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Consent for Children

Children can no longer be included on their parents’ or guardians' passports. This is intended to make international travel more secure for children.

For a passport to issue to a child under 18, the consent of all the child’s guardians must be received by the Passport Service.

Guardianship is the collection of rights and duties that a parent or non-parent has in respect of a child. For example, a guardian has the right to make important decisions, including the decision to give consent for a passport to issue to the child. Guardianship should not be confused with custody which involves the day to day care of the child.

Guardians can give their consent on a child’s passport application in the following ways:

For online renewal applications

  • At the end of the online renewal process, you will be provided with access to a Child Passport Identity and Consent Form.
  • You should print this form.
  • At least one of the guardians must then accompany the child to an appropriate witness for signature.
  • This witness must know the child, confirm the child's identity and witness the signature of the guardian or guardians who have accompanied the child.
  • The second guardian can, if necessary, ask another appropriate witness to witness his/her consent separately.

For paper applications

  • Complete section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a suitable witness.
  • At least one of the guardians must then accompany the child to an appropriate witness for signature.
  • This witness must know the child, confirm the child's identity and witness the signature of the guardian(s).
  • The second guardian can, if necessary, ask another appropriate witness to witness his/her consent separately.

A list of appropriate witnesses is available here

For some categories of application, you may have to submit additional supporting documents. You will need to return these supporting documents with the passport application form or Identity and consent form.

We have outlined some common guardianship scenarios in the section below and included an overview of the additional documents that are required for certain categories of application in order to establish guardianship. Please select the category of guardianship below that most closely matches your family situation for further guidance.

If your child has more than two legal guardians, or if your own family circumstances fall outside of the categories outlined below, please contact the Passport Service for guidance on your child’s application.

Important notes:

  • In cases where there are two guardians and one guardian is unwilling or unavailable to give their consent for the child’s passport to be issued, a court order dispensing with that parent’s consent must be submitted with the child’s passport application
  • If renewing a child’s passport that has more than 6 months validity remaining, the most recent passport book must be returned with the passport application (unless the passport has been lost or stolen).
  • If your child has changed name (for example, following parent’s marriage) and their new name needs to be noted on their passport, further documents will be required. Further documents may also be required if you wish to have an observation noted on your child’s passport. Please see here for further details.
  • Guardian consent is not required if the child is married.

Section 14(1) of the Passports Act 2008 makes provision for the consent of a child’s guardian(s) before a passport can issue. Under Irish law, the rights of parents to guardianship are set down in Section 6 of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964. Furthermore, on 18th January 2016, certain provisions of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 came into effect that made a number of changes to the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964.

Please note:

The summary provided is for information purposes only. If required, please obtain your own legal advice.

 

ONE GUARDIAN

Sole legal guardian (including sole adoption)

One of the guardians of the child is deceased

Court order dispensing with consent

 

TWO GUARDIANS

Joint guardianship through marriage, adoption or through Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

Joint guardianship by statutory declaration

Join guardianship by court order or will/testament

Joint guardianship through guardianship law outside the jurisdiction

 

Sole legal guardian (including sole adoption)

A mother is automatically a guardian of her own child. However, she may not be the sole legal guardian in the following circumstances:

1) The mother and father are married
2) Joint guardianship has been obtained through a court order or statutory declaration
3) The child’s father has continuously cohabited with the child’s mother for 12 consecutive months after 18th January 2016, including at least three months with the mother and child following the child’s birth (as set out in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015)

Where a sole adopter has adopted a child, guardianship is acquired when the adoption order is made.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: Where a person is the sole legal guardian, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application. This applies to both first time applications and renewals:

1) a sole guardian affidavit form (AFF1), completed in the presence of a solicitor/commissioner for oaths
2) the child’s original birth certificate, signed and notarised as set out in the affidavit

 

One of the guardians of the child is deceased

•             If one of a child’s two guardians is deceased and no other guardians have been appointed, the living guardian is the sole guardian.

•             A person can be appointed as a testamentary guardian through a will. This refers to a situation where a guardian, through a will, appoints another guardian in the event of their death.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: Where a person is the sole legal guardian following the death of another guardian, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application. This applies to both first time applications and renewals:

1)             the original death certificate of the deceased guardian

2)             a completed and witnessed sole guardian affidavit form Sole Guardian Affidavit form (AFF1), completed in the presence of a solicitor/commissioner for oaths,

3)             the child’s original birth certificate, signed and notarised as set out in the affidavit

If a person is a testamentary guardian and the sole legal guardian the following is required in addition:

4)             the original or a certified copy of the will and testament

NOTE: If a testamentary guardian has been appointed in addition to a surviving guardian, both guardians must provide consent for the child’s passport application. A sole guardian affidavit is not required in such a case.

 

Court order dispensing with consent

In cases where there are two guardians and one guardian is unwilling or unavailable to give their consent for the child’s passport to be issued, a court order dispensing with that parent’s consent must be submitted with the child’s passport application.

