Applying For A Passport For An Adopted Child

Unrecognizable employee of airport checking passports and biometric data while working with family of passengersWhen you’ve completed the joyous journey of adopting a child, one of your next steps might be applying for a passport for your new family member. This process involves specific requirements that are vital to ensuring your child can travel internationally without issues. If you find the passport application process daunting or are unsure about the required documents, Lisa R. Howard PLLC is here to help you.

Understanding the Requirements

To secure a passport for an adopted child, specific documentation is required by the U.S. Department of State. This ensures the child is legally recognized as a U.S. citizen and eligible for international travel. Evidence of U.S. citizenship is the primary requirement. For children adopted from abroad, you must provide a Certificate of Citizenship issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).

These documents serve as proof that the child was legally adopted under the laws of the country of origin and that the adoption has been recognized by the United States. For children adopted within the United States, you will need to present the final adoption decree alongside the child’s U.S. birth certificate.

The adoption decree must clearly state the child’s name post-adoption and confirm that the adoption is legally finalized. It’s crucial that these documents are provided in English or, if originally in another language, be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Legal Documentation

Accurate and verifiable legal documentation is pivotal in the passport application process. The U.S. Department of State requires:

  • Original or certified copy of the adoption decree: This document must confirm that the adoption is complete and that you have been granted legal custody of the child. It’s essential for this decree to be in English or include a certified translation to avoid any processing delays.
  • Proof of Legal Custody: For international adoptions, this could also include the legal custody decree prior to the adoption being finalized, if applicable.

Handling these documents with precision is necessary to meet the stringent requirements set by the government for issuing passports to adopted children. Errors or omissions can lead to delays or rejections of passport applications, which underscores the importance of meticulous preparation.

For families navigating these requirements, the support of a knowledgeable adoption attorney in Tulsa is invaluable. With focus in adoption and guardianship law, our adoption attorney ensures that all paperwork is compliant with federal standards, thereby facilitating a smoother process.

Parental Identification and Consent

When applying for a passport for an adopted child, the U.S. Department of State mandates the presence of both parents listed on the adoption decree to physically accompany the child. This requirement is designed to affirm consent from both legal guardians and is a critical measure to safeguard against international child abduction.

If both parents cannot be present, the absent parent must provide a notarized Statement of Consent (Form DS-3053). This form must be submitted along with the passport application to verify that the non-present parent agrees to the issuance of the passport. In situations where one parent has sole custody, evidence such as a court order must be provided in lieu of the absent parent’s consent.

Photographs and Fees

Obtaining the correct passport photos is a critical step in the application process. These photographs must adhere to specific guidelines set forth by the State Department, including size, background color, and the positioning of the child’s face. The full list of photo requirements is meticulously detailed on the State Department’s photo requirements page.

Alongside the correct documentation and photographs, there are applicable fees that must be paid at the time of the application. These fees vary depending on the age of the child and whether the application is for a passport book, a passport card, or both. The most current fee structure can be reviewed on the State Department’s fee chart, which provides a comprehensive breakdown of costs associated with each type of application.

Understanding these requirements and preparing accordingly can significantly expedite the passport application process for your adopted child. By ensuring all forms of identification, consent, and appropriate fees are in order, you’ll be well on your way to securing your child’s passport—opening the door to new adventures abroad as a family.

Choosing the Right Adoption Attorney in OKC

Choosing the right attorney for adoption-related legal services is crucial. Lisa R. Howard PLLC has a dedicated focus on adoption, guardianship, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, making our firm a prominent choice for Oklahoma City adoptions. Our successful handling of complex adoption cases is well-documented on this page. For personalized assistance and to ensure all your documents are correctly prepared, contact us today. Let us help you make your international travel plans with your new family member as joyful and hassle-free as possible.

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Law Office of Lisa R. Howard PLLC
7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Ste. 385
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12428
Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Phone: (405) 943-2500
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.