Changing a Child's Name to Conform to Gender Identity

An adult can petition the court to change a child’s legal name to conform to the child’s gender identity.  The requirements for this process are different from a traditional name change process.  This is not a recognition of gender change.  Click if you want to ask the court to recognize a child’s gender change.

To ask the court to change a child’s name to conform to the child’s gender identity, follow these steps:


 Download and fill out the forms listed below:

  • Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100), including the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110).  If you are changing a child’s name to conform to the child’s gender identity, make sure to check box 6 on Form NC-100 to tell the court you are changing a child's name to conform to the child's gender identity, and include that as the reason for the name change on Form NC-110.
  • If you are a guardian asking for a minor’s name change to conform to gender identity, include the Supplemental Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Declaration of Guardian) (Form NC-110G),
  • Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225).
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet (Form CM-010).
  • In steps 6 and 7, you may also need the Decree Changing Name Form (Form NC-130).

Some courts also require you to fill out local forms to ask for a name change, like a criminal background information form. Ask your local court clerk if there are local forms you have to fill out. You may be able to find your court's local forms on your superior court's website. Make sure to keep copies of any local forms you fill out.

If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with name change cases, ask them to review the paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case.

The court will keep the original. One copy will be for you, the petitioner, and the other will be for the child's parent(s), if there is a parent who did not sign the petition.

File the forms and copies with the court in the county where the child lives. The clerk will stamp the forms with “Filed,” keep the original and return the copies to you.

You will have to pay a filing fee. Find out how much the filing fee is for a first petition (sometimes called a “first appearance” or “first papers”). If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.

When you file the forms with the superior court, the court will issue the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225).  This order will direct any person who objects to the name change to file a good cause objection within six weeks from the date of the order.

Important: If you are changing a minor’s name to conform to their gender identity, you do NOT have to publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225).

If there is any living parent of the child who did not sign the petition, you must have that person served with a copy of the filed Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100), the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110), and the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225) within 30 days after the date of the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125/NC-225). More information on this service process can be found in the Instructions for Filing a Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100-INFO).

If you are a guardian petitioning to change the name of a child to conform to gender identity, you must serve the child’s parents with a copy of the paperwork at least 30 days before the court date. You need someone 18 or older, NOT you, to give each parent a copy of the filed Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100), the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110), the Supplemental Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Declaration of Guardian) (Form NC-110G), and the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125/NC-225) in person.

The server has to fill out a Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause (Change of Name) (Form NC-121) for each parent and give them to you. You have to file these proofs of service before your court hearing or take them to your court hearing (ask your court clerk about any special rules in your county).

If no good cause objection is filed within six weeks of the date on the order to show cause, the court will grant the request without a hearing.  You may check with the court after six weeks to see if any objections were filed.

If an objection is filed and a hearing is set, the court will send you notice of the hearing date.  Go to court on your court date and take a copy of the papers you filed, along with the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130 or, if you are a guardian, form NC-130G) for the judge to sign.

If the judge approves the request for a change of name, the judge will sign the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130). Once you get the signed decree, get a certified copy from the court clerk. You will need this to change the child’s birth certificate, social security card, and other papers like a passport.

Click for instructions on changing your child's birth certificate after a court order.