Changing Your Adopted Child's Name

NAME CHANGES:
So, I decided to investigate Colombian law on name changes. I wanted to be clear on when it is ok for the kids to change their names.
The law governing name changes is found in the: Ley 1098 de 2006 - Código de la Infancia y la Adolescencia Articulo 64 #3. [Law 1098 from 2006 - Infant and Adolescent Code Article 64 #3].

This is what is states in Spanish:
El adoptivo llevará como apellidos los de los adoptantes. En cuanto al nombre, sólo podrá ser modificado cuando el adoptado sea menor de tres (3) años, o consienta en ello, o el Juez encontrare justificadas las razones de su cambio.

The Translation:
The adoptee will carry the surnames of the adoptive parents. With respect to the name, it can only be modified when the adoptee is younger than 3 years of age, or consents to the same, or the Judge finds justifiable reasons for a change.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This helped me understand why a letter from the child is required, in which the child expresses their desire to change their name. It also helped me understand why a letter from the parents may also be required in cases where the name might need to be changed to make it more culturally acceptable in the US. For example, changing a name like JHON or JOHN to match the US spelling.

Legally, the law makes it clear that name changes should not be a huge deal as long as the child is on board.

WHY SHOULD YOU CHANGE THE FIRST OR MIDDLE NAME IN COLOMBIA RATHER THAN IN THE READOPT PROCESS?

The only advantage is for children who will some day want to return to Colombia. Having a US birth certificate in one name and a Colombian birth certificate in another name might cause problems when the child reaches 18 and wants to get a Cedula de Ciudadania. At that point, the child will have two different identities unless they pay to have their name changed to the US name in Colombia. Does that make sense?

WHEN AND HOW SHOULD YOU DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR CHILD?

While you are in COLOMBIA, before submitting to court, please make sure that you discuss this with your adolescent or child over age 3. This conversation may need to include a discussion of spelling as well as the child's desire to change their name. It may need to include cultural things like the fact that going by your middle name in the US is not as common as in Colombia.

Be sensitive. Remember, this should be the child's decision, never the parents' decision. Kids may feel that their name is the only thing that they have left, and even after they are told about spelling or pronunciation difficulties, they may wish to cling to the Colombian version of their name. Then again, you might be surprised to find that some kids want to change their name and completely start a new life.

You may also want to discuss this with them after you are approved to adopt by the Colombian government, via Skype so that your child will begin to think about it.

IF THE CHILD DECIDES TO CHANGE THEIR NAME, THEN WHAT?

Speak to you agency representative during your INTEGRATION week so that paperwork and letters can be prepared in order to request the change during SENTENCIA process. Once your case is submitted to the court, it is too late to make the change as part of the adoption process. You will have to wait until the readopt process in the US.

Lea más: http://leyes.co/codigo_de_la_infancia_y_la_adolescen…/64.htm

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you for the info. We are close to finalizing our adoption on a 3-1/2 yr old. Currently they call her by her middle name and we were planning on reversing her middle and first name on the re-adoption paperwork.

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