Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island (CLIA PEI) - Legal Information for Youth


Having a Baby

Naming your Baby

Having a baby

More Information

Find out more about naming a child:

If you need to contact or visit Vital Statistics:

CLIA Family Law Information

The birth of a child and the child's chosen names must be registered within 30 days of the child's birth. This is usually done at the hospital when the child is born.

A Statement of Birth is filled out giving information about the parents and the baby, including the baby's name. A birth certificate showing the name and birth details can then be requested from Vital Statistics, which is part of the PEI Department of Health and Wellness.

The law about children's last names is contained in the PEI Vital Statistics Act. Parents can choose to give their child:

  • either parents' last name;
  • a combination of the last names of the parents, in either order; or
  • a completely different last name from either parent.

Who chooses the name?

  • If only one parent's information is entered on the Statement of Birth, that parent chooses the child's names.
  • If both parents' information is included on the Statement of Birth, they choose the child's names together.
  • If the parents cannot agree about the name, the law says the child will be registered with a combination of both parents' last names, in alphabetical order. A combination last name can be made up of two names only.
  • If the second parent's information is included on the Statement of Birth at a later time, the parents can change the child's last name at that time by filling out a form and paying the required fee at the Vital Statistics office.

When a child is adopted, new names chosen by the adopting parents are usually given to the child as part of the adoption order. A new birth certificate is issued in the new name by Vital Statistics and records are changed to show that the adopting parents are the parents of the child. The old birth records are then sealed and are not available to anyone, except by an order of the court.