Changing a minor's legal name in Pennsylvania requires completion of the form attached to the back of the child's birth certificate. The process of legally changing a child name requires that both parents consent to the change, as both are required to sign the form.
The most productive procedure for changing the name of a minor when both parents consent requires that both parties fill out the form provided with the birth certificate, submit the form along with a copy of one parent's state-issued identification to the state Bureau of Vital Statistics, and pay a $4 handling fee if the incorrect birth certificate is to be returned. This fee can be waived for members of the armed services. The Social Security Administration, as a federal agency not under the control of the state government, will only change its records in response to an order from a court or with a petition from the parents that includes two copies of the child's identification.
When one parent refuses consent for the change, it is necessary to file a legal action with the court. The court makes its determination according to the perceived best interests of the child as to whether the child's name will be changed.