To provide information to child protection workers on the procedures required when a child in the CEO's care wants to change his or her name by registration under Part 5 of the
Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support divison.
The CEO has authority under s.127 Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act) to approve a change of name by registration for children in the CEO’s care.
A decision to apply for and approve a change of name by registration for a child in the CEO's care must be carefully considered as part of the care planning process. Where a child is the subject of a protection order (time-limited) or a protection order (until 18), consent of the child’s parents is not required, as the CEO is the guardian of the child and has full parental responsibility for the child.
The care plan must consider whether the parents should be notified of the prospective change of name. If there is any doubt, contact the Child Protection Legal Unit. Factors to be considered include:
An application for a change of name can be made where a child is unable to understand the meaning and implications, whether due to age or mental incapacity. However, if the latter:
If a child in the CEO's care or a carer approaches us for information about the process for changing a child’s name, child protection workers should access information from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) (link also available in related resources).
If the child was not born in Western Australia (WA) but born overseas, she or he must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, and have resided continuously in WA for 12 months immediately preceding the application to be eligible to register a change of name. If the child was born in another state or territory of Australia, the application for a change of name by registration must be made through the relevant agency in that state or territory.
Where a child was born interstate or overseas, child protection workers should contact the Child Protection Legal Unit for direction on the future conduct of the change of name application process.
Open the template 'Change of Name by Licence' from the 'templates' tab within the child's '360 degree view' tab in Assist and complete all relevant details.
Child protection workers must also:
complete and make one copy of Part 3 of BDM
Form 401 – Register a Change of Name (child under 18 years) available on the BDM website or the link in related resources
complete Form 268 - Letter to Registrar General Re: Application for Change of Name by Licence (in related resources), and
where it is intended to amend the birth certificate to record the child's new name, complete
BDM Form 104 – Add a previously registered change of name to a birth registration (available on the BDM website or the link in related resources)
Child protection workers must submit the documentation to the team leader, who will check, consider and endorse the documentation and forward to the district director for approval. If the team leader is not available, and arrangements have been made, the senior practice development officer can endorse and submit the documentation to the district director.
The district director considers and approves the submission. If the matter is contentious, the submission must be forwarded for noting to the Executive Director State-wide and South East or Executive Director State-wide and South West. The approved submission must be saved to the Objective case file.
When approved, child protection workers process payment of the fee by recording and seeking approval for the costs in the 'Funding' component in Assist. Information on fees is available from the Department of the Attorney General - Fees for Products and Services (in related resources).
The team leader approves the case support costs request, and payment is made by Government Purchasing Card (GPC). Refer to the Assist User Guides for further information.
Child protection workers must provide the following documents to the Registrar General:
For a child in the CEO's care who was born in WA, a birth certificate is not necessary. If the child is an Australian citizen born overseas, their Birth Certificate, current Passport and Citizenship Certificate must be provided. If the child was born overseas and is a permanent resident of Australia, their Birth Certificate, a current Passport and proof of residency status must be provided.
If applying in person, original documents must be provided. When applying by post, original documents must not be posted. Clear photocopies certified by a qualified witness as being 'true copies' of original documents must be forwarded with the application to:
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages PO Box 7720 Cloisters Square PERTH WA 6850
Depending on the age of the child, child protection workers must inform the child and his or her carers that the district director has approved the change of name and the documentation has been forwarded to the Registrar General's Office.
Depending on whether the child's care plan recommends that the child's parents be informed of the intended application to change the child’s name, the parents must also be advised.
Once the signed Change of Name Certificate from the Registrar General's Office has been received, child protection workers must: