About passports for US citizen’s children (Q&A)

Q.   I’m an Irish citizen who recently gave birth to a child here in the US.  I want to get a US passport for my child before we take a trip to Ireland this summer, if that will be possible by then.  Does the child’s father need to come with me or sign something to get the passport?

A.  A child born in the US automatically has US citizenship, irrespective of the parents’ citizenship (Exception: children of foreign diplomats). But because of child custody and support issues, the US Passport Office in the State Department has set out strict requirements for the issuance of US passports to enable children under the age of 16 to travel abroad:  

1. Both parents must appear together and sign the application for the child; or

2. One parent appears, signs the application, and submits the second parent's notarized “Statement of Consent: Issue of a Passport to a Minor Under age 16,” Form DS-3053, authorizing passport issuance for the child; or

3. One parent appears, signs, and submits required evidence of sole authority to apply (such as one of the following):

  • The child’s certified birth record listing only the applying parent; or 
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only the applying parent; or 
  • A court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless the child’s travel is restricted by that order); or 
  • An adoption decree (if the applying parent is the sole adopting parent); or 
  • A court order specifically permitting an applying parent’s or legal guardian’s travel with the child; or 
  • A judicial declaration of legal incompetence of the non-applying parent; or 
  • A death certificate for the non-applying parent. 


Note that these requirements apply to all US citizen children under 16, irrespective of their place of birth or the citizenship of their parents. More detailed information about applying for passports, as well as any necessary forms, can be found at the US State department’s website, travel.state.gov/passport/.

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Disclaimer:  These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases.  Immigration law is always subject to change. US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures.  For legal advice seek the assistance of Rian immigration legal staff.