Relationship Evidence: Documents to Establish Relationship of Parent or Guardian to a Child When Applying for a Passport
When applying for a minor's passport, evidence of the relationship
between the child and the person(s) who has legal custody, whether
parent(s) or guardian(s), must be submitted.
Minor's Certified U.S. Birth Certificate
A certified birth certificate is the document
that is most frequently submitted for this purpose of establishing the
relationship between a parent/guardian and child. Most states require
the registration of a baby's birth by law. The objective is to create a
permanent legal record of the birth. This is also necessary to obtain
an official birth certificate.
Once the birth is registered, you can request a certified copy
of the birth certificate from the Local Health Department or County
Recorder in the county where your child was born, or from the State
Office of Vital Records. Verify the exact location that copies are
issued for the state where your child was born.
Minor's Certified Foreign Birth Certificate
Birth certificates of children born abroad can be used as
relationship evidence. If the foreign birth certificate is in a
language other than English, it must be translated. The translation can
be either formal or informal.
Minor's Report of Birth Abroad
The Consular Report of Birth Abroad
is a certificate that declares that a child born abroad to a U.S.
citizen parent or parents acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. This
document, also referred to as FS-240, serves as proof of citizenship.
The parent or parents of the child can submit the application for a
Consular Report of Birth Abroad at the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. An official copy of this document can be obtained through
the Vital Records Section of the Department of State.
A Decree of Adoption is a legal document that is signed by a
judge. It is a declaration of finalization of the adoption process. By
this document, the relationship betweent the parent and child is
established. The full legal responsibility and physical well-being of
the child is placed upon the new passport. The child's new name is
determined and stated in this document.
Court Order Establishing Custody
A court order establishing custody is a written order that determines
who will provide care for a child. It must be signed by a judge. There
are two main aspects to the custody of a child. One is physical
custody. This establishes where and with whom the child will live.
The other is legal custody. This determines which parent has
the right to make important decisions for the child's well-being. Areas
which might be affected by this include questions of medical care,
education and religion. The parent or parents who apply for a passport
with a minor child must possess legal custody in order to do so. If
that legal custody is shared, then both parents must appear. If one
parent has sole legal custody, then consent from the non-custodial
parent is not required.
Court Order Establishing Guardianship
A guardian is a person who has the legal right and duty to take
care of a minor and/or a minor's property. Guardianship results either
by virtue of the role as parent of the minor or appointment by a
Probate Court or other court of competent jurisdiction. This right and
duty includes the obligation of care and control of that minor and/or
his property and the authority to make major decisions affecting the
minor's welfare. A court order establishing guardianship is a short
document that includes information such as name and date of birth of
the child, name of the guardian(s), whether or not bond is required and
any restrictions placed upon the guardian(s). It is signed by a judge
or court commissioner.
Any of the documents listed above can be submitted as relationship
evidence when a parent or guardian applies for the passport of a minor.
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