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How to get a passport for a child who has not seen his father in over 10 years?

by Michelle
(Northfield, Oh, USA)

Question: I would like to take my son to Canada so he'll need a passport. The problem is we don't have contact or dealings with his father. It has been over 10 years since my son last saw him. How do I take him on vacation?

Answer: The requirements established by the State Department state that parents who have shared custody of a minor child must both appear with the child or, if one parent appears, that parent must submit notarized consent from the non-appearing parent. The Canadian government also requires minors traveling with only one of their parents to have a letter of consent to travel from the non-accompanying parent with them at all times.

The only way you can apply for a passport for a minor without the consent of the father is if his name is not on the birth certificate or you can submit evidence of sole legal custody of the child. The same is true for travel to Canada.

Note, minors age 16 and over may not be required to present parental consent when applying for a passport. If you are unable to get the passport and travel to Canada at this time, it may be possible when your son turns 16.

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