Effective July 2, any person applying for a U.S. passport on behalf of a child under 14 must demonstrate that both parents consent to the issuance of a passport or that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain one.
Statute reflects major change in passport issuance for children
July 20, 2001
Effective July 2, any person applying for a U.S. passport on
behalf of a child under 14 must demonstrate that both parents consent to
the issuance of a passport or that the applying parent has sole
authority to obtain one. If the second parent is unable to appear when
the passport application is filed, the applying parent may provide the
absent parent's written statement of consent. The new requirement
lessens the possibility that a U.S. passport might be obtained to
further an international parental child abduction.
In 1999, as part of the FY 2000 and 2001 Foreign Relations
Authorization Act, P.L. 106-113, Congress enacted Section 236, Issuance
of Passports for Children Under Age 14. On June 4, 2001, the Department
of State published as a final rule (66 FR 29904), the regulation
implementing this program.
The statute does not provide for notification of the nonapplying
parent when a passport application is filed, nor does it apply to the
passport applications of children over the age of 14. Parents and their
attorneys who are concerned that a child under the age of 18 may become
the victim of an international parental child abduction should request
that the child's name be included in the passport name check system
through the State Department's Children's Passport Issuance Alert
Program. This program may be reached at (202) 663-2613 or fax (202)
663-2674. Send written communications to: Office of Children's Issues,
Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 2401 E Street NW,
Suite L127, Washington, D.C. 20524.
For more information about the two-parent consent requirement,
contact Sharon Palmer-Royston, Chief, Passport Legal at (202) 663-2430
or Consuelo Pachon, Attorney Adviser (202) 663-2431.