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Passports for children in foster care

by K. Quinn

Question: I'm the social worker for a 15-year-old girl in foster care. No one knows where her parents are located, so no signatures can be obtained. After obtaining a court order, how do I proceed with getting her a passport?

Question: Whoever appears with the minor must submit evidence of legal custody or notarized consent from the person who has legal custody. Once you have a court order which grants legal custody or guardianship, you must appear in person with the minor at a passport application acceptance facility and submit this document to an authorized passport agent along with all the required forms and documents. For a complete list, click the list below.

Passports for Minors

To locate a passport office near you, click the link below.

California Passport Offices

Comments for Passports for children in foster care

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Minor passport
by: Anonymous

Question: We received legal guardianship of my 2 nieces 8 and 13. We are applying for passports. One biological parent's rights are terminated and the other signed over rights. Whose names do we put down as parents on the application?

Answer: Please enter the names of the parents as it appears in the children's birth certificates.

Passport for my ward
by: Anonymous

Question: I have received all of my kids' passports except for the child that I have sole custody of. I presented the court final decree and all. But hers has not came in yet!! It's still in processing. Our last three were delivered today.

Answer: If you did not receive any communication that there was a problem with the child's application, it should already be on its way. You may call 1-877-487-2778 if you want to speak to a customer service representative.

Foster Son
by: Christine

Question: I am the foster mother to a 1-year-old. Court has granted us permission to obtain a passport for our foster son. We are not authorized to have his birth certificate. What other documentation can I submit to get his passport card?

Answer: The birth certificate is required as proof of the child's U.S. citizenship. Please contact the social worker handling the child's case for advice.

Kinship foster children needing passport
by: Anonymous

Question: What do we need to have to get our nieces a passport to take a cruise that goes to Mexico. They are considered foster children. At time of cruise they will be 8 and 12. 12 yr old is also autistic and intellectually disabled.

Answer: If the children's parents are unable to apply for the passports, the children's legal guardian/s or Child Services have the authority to apply for their passports or provide consent so you can apply in their behalf. We recommend calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 for advice.

Having said that, if you are going on a closed-loop cruise -- one that begins and ends in the same U.S. city, the children may not need passports. All they need are their birth certificates to travel. However, you still need to contact the cruise line you are traveling with to verify if passports are necessary to debark during the cruise.

Foster youth travel to Canada
by: Anonymous

Question: Would a 9-year-old foster youth from Kentucky need a passport to travel by car to and from Canada or would a birth certificate and court documents showing guardianship work?

Answer: A passport is not required for a U.S. citizen minor to enter Canada and return to the United States. Canada only requires minors to present proof of U.S. citizenship. A birth certificate satisfies this requirement. You may also be required to present the court documents that awarded guardianship of the child.

Foster children/ Passport application info
by: Anonymous

Question: I am a foster parent of two children, 8 and 13. Who do we list as the mother/father/parent on the application for passport? One child's parental rights have already been terminated and both children are in the custody of the State of Illinois. I could list the bio parents name but I do not know where they were born.

Answer: You should enter the names of the parents that are listed on the birth certificates. Include the foster custody letters. All the documents should be orginals or certified copies.

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