Obtaining A Child Passport Without Your Partner’s Consent
Usually, to obtain a passport for a child under the age of 18 years, both parents or any other person who has parental responsibility for that child must provide consent by signing the child’s passport application. But what can you do if the kid’s other parent is absent, hard to reach or just being difficult?
Special Circumstances Under Which You Can Get A Passport for A Child Without Consent Of Their Other Parent
You can make an application to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via the Australian Government Passport Website and claim that special circumstances exist and request that they dispense with the requirement to obtain the father’s consent. The Department has the power to waive this requirement and will do so when special circumstances exist. Examples of special circumstances which may suffice include:
- urgent travel is needed of the child because of a family emergency;
- the existence of a family welfare order regarding the child;
- an inability to contact the non-consenting person for a reasonable period of time;
- the absence of contact with the non-consenting person for a substantial period; and
- there is a family violence order against the refusing parent.
If you seek to make an application and claim special circumstances, you will need to complete the following:
- a passport application for each child; and
- form B9 – Child without full parental consent form; or
- form B8 – One parent only on the child’s birth certificate form if the child’s birth certificate only names one parent.
We note that a successful Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade application cannot be guaranteed. Should you be unsuccessful, your only other option is as follows:
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
You can apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia seeking an order to dispense with the need to obtain the other parent’s consent. For such an application to be successful, the Court must be satisfied that it is in the best interests of the children to travel overseas. The Court will consider the following factors:
- the purpose and detail of the proposed travel (and itinerary if available);
- the immigration status of the people travelling;
- whether you are prepared to make a promise to the Court (an undertaking) that you will pay damages if the Court finds the other party has suffered as a consequence of the orders sought;
- what connection those travellings have to Australia;
- whether any travel warnings have been issued or whether the country being visited is a member of the Hague Convention; and
- whether you will provide security to the Court in the form of money to ensure your return.
You have instructed that the other parent has not been in contact with the children for approximately seven years and as such, has not exercised his parental responsibility during this time.
We advise that should you seek an order from the Court to dispense with the need to obtain the father’s consent for the children’s passports. You should also seek an order for sole parental responsibility. An order for sole parental responsibility will prevent the need to obtain the father’s consent for any major long-term decisions that may arise in the future regarding the children.