Our expert says:
I understand the broad issue, but it is unique in my experience for a kid of 4 to be bothered by their surname as such. I udnerstand that she may have got the impression from others that there is something wrong, when she's Miss X and her mom is Mrs Y, but her upset would be mainly based on others having told her this is odd.
As for the bio father, if he doesn't want to see her, don;t try to push him to do so --- she doesn't need a reluctant or half-hearted, now-and-then dad.
The issue of whether you could do something through the Courts, is a legal question, and you'd need to ask a lawyer. I don't think its unreasonable for you to ask on the child's behalf, if she genuinely feel distress about this, as she's too young to be able to request this of a court by herself ( that'd probably come at age 16 ). Make it about her concerns, though --- it'd weaken your case if issues of spite between you and the biofather were emphasized.
I don't quite see why signatures, etc, are necessary to change the name people call her by at school. Generally, kids would be called by their first name, or a nickname, and great formality is hardly needed.
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