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    Obtaining a Court Order for Birth Certificates

    Court Order Information
    A person may change their name for any reason unless it is for illegal purposes or interferes with the rights of others. They must petition a court for this change.

    A parent may change the name of their child born in Maryland one time within the first year. After that time, they must petition a court for the change.

    A court order is not required to change a sex designation. A court order is required if a name change is being requested at the same time as a sex change designation.

    Petition for Change of Name is filed in the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which you live. 
    • You do not need to hire a lawyer to petition for a change of name or gender change. 
    • There are different forms for adult and child name changes. 
    • A notice of the request must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in that county, unless On motion by an individual who has filed an action for change of name under Maryland Rule 15-901, the court shall waive the publication requirement. 

    • The court will schedule a hearing if someone objects to the name change or if the court has any questions about your petition. 

    • If the name change raises no issues, a judge will sign a Decree for Change of Name.

    Types of Court-Ordered Changes:
    For Help with Obtaining Court Orders:

    There are two programs that can help:
    • The walk-in Family Law Self-Help Centers
      • Walk-in center hours vary, but are available in all Circuit Court locations.
    • The statewide legal help call center called the Maryland Courts Self-Help Center (MCSHC). 
      • ​​​​You can call 410-260-1392 or chat live with an attorney at the MCSHC Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can reach self-help services at: www.mdcourts.gov/selfhelp​