Have you ever wondered how to get a passport for your adopted child? If you’re not certain of what documents you’ll need to submit along with your child’s passport application, we’ve got you covered! Today we’ll look at a number of different adoption scenarios and break down which items you’ll need to bring with you to the Passport Acceptance Facility.
The Basics of Minor Passport Requirements
Any time you apply for a US passport for a child under age 16, you’ll need to prove two things:
- Your child is a US citizen.
- You are the legal parents of your child.
If you’re the biological parents of a child born in the US, your child’s birth certificate is all you need to show. It will prove that your child is a US citizen, thanks to being born on US soil. It also proves that you are the parents, and documents your child’s age. The birth certificate additionally shows that your child is under age 16, and thus needs a minor passport and not an adult passport.
For an adopted child, you may need to show a combination of documents to prove citizenship and parenthood.
US-Born Adoptees with Amended Birth Certificates
Adopted children born in the United States are usually issued an “Amended Birth Certificate” after the adoption is finalized. Your adopted child’s Amended Birth Certificate (ABC) will list you, the adoptive parents, as the mother and father.
If you adopted your child as a baby, and the Amended Birth Certificate was issued before your child’s first birthday, you’re in good shape. An Amended Birth Certificate issued within one year of birth is all you need to prove citizenship and parenthood.
Where you might run in to trouble is if your child’s Amended Birth Certificate was issued more than one year after his birth. It still is proof positive that you are the parents of your child. However, the US State Department considers an ABC issued more than a year after birth to be a “delayed birth certificate.” Delayed birth certificates are not sufficient proof of US citizenship. You will also need to get your child’s Original Birth Certificate, the one that lists the biological parents. Another option is to submit the ABC along with the original Adoption Decree that shows the date of the adoption and the biological parents’ names.
Passports for Your Internationally Adopted Child
Was your adopted child born outside the United States? In that case, your child doesn’t claim her US citizenship because of where she was born. Instead, her claim on US citizenship is because she was adopted by US citizens. Your child automatically becomes a US citizen once she has moved to the United States and her adoption is finalized.
You will need to submit your adoption decree to prove you are the legal parents of your child. The best way to prove your child’s US citizenship is to submit her Certificate of Citizenship. Certificates of Citizenship are issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Like a Naturalization Certificate, it proves that your child has become a US citizen. How can you get a Certificate of Citizenship for your child? It will depend on how your child came to the United States:
- Children with IR-3 or IH-3 visas: If your child’s adoption was finalized overseas, he would have been granted an IR-3 or IH-3 visa. Once you get back to the United States with your child, USCIS will send you his Certificate of Citizenship. You won’t need to file any extra paperwork to get the certificate.
- Children with IR-4 or IH-4 visas: If your child’s adoption was finalized in the United States, you’ll need to file for his Certificate of Citizenship. After the final adoption or “re-adoption,” you can file Form N-600 to get the Certificate of Citizenship.
Second Parent Adoptions
What if your child has one biological parent and one adoptive parent? The issue here isn’t proving your child’s US citizenship. You’ll have an original birth certificate that shows your child was born in the US. Instead, the concern is with parental consent. All of your child’s legal parents need to give official consent for the passport application.
You’ll need to submit both your child’s birth certificate and your second parent adoption decree. Both parents will need to go with your child to the Passport Acceptance Agent. If one parent can’t go, she’ll need to fill out and notarize Form DS-3053.
One nice thing is that the passport application, Form DS-11, no longer has the spots for parents’ signatures marked as “Mother” and “Father.” Instead, they are marked “Parent 1” and “Parent 2,” in recognition that some children have two moms or two dads!
Getting a passport for your adopted child can be a little bit tricky, but the experts at G3Passports.com are here to help! Contact us if you have questions about your situation.