File a petition to recognize your child’s gender change and change their name

Once you complete your forms, you need to file them with the court and pay a filing fee. If neither of you can afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive it.

How to file forms with the court

  • Take your forms to the court clerk

    If your child lives in California, find the superior court in the county where your child lives. If there are different locations, find the closest court to you where civil cases are filed.

    If your child does not live in California, file in the superior court in the county that issued their birth certificate.

    At the courthouse, file the forms you filled out by giving the original and the copies to the clerk.

    The clerk will stamp the forms, keep the original and return the copies to you.

    Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and a copy to the clerk. You need to include the filing fee (or request for fee waiver) and a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copy back to you. Make sure to include enough postage. If you do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope, you will have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copy. 
    Some courts allow online filing (called e-filing). You can find out if your court has online filing on your court’s website.
  • Pay a filing fee

    You’ll need to pay a fee of $435-$450 to the clerk when you file your forms.

    If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the clerk for a fee waiver. Keep in mind that because both of you are filing together as parents, you both would have to qualify for the fee waiver. You may qualify for a fee waiver if:

    • You receive public benefits
    • Your income is less than a set amount
    • You can’t afford the fee and meet your basic needs
  • Ask the clerk about your court's next steps

    The clerk will give the filed forms to a judge who will make a decision after a 6-week waiting period. Ask the clerk how you can pick up a signed name gender recognition and name change order. When you file, ask the clerk how your court handles this final step.   

Gender change recognition and name change for a child

What's next?

Once you’ve filed your forms, your next step is to get the judge's decision.

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