Advice on adopting a child

To change the surname of your adopted child to your family surname, the adoption certificate is sufficient documentary evidence — you do not need a deed poll.

If you want to change any of your adopted child's forenames, this is treated in the same way as a name change for any child — you will need a deed poll, and the consent of all parents named on the adoption certificate.  For more details, see the section on how to change your child's name.

If you want to change the surname of your adopted child, and you haven't yet received the adoption certificate, HM Passport Office may — in exceptional cases — accept an adoption order issued by the courts showing the full details and the new name — but check with HM Passport Office to confirm this.

A freeing for adoption order and an interim adoption order will not be acceptable as evidence of a change of surname.

If your child is to be taken abroad or wants to go abroad during adoption proceedings, and a Placement Order has been granted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and the child has been placed for adoption with you as prospective adopters, then you will have parental responsibility, and HM Passport Office may issue you a passport in your family surname, provided that you have the written consent of everyone with parental responsibility for the child, or the consent of the court.  There may be restrictions on the scope of your parental responsibility, so HM Passport Office will want to see the court order.  In the case that the court order does not show that you are the prospective adopters, HM Passport Office will also need a letter from the Local Authorities to confirm that they placed the child with you.