Consent for Children
What are the requirements for parents’ or guardians’ consent to passport applications for children under 18 years of age?
Section 7 of the application deals with parental consent for children
The consent of all guardians is required for all children under 18 years of age, unless the child is married. Guardianship should not be confused with custody which involves the day to day caring of the child.
- Married parents of a child are joint-guardians and have equal rights in relation to the child;
- Unmarried parents of a child are not joint guardians, only the mother is automatically a guardian of the child. Entry of the father's name in the Register of Births does not give him any guardianship rights in respect of his child.
The rights of parents to guardianship are set down in Section 6 of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964.
- Fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a listed witness
- Find out what to do if both parents/guardians are unable to sign Section 7 (see below)
- This is the same witness list as the Section 9 identification requirement.
The witness must:
- Complete, sign and stamp Section 7, including a work landline telephone number - mobile telephone numbers are not acceptable
- Sign each column separately if they witness both parents/guardians' signatures
Parents are married or were married
Both parents may fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 in the presence of a suitable witness.
If one parent is unwilling or unavailable to give their consent for their child's passport to be issued, a court order dispensing with that parent'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 a passport to your child.
Parents were married but one parent is deceased
The living parent may fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 in the presence of a suitable witness.
The original death certificate of the deceased parent together with a Sole Guardian Affidavit form (AFF1) must be submitted. This affidavit should be completed in the presence of a solicitor/commissioner for oaths confirming that the living parent is the sole legal guardian of the child. Print an AFF1 form.
Only mother named on child's birth certificate
The mother of the child must fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a suitable witness.
She must also complete a sworn affidavit form (AFF1) in the presence of a solicitor/commissioner for oaths, confirming her as the sole legal guardian. Print an AFF1 form.
One parent lives in Ireland and the other in China
The parent living in China must fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a suitable witness. The minor must be present too.
The parent living in Ireland must bring the minor’s birth certificate, fill in and sign the relevant part of Section 7 of the passport application form in the presence of a suitable witness. Once Section 7 is properly completed and witnessed, it should be posted to the parent living in China to be submitted to the Embassy with the rest of the supporting documentation.
Both Parents live in Ireland and minor in China
At least one of the parents should travel to China to fill in, sign, and accompanied by the child, get Section 7 of the passport application form witnessed. For the other parent, the procedure should be the same as above.