Name Change for Daughter with Absent Father

Name Change for Daughter with Absent Father

  • Client: Ms. Nan
  • Applying for: Name Change for Daughter
  • Nationality: China
  • Age of Child: 2
  • Challenges:
    • Missing Father making it difficult to serve the notice of name change


Ms. Nan came to us at Tsang and Associates hoping that we could help her obtain a name change for her daughter. She had sexual relations with a man 3 years prior and became pregnant. Ms. Nan, a strong advocate for human rights, elected to not have an abortion and instead to give birth to her child. Unfortunately, when the baby was born, the father disappeared, leaving Ms. Nan to care for her baby. Now, Ms. Nan desired that her daughter would take her name, Nan, as her surname rather than the name of the father who was now distant from her daughter’s life. Ms. Nan longed to establish a more personal and intimate connection with her daughter through a name change. As such, she asked us for assistance in completing the name change process. We filed the name change application on June 17, 2016 and following a court hearing on August 9, 2016 received approval of the name change.


When Ms. Nan first came to us, we strongly believed that we could carry her through the entire process of changing her daughter’s name. We helped her complete all the necessary paperwork with her as the petitioner on behalf of her daughter. Once we filed all the paperwork, we received a notice to appear before the court for a hearing, the final hurdle standing between Ms. Nan’s daughter and a new name. The difficulty that arose in tackling this process was that the court “[ordered] that all persons interested in this matter appear before the court at the hearing”. This meant that the notice of the time and place of the hearing was required to be served to the father of the child. This was challenging because the father was nowhere to be found. Ms. Nan had lost contact with the father after he disappeared and thus, it would be extremely difficult to serve the notice of the hearing to the father.

In order to fulfill this requirement, we tried searching for the father through multiple outlets but to no avail. This meant that we had to serve the notice through publication. In doing this, we contacted a local newspaper and formed a name change publication qualifying the name change hearing; this indicated that the notice had been served to the father. Initially, Ms. Nan was extremely nervous and was not sure how to properly explain the missing father.

Following the approval, we assisted Ms. Nan and her daughter even more. We guided them along in making the proper changes to any documents necessary. We helped them in their Social Security application, U.S. Passport renewal, and the China Embassy application to conform to the completed name change.


We filed the name change application on June 17, 2016 and received approval less than 2 months later, along with making the necessary changes to any documentation.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity

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