Children are required to submit the same forms for passport application as adults, but their parents or guardians must submit identification to ensure that they are in fact the child’s parents or guardians. Each parent must submit identification forms; if only one parent is submitting forms he or she must have evidence that the other parent has consented or a court order showing sole custody of the child or a valid death certificate if the other parent is deceased.
For adoptive parents whose children were born overseas and who do not acquire U. S. citizenship at birth, the Child Citizenship Act confers citizenship automatically as soon as the adoption decree is final. A certified copy of this decree needs to be presented to obtain a U. S. passport for the child. Because this law has only been effect since February 2001, there is still some lack of familiarity, and occasionally there might be confusion as far as which documents to submit and in what form. It is probably best to err on the side of caution; for example, adoptive parents should not send originals of any adoption document when mailing material to a passport agency office. It is probably a good idea to speak to the adoption agency and someone knowledgeable in immigration law, as well as passport officials, when applying for a passport for an adopted child.