How to change the name of an abandoned baby

A client adopted an abandoned baby and wanted to change his first and last names. He was kind enough to share his experiences, after he received the adoption order.


I went a Department of Home Affairs office to find out for myself…


DHA Office: Not all offices do this, so before anybody goes to register the birth / do the name change, they need to be sure that that particular office can do it. I suppose it must be an office that does at least Birth Registrations.


Application Forms: Once there, I had to complete the following five forms.

  1. Application for Noting of an Adoption – form DHA-1773
  2. Notice of Birth – form DHA-24 – This is for the original birth of the adopted baby
  3. Notice of Birth – form DHA-24 – This is for the “new” birth of the “new” baby
  4. Application for Alteration of Surname of Minor – form DHA-193
  5. Application for Alteration of Forenames – form DHA-85

Required documentation: You must have the following;

  1. The original Adoption Order
  2. The Birth Certificate of the baby
  3. The Cover Letter accompanying the Adoption Order – I assume that this is not a requirement, but I had mine present
  4. Proof of valid RSA Identification for parent / s

Baby present: I had my baby present for his registration. I was never asked to show him, but I assume that it is safer to have the child present.



  • Registration of New Birth i.e. Application for Birth Certificate – R70
  • Change of Name – R70
  • Change of Surname – R70. This fee I did not need to pay as my Adoption Order states that I may now change his surname.

Duration: Prepare to spend the entire day at Home Affairs. I was there from 10:00 to 14:30. I also believe that there is no benefit at all to arriving at a DHA office early in the morning as everybody else does that. I believe that arriving mid/late morning, or even right after lunch would be the best option. Prepare now to wait for 12 months and longer for the Birth Certificate to finally arrive. It is my personal experience that applying for a new copy of an Unabridged Birth Cert for a person takes usually around 12 months, I therefore expect this to take a lot longer.



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