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Passports for your kids? (MA specifically)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
We love to travel and can't wait to take our little one all over the place. But, I was just thinking about getting her a passport, and can't figure out in my head how it will work. When H got her passport it took an extra six months and some fancy paperwork because she had legally changed her name to mine when we got married thru the marriage certificate but not with a court order (not necessary when you get married but needed if you don't). MA state was fine with this, even the social security office was fine with this.. but the passport office? No way! They needed to know why she was trying to apply under a name that she hadn't legally changed (anyone following this?). So, in the end, she had to file for a "known as" passport that has both her maiden and married name on it. (I can't for the life of me remember which is the main name on it, I think her married name.)
Anyway, so I was curious.. if we have a birth certificate with both of our names on it, and a social security card with her name on, neither of which I'm anticipating difficulty with, will this suffice for the federal passport office? I'm guessing probably not since I know that federal government doesn't recognize the marriage which gives me a relationship with our child.

So what do you do? Do we have to do second parent adoption and wait until it's done before we can travel? Does the birth certificate trump all other things? *sigh* I wish we didn't have to worry about paperwork!
post #2 of 13
I'm in MA too, and just had to get my son's passport renewed. Not exactly the same situation as yours but not a standard application either.

I have sole custody of my ds, and his father is uncooperative/non-functional/absent depending on the day. But his name is on the birth certificate.

So, what I have to do when I get ds's passport is write a notarized statement explaining why his father has not signed off on the passport application, and send it along. There's a section for this to fill out in the official forms form the post office. I'd figure you could do the same thing, explaining your family structure.
post #3 of 13
Osker -- in many places, you can use the birth certificate for the first year or so, in place of a passport. We did this with DS when he was a few months old. At that point, only DW was on the BC, since it was prior to equal marriage in MA (he's that old!). I think that the new legal case may make it easier to get the passport, but it could still be tricky. Technically, the federal government can't deny rights to MA citizens that are granted by MA now. We'll see about the appeal, of course...

Check out what Mombian did in this situation here.

And clearly, I'm not fully answering your question (though I think that the linked article helps a good deal...).

Good luck!
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by osker View Post
Anyway, so I was curious.. if we have a birth certificate with both of our names on it, and a social security card with her name on, neither of which I'm anticipating difficulty with, will this suffice for the federal passport office? I'm guessing probably not since I know that federal government doesn't recognize the marriage which gives me a relationship with our child.

So what do you do? Do we have to do second parent adoption and wait until it's done before we can travel? Does the birth certificate trump all other things? *sigh* I wish we didn't have to worry about paperwork!
We got a passport for our daughter this year. She is adopted by each of us, and we used her post-adoption birth certificate that has both of our names on it for her identification. If you have a birth certificate like that, you should be fine. The only strange thing is that one of you has to put your name on the line for "father" on the application form. We live in a major metro area, so the agent at the county licensing bureau where you apply for passports didn't blink an eye. We had no trouble and got her passport in the usual time frame.

The national passport information helpline was actually quite helpful with all of this. There are also very detailed instructions that come with the form when you download it about the required identification for your child.

On a related note, we have traveled extensively within the U.S. with our transracially adopted daughter, and never had trouble at airport security nor been questioned if she's really "ours." Our first international trip since her adoption is coming up next month, and we are going to travel with copies of her adoption papers just to be extra safe, although the passport is legally sufficient. We've been warned that occasionally when you are re-entering the U.S., your child will be pulled aside for questioning in order to prevent possible child trafficking, so we've been preparing her for that too (she's only six, so we don't want her to clam up out of nervousness!)

PS actually the lady on the phone from the passport center was SO nice, I wanted to ask her if she was a member of PFLAG!
post #5 of 13
Hi Osker, We got our daughter's passport before our second parent adoption went through in 2007. DP and I were married and my name (as non-birth parent) was on the pre-adoption birth certificate. We went to Brookline City hall and applied for the passport and had no problems. We had heard that someone in the Roslindale post office was denying the children of same sex couples passport because of DOMA, but we went to Brookline and they were totally cool.
post #6 of 13
We went to the Northampton courthouse to get ours done, and didn't have any problems. My name and my partner's name were on the birth certificate since we were married when I had our son (my partner was listed as "Second parent"), and that was fine. I think we needed my son's birth certificate too, but the people there were really nice, and we got the passport with no issues or delays.

In any case I'd suggest trying to go to a passport office where they've worked with same-sex couples before, as it can make a world of difference.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I guess I can cross one more worry off my list! (Since I can't control the birth process, I thought I'd try to fret about everything I can attempt to control!)
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by osker View Post
Thanks everyone! I guess I can cross one more worry off my list! (Since I can't control the birth process, I thought I'd try to fret about everything I can attempt to control!)
Totally right there with you! Do you have the form yet? I picked one up for my kiddo while I was at the post office the other day, and only felt a little silly about it.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Papa, you continue to be adorable!
I haven't picked up the form yet, I tend toward worrying about things and not actually doing anything about them! It's a very effective form of crazy-making!
(Works well to make significant others crazy as well!)
post #10 of 13
Thank you so much for asking this question, this is something I have been stressing about for months, well, not really me, my wife....

So nice to know that we shouldn't encounter any problems with getting baby O her passport.
post #11 of 13
We went to an absolutely queer-oblivious post office in upstate NY with a hugely complicated set of issues around our kids' passports (older daughter born in one state, adopted in another, first state didn't do the bc correctly so that the bc didn't match the adoption papers, we didn't fix it, this post office was in yet a third state; baby conceived with kd, no paperwork, etc. etc.) It was all no problem.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by osker View Post
Hi all,
Anyway, so I was curious.. if we have a birth certificate with both of our names on it, and a social security card with her name on, neither of which I'm anticipating difficulty with, will this suffice for the federal passport office? !
Yes, that will suffice. We just went to our closest passport post office (Framingham) and never even thought about it being a problem.

Now, as for traveling as an obvious two-mom family with young kids- there are some problems we've run into! In certain countries you'll want to think twice about how/where/with whom you travel.
post #13 of 13
We applied for and got Passports very easily with our 2 mom birth certificates for my kids. It was exactly the same as with any other person.
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