This court order should direct the Passport Service to dispense with the consent of the unwilling/unavailable guardian and allow the Passport Service to issue passport facilities for the child.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: Where a court order has dispensed with the consent of one or more guardian(s), the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application: This applies to both first time applications and renewals:
1) the original court order
2) the child’s original birth certificate

For further information on court orders:
If living in Dublin: contact the Family Law Division of the District Court.
If living outside Dublin: contact your local District Court.

 

Joint guardianship through marriage, adoption or through Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

• Guardianship can be acquired through marriage in certain circumstances. If such guardians separate or divorce, they retain their guardianship rights.

• In cases of adoption where two persons have jointly adopted a child, guardianship is acquired when the adoption order is made. If such guardians separate or divorce, they retain their guardianship rights.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: In cases where guardianship has been acquired through marriage or adoption, there are no additional supporting documents required for passport renewals. The child’s original birth certificate (or re-issued birth certificate in the case of adoption) must be submitted for first time applications.

• Certain categories of persons can gain guardianship rights through the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015. Under this Act, a father automatically becomes a guardian of his child if he has continuously cohabited with the child’s mother for 12 consecutive months, including at least three months with the mother and child following the child’s birth. When calculating this cohabitation period, only periods of cohabitation after 18th January 2016 can be considered (regardless of whether the child was born before or after this date). This is the date that the relevant section of the governing legislation commenced (Children and Family Relationships Act 2015).

NOTE: Certain provisions of Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 act have not yet commenced

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: If guardianship has been acquired through the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, there are no additional supporting documents required to establish guardianship. The child’s original birth certificate (or re-issued birth certificate in the case of adoption) must be submitted for first time applications.

 

Joint guardianship by statutory declaration

A child’s father can, by agreement with the child’s mother, become a guardian by statutory declaration. Both must complete a statutory declaration for joint guardianship in the presence of a solicitor, peace commissioner or a commissioner for oaths.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: If guardianship has been acquired through a statutory declaration, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application. This applies to both first time applications and renewals:

1) The original statutory declaration
2) The child’s original birth certificate

 

Joint guardianship by court order or will/testament

Under certain circumstances, a father can apply to the local District Court for a court order appointing him as a guardian of the child.

Other persons (for example, grandparents, step parents, civil partners or co-habiting partners) can be appointed guardians by court order in certain circumstances.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: If guardianship has been acquired through a court order, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application: This applies to both first time applications and renewals:
1) The original court order
2) The child’s original birth certificate

A person can be appointed as a testamentary guardian through a will. This refers to a situation where a guardian, through a will, appoints another guardian in the event of their death.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: Where a person is appointed as a testamentary guardian following the death of another guardian and one or more guardian(s) are still living, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application. This applies to both first time applications and renewals:
1) the original death certificate of the deceased guardian
2) the child’s original birth certificate, signed and notarised as set out in the affidavit
3) the original or a certified copy of the will and testament

NOTE: In cases where there are two guardians and one guardian is unwilling or unavailable to give their consent for their child’s passport to be issued, a court order dispensing with that guardian's consent will be required to proceed with the child’s application. This court order should direct the Passport Service to dispense with the consent of the unwilling/unavailable parent and allow the Passport Service to issue passport facilities for the child.

For further information on court orders:
If living in Dublin: contact the Family Law Division of the District Court.
If living outside Dublin: contact your local District Court.

 

Joint guardianship through guardianship law outside the jurisdiction

Guardianship law outside the jurisdiction

In certain circumstances, the Passport Service can recognise guardianship rights acquired in other jurisdictions for the purposes of issuing a passport for a child.

 Some general information on guardianship rights in other jurisdictions is provided below.  Please obtain legal advice if you require information on the recognition of guardianship rights acquired in a specific country.

Child born in Northern Ireland or Great Britain:

If the child’s father is named on the birth certificate and the birth was jointly registered by both the child’s mother and father, the father is deemed to have parental responsibility of his child, irrespective of the marital status of the parents. In this context, parental responsibility confers guardianship.

This was passed into law on the following dates:

- Northern Ireland: 15th April 2002

- England and Wales: 1st December 2003

- Scotland: 4th May 2006

Before this legislation, only the mother was considered an automatic guardian. If the child was born in one of the above jurisdictions before the above dates and if no other guardians have been appointed, the mother is the sole legal guardian of the child.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS:

If guardianship has been acquired through the above provisions, there are no additional supporting documents required to establish guardianship. The child’s original birth certificate must be submitted for first time applications.

NOTE:

In Northern Ireland and Great Britain, if one guardian is unwilling or unavailable to give their consent for their child’s passport to be issued, a specific issues order, which dispenses with that parental responsibility, must be obtained by the relevant court before we can proceed with the child’s application.

Please note

The summary provided is for information purposes only. Please obtain legal advice if you require information on the recognition of guardianship rights acquired in a specific country.