Elise & Kim Beaudoin Memorial Name Change Fund
MaineTransNet is proud to offer direct financial support to transgender people across Maine in the form of our name change fund. Our fund is named in memorial of a much beloved member of our community, Elise Beaudoin, and her mother, Kim, a loudly supportive ally, both of whom we lost, tragically, in the fall of 2017. Elise was known throughout the community as a committed friend, who did everything she could to help other transgender people to be themselves. Following her daughter's death, Kim became an outspoken ally and present member of the MaineTransNet family, acting as a surrogate for many young trans people without loving families. We feel this project is an appropriate way to honor the legacies of both these women, as these funds will allow many transgender people in Maine to validate that core part of who they are: their name. Donations for the original fund come in part from Elise and Kim's memorial gifts, as well as from the Trans Justice Funding Project.
Ongoing support relies upon individual donations. The average name change in Maine costs over $80 in court fees. With the addition of certified mail required to send name change forms and checks, as well as staff labor, each name change processed costs MaineTransNet $100.
Name changes provide much needed validation for many in the transgender community. However, legal recognition of who you are offers so much more than validation. It also offers safety. Mismatched identity information is a common way for trans people to be outed. Whether it's being carded at a bar, handing over a debit card with an old name on it, submitting information to colleges, or even trying to change your name on Facebook. Having your legal name match your chosen name prevents many of these situations, and makes the day to day reality of being a trans person in this world that much safer.
Applying for and Receiving Funding:
Please note, we are not currently accepting new name change fund applications. As funds become available, we will reopen the fund. Likely in July or August of 2018.
We strive to make our application process as simple as possible. Funds will be granted in the order requests are received and as funds are available. We do not require any proof of income in our determination of funding, as there are a variety of reasons members of our community may need this assistance. The process of receiving funds can take up to six months, and will require being in contact with a member of our staff to coordinate mailings and to support you in filling out all the correct paperwork. Fund are available for legal name changes within the State of Maine only, and are not available for other uses, such as passport changes, medical support, or emergency funding at this time. We are also conscious that this process involves granting access to personal information, including birthdays, addresses, and legal (dead) names. As such, we limit access to this information to only our staff members, and will destroy all documentation listing a dead name on it after 6 months.
1. Fill out our name change fund application (posted here when the fund is open).
2. MaineTransNet will contact you within 10 business days
3. You will find the appropriate forms and filing process for name changes your county probate court. This will include the state name change form, as well as any county specific forms. Some counties require forms to be notarized. Notary Public's are available at most municipal offices. However, several MaineTransNet staff are also Notary Public's and are available for in person appointments in Portland and Bangor upon request. County by County name change information can be found at How to Change Your Name in Maine.
4. Once your forms are completed, you will mail them to the following address in certified mail. If you include a receipt and return address in the envelope, we will send you a reimbursement check for the cost of this mail.
Maine Transgender Network
511 Congress ST
5. Once we receive your forms, MaineTransNet will process the payment, and will send the completed name change application and accompanying documents, along with the check for their cost through certified mail to your county probate court house with instructions to send all follow up information, including court dates, to your home address.
6. Following the completion of your legal name change, we ask that you contact us to let us know it is completed. If we do not hear from you, a member of our staff will contact you within three months.