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Passport Renewals for Children of USA

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Passport Renewals for Children of USA
By Cornelia on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 9:55 am:

A very disturbing situation has come to my attention regarding the passport renewal requirements for USA children born out of wedlock. A woman who put down the name of her baby's father on the consular report of birth in a foreign country has now been told that she can not renew the daughter's passport without the father's permission. The Japanese man abandoned her halfway through the pregnancy and she has no method that she knows of for finding him, and no funds for doing so. The child is now 12 and has had her passport renewed twice in the past without any problem.

Has anyone else found themselves this situation? What did they do? How was it resolved?

Does anyone have a link to the actual law that has created this problem?

I was very lucky I guess, because when I started writing the father's name down (in 1996) on the form, the woman at the USA Embassy asked me if the father was there, and I said no. She then explained that I could not put his name down unless he was there or had signed a different form saying he was the father. So my daughter's paperwork does not include her father's name. He also abandoned us pretty much the day I told him I was pregnant, so of course looking back on it I don't know why I even wanted to put his name down, other than to somehow fill in a gap that would matter to my daughter in the future (for her benefit).

By Vicki on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 5:29 pm:

I had this very same problem at the embassy. They wouldn't renew my son's passport due to this new law. They were unsympathetic when I told them the father had run away and was hiding to avoid paying child support. They actually told me "too bad."
Please e-mail me if you'd like to know all that I had to go through to get his passport renewed. It was difficult---the law keeps changing.

By Hillary Michaels on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 11:41 pm:

I'm the mom mentioned above. I just spent hour trying to find the actual law ( a search for July 2, 2001 Public Law 106-119 does NOT give links you to the text of the actual law, only the embassies interpretation of it. Therefore, I will be a wee bit lazy.

I explained this situation to a councilor at (Japanese)immigration. (I was there for visa renewal and thought that they might be able to provide me with a document verifying my child's perpetual alien state, as they, better than anyone, have the paper trail of our life in Japan. No documents were forthcoming - but the immigration officer - a middle aged man, became quite upset at the embassy. He said the situation I described was ridiculous, as it was obvious that the father never had custody and the embassy was supposed to take care of it citizens - not Japanese immigration!
He was actually quite nice and gave me a form that I will receive if the embassy revokes (does not renew) my daughter's passport. She wouldn't be able to get into any country, but she would be able to leave Japan and re-enter on a rentry visa. He said that these forms have been used by Koreans and citizens of some other country - he had never heard of The US embassy refusing to renew a visa.

A different person at immigration told me how to call information and ask for the nearest Family Court in my area. Did anyone go through them? Does anyone know off a declaration of sole paternity type of court ordered document available from the Japanese system?

What about the very clear clause on the Passport application (the third option) that allows us to swear under penalty of perjury, that we don't know the whereabouts of the father? In its exact reading, that is all we should have to do to get the passport renewed.

Thank you to everyone who wrote me about this matter. Sheer lunacy, isn't it?

By Hill on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 3:26 pm:

Still looking for link to actual law-does anyone know it? It seems that the embassy interprets the law as it sees fit and actually ignores or goes against part of it, so it would be greatly appreciated it someone could help me go into the embassy with the actual law as it was passed by Congress in hand. Thank you!

By Cornelia on Saturday, August 20, 2005 - 9:39 pm:

The US Embassy Japan website has maybe re-written the page on:
Passport Applications for Minors (under 14)
because there is, as follows, a section on:

[quote] >>Exceptional Cases

If none of the above documents are available, the applying parent/guardian must apply in person with the child present at the Embassy at the same time.

The applying parent/guardian must submit a signed explanation and documentation showing why the non-applying parent/guardian's consent cannot be obtained.

Exceptions may be granted only in exigent (e.g. the health or welfare of the child is in jeopardy) or special family (e.g. the non-signing parent's whereabouts are unknown, he/she is medically incapable or is incarcerated) circumstances.

It looks like you can now swear that the father is not to be found? It's still unclear how to provide documentation to support that. I have been unable to find the law under the PL# listed above.

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