Name change on Baptism certificate. Need Help

Hi everyone. I had my name changed when I was a kid, but it was never changed on my Baptism certificate, and I would like to have it changed. I am far away from the church I was Baptized in, and I don’t even know the name of it or where it is. What is the process to get this corrected, and what should I do? I am Catholic by the way.

I really appreciate it. Thanks.

You don’t need to worry about name change on the baptism certificate, but you should know where it is if you are going to be confirmed or married.

There isn’t a central clearing house for baptism certificates. Ask your mum or your godfather where you were baptised, I bet they remember. It is the parish church that keeps those records, and the parish staff will be glad to provide it to you,

Thanks for the reply, but I want the name changed for personal issues, and I am sure there must be a process to do this.

Ok, I deal with things like this all the time. You don’t say whether it’s your given name or your surname that has changed or how it came to be changed but I’ll give you a few scenarios.

You will need to find the church where you were baptized. They hold the register in which your baptism was recorded and they are the only ones who can change it.

  1. Adoption: If you were adopted you can take your adoption papers to the church and they will change the register to record the adoption. Usually it’s an entry like this: Adopted as John Doe by Frank Doe & Mary Smith with the date and the file #. Then a new Certificate of Baptism is issued in the new name. Should you require a certificate later it will always be issued with the new name and the new parents.

  2. Legal name change: Take your birth certificate to the church and request that your baptismal record reflect the name change. They’ll copy your birth certificate with its number etc. and issue a new certificate.

In neither case is the record altered; a notation is simply added to the original record in the same way your Confirmation & Marriage is noted if/when they are celebrated.

Thank you. The problem is, from what I understand, the church closed down, and I guess another church took over and has the records. So all I have to do is go there with my birth certificate, and they will change it for me?

Your best bet is to call the diocese where you were baptized and find out which church now holds the records for the church where you were baptized. Who knows, they may even be at the diocesan archives.

We change the baptismal certificate, I would assume they would too.

One thing, if you ever need the baptismal certificate again you would tell them “I was baptized xyx on this date.” It’s still how they’d look for the original entry.

The name on the Baptismal record cannot be changed but a note can be added in the record of your legal name change. Simply send a copy of the legal paperword changing your name to the parish where you were Baptized with the date of your Baptism. and they will make the notation. I doubt that they will issue you a new Baptismal certificate with the new name.

Why wouldn’t they issue a new certificate?

you would have to obtain court documents and new birth certificate showing the name change, take it to your baptismal parish, where the permanent record would be amended, and you would be given a new baptismal certificate showing all sacraments received, in your new name. in the future, should you ever need another certificate, only the new name (an new parent names, in the case of legal adoption) would appear.

best bet is family members who can give you information on your baptism, and who can attest to it in a sworn statement if the orginal record cannot be located. If you were adopted it may be the information is in your file and you should have access to it when you reach legal age.

you cannot change the name on your own accord, you must go through the legal process in your area.

in most dioceses the baptismal and other records are microfilmed periodically so the information may be available at the diocese, but they need something to go on to search.

They might, but most are reluctant except in the case of adoption or I suppose the “Witness Protection Program”:confused: :wink: without reference to the old name.