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My Adopted Daughter had a Passport under a Different Name

by Connie
(Thurmont, MD USA)

Question: I adopted my daughter six years ago from Guatemala as a single parent. She was issued a passport to enter the United States but since then I have legally changed her name. We are planning to go on vacation this summer where she will be required to have a passport. What is the process to get a passport for her under her new name?


Answer: According to The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, most children adopted by parents who are American citizens gain citizenship automatically once the adoption is “full and final.”

Did your daughter come to the US on a IR-3 or an IR-4 visa. An IR-3 visa would mean that the adoption process was completed in Guatemala and the adoption was considered “full and final.”

If you brought your daughter to the US on an IR-4 visa, then it would be necessary to have the adoption finalized in the US before you apply for a passport.

Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail nor can a name change be requested by mail. You must appear in person with your daughter at a passport application acceptance facility and apply for a new passport for a minor.

Besides the regular requirements for obtaining a
minor's passport, you also need to submit evidence of the legal name change. You are required to present the original or a certified copy of the adoption decree and your U.S. birth certificate.

Note, all documents submitted must be in English. If the adoption decree is in Spanish then you must have it translated.

For a list of location where you can apply, click the link below.

Maryland Passport Offices

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