of his minor child may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit. The other parent, if there is not one then the child, must be named as a party in the action unless waived by the court. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child.

§ 15-49-20. Petition requirements for name change; notification; costs
(A)    A person who petitions the court for a name change must attach to the petition or have provided directly to the court and made a part of the record:
(1)    the results of a fingerprint and criminal background check conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division;
(2)    a screening statement from the Department of Social Services that indicates whether the person is listed on the department's Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. If the person is listed on the registry and the court grants the petition for a name change, the clerk of court must notify the department of the change so that the department can accurately reflect the change in the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect;
(3)    an affidavit signed by the petitioner which provides whether the petitioner is under a court order to pay child support or alimony;
(4)    a screening statement from the State Law Enforcement Division that indicates whether the person is listed on the division's sex offender registry. If the person is listed on the registry and the court grants the petition for a name change, the clerk of court shall notify the division of the change so that the division can accurately reflect the change in the sex offender registry.
This subsection does not apply to a minor child when the parent is seeking a name change for the minor child pursuant to Section 15-49-10(B), to a person seeking to return to the person's maiden name or a former married name in an action for divorce, or to a person seeking to change his or her name as a result of the person's marriage.

(B)    Prior to issuing an order for a name change, the court may conduct a hearing on the petition and may order the petitioner to be present.
(C)    Following the hearing and upon consideration of the petition, the reason contained in the petition, and other documentation before the court, the judge must determine and grant or refuse the name change as the judge considers proper, having a due regard to the true interest of the petitioner and protection of the public.
(D)    If a petitioner is found to have a criminal record as indicated by the background check and the court grants the petition for a name change, the clerk of court must notify the State Law Enforcement Division of the petitioner's new name. The division must make the appropriate changes to the petitioner's criminal record.
(E)    If a petitioner is in custody of the Department of Corrections and the court grants the petition for a name change, the clerk of court must notify the department of the petitioner's new name. The department must make the appropriate changes to the petitioner's department record.
(F)    A petitioner who requests a background check from a law enforcement agency pursuant to the provisions of this section shall sign an affidavit stating he has never been convicted of a crime under a name other than the name in which he is making the request. A surrogate or person representing a petitioner over the age of eighteen shall not be allowed to sign the affidavit. A petitioner who knowingly and wilfully falsifies the affidavit must be punished as provided in subsections (G) or (H).
(G)    A person who knowingly and wilfully falsifies the affidavit required in subsection (F), upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(H)    A person convicted of an offense requiring registration with the State Law Enforcement Division's Sex Offender Registry, and who knowingly and wilfully falsifies the affidavit required in subsection (F) in order to obtain employment, including employment with a child daycare center, or other entity that cares for vulnerable individuals, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for a period of not more than ten years.
(I)    All costs associated with the requirements of this section are the sole responsibility of the petitioner.
(J)    The provisions of this section do not apply to a person who wishes to resume her maiden name as a result of a domestic action filed in family court. A family court judge may authorize a name change for a person wishing to resume her maiden name in another order including, but not limited to, an order for separate support and maintenance or a final divorce decree.

§ 15-49-30. Filing fee
 
The filing fee provided in Section 8-21-310(11)(a) applies with respect to an action for change of name.


§ 15-49-40. Use of new name in legal proceedings; effect on pending proceedings
 
The person so changing his name may thereafter sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded by his new name and no other. When an action shall be pending at the time of such change of name it shall not abate by the party's name being changed, but the record on motion shall be amended by expunging the old name and inserting the new name of the party.


§ 15-49-50. Effect of change on old obligations
 
When a person changing his name is bound by obligation or otherwise, the effect of which obligation would extend to and impose any obligation on the heirs, executors or administrators of the person so having changed his name, such heirs, executors or administrators shall be and remain bound, to all intents and purposes, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the person had not changed his name.

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