Can he Change my Baby's Name?
At birth, you may legally give your child any first, middle, and last name you like. Whether you are married or not, you don’t have to give the baby the last name of either parent if you don’t want to, and the child does not have to have the father’s last name to be considered “legitimate.” However, if a child is born out-of-wedlock , the Mom may be the only parent who makes that decision.
In Indiana, the natural father of a child born out-of-wedlock enjoys no rights regarding child's name until his paternity has been legally established. Once paternity is established, both mother and father potentially enjoy equal legal rights as parents that both mother and father will have equal rights in naming of child. And in fact, a child's last name is at issue in any paternity establishment hearing... regardless of the child's age at the time. The Court must determine whether a name change is in the child's best interest; beyond insuring child's continued welfare, this inquiry guarantees both parents equal opportunity to assert their legal rights in regard to naming of their child.