When I was 16, I ‘officially’ changed my surname to the same name as my parents. My step-dad never adopted me so I did this via a ‘change of name’ deed (which is free, rather than by deed poll which you have to pay for, and still gives the same legal status). I changed my name because I wanted to have the same name as my mother, I had no connection to my birth surname, I didn’t know my biological father, and I had always used my step-dad’s name throughout school. Not only that, but I really had a deep love for my extended family, who unlike my step-dad, had all been kind, caring, warm, loving and welcoming to both me and my mother. I didn’t choose his name because it was his name, I chose it because it was the same name as all the rest of his family, who I have long considered to be ‘my family’.
Recently, friends of mine posted on Facebook how their son had recently changed his name to match his step-dad’s. It was such a different experience. He chose to change his name because he was about to get married and wanted to start his married life as the son of his step-dad, and he wanted to honour his step-dad by taking his name, which he disclosed to him on his 50th birthday. It was so beautiful to read their story, to see the pictures of all of them on a lovely family holiday in Italy, and to see the closeness they all shared. Although I felt a little sad that my experience of name changing had been nothing like that, I was so proud of their son for doing that, and proud of his step-dad for being the kind of man that I dearly would have loved as a step-dad. To me they seem like such a wonderful family, and the son’s fiancee is a very lucky bride-to-be to be marrying into such a lovely, welcoming family.