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Can Ex Apply for Kids' Passports Without My Permission?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 29 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Passport Ex Children Parental


Can my ex-partner apply for my 3 children's passports without my permission? They are aged 4, 5 and 6 years.
Concerned dad.

(S.J, 4 May 2009)


When you split from your partner it is easy to feel very helpless and as though you lack influence on your children’s lives. When you have gone from being involved daily to seeing her making decisions without your consent, it can seem unfair. It is natural to question whether she is legally able to take these steps without consulting you.

You do not say whether you have parental responsibility for your children. Parental responsibility is automatically granted if you were married to the children’s mother at the time of birth or if you jointly registered the birth. If neither of these apply, you are still able to apply for parental responsibility through the courts to make sure that you are involved in their upbringing. (For more information, see our article on Your Separated Father's Rights.)

Here's some more information about your children's passports when you are separated:

Who can apply for a passport?

Either parent can apply for a passport for their child, unless an objection has been lodged at a United Kingdom Identity and Passport Service office.

A child under the age of 16 must have permission from a person with PR for them.

If you are separated but still married, either parent can give permission for a child to have a passport.

If you are divorced, but were married at the time of or after the child's birth, either parent can give permission for a child to have a passport, unless there is a court order about PR or preventing the child from having a passport. If this is the case, you should send a copy of the relevant court order with your application.

If you are not and were never married to the mother of your child, only she can give permission for the child to have a passport, unless:

  1. You have PR, either through a Parental Responsibility Agreement or by order of the court
  2. You are named as the father on the birth certificate and your child was born after 01 December 2003

Can I get a passport for my child if I don't have parental responsibility?

If you do not have PR, you will need the consent and cooperation of the child's mother if you are to obtain a passport for your child.

If the child's mother does not consent, she can lodge an objection of her own volition and if the child has already had a passport issued in his or her name, it will be recovered by order of the court and not returned unless or until the court considers it appropriate.

In what circumstances can the passport office refuse to issue my child with a passport?

An objector can ask the passport office not to issue a child with a passport if:
  1. A Prohibited Steps Order has been made
  2. The objector has had a residence order made in their favour
  3. A court order has been made stating that in order for another party to remove the child from England and Wales, the objector's consent is required
  4. There is an order requiring that the passport is surrendered to the court
  5. There is a court order preventing the passport office from issuing or re-issuing the child with a passport
  6. There is an order preventing the child from being taken outside of the jurisdiction (England and Wales)

I have parental responsibility - what do I need to do next?

If you have PR for your child and no objection has been lodged at court regarding your passport application, you must send any court order dealing with your PR alongside your application form.

If your child is currently registered on another passport, i.e. your passport or his/her mother's passport, their details will need to be officially removed from them.

You should also note that if the child's mother has already applied for a passport for your child, and it has in fact been issued, even if you have PR, you will not be able to apply for another passport for your child.

Find out more...

Read on to find out more about when your ex might want to move children abroad or to take them on holiday.

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[Add a Comment]
mfn - Your Question:
Hi. me & my thai ex girlfiend have a new born baby.i am a UK citizen from birth.she is dual nationality thai from birth & has UK passport from a former marriage.we have never been married.she plans to take away my son to live with her family.is this legal ? can I stop her from doing so ?she is currently in the process of getting him a thailand passport.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. By law, if you have parental responsibility of your child your girlfriend has to request your written consent. However, if you fear your girlfriend may leave the country with your child without your consent then you can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order through the courts. A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this (child abduction) is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. This means there is no guarantee the order will be granted. Both you and your girlfriend would have to attempt to justify to the court why it isn't and why it is in your child's best interests to leave the country, respectively.
SeparatedDads - 29-Mar-17 @ 1:49 PM
hi. me & my thai ex girlfiend have a new born baby. i am a UK citizen from birth. she is dual nationality thai from birth & has UK passport from a former marriage. we have never been married. she plans to take away my son to live with her family. is this legal ? can i stop her from doing so ? she is currently in the process of getting him a thailand passport.
mfn - 29-Mar-17 @ 2:58 AM
Hi there i have a daughter to my Polish boyfriend, he is obviously on the birth certificate. I'm just wondering if he went and applied for a passport for out daughter would I need to be asked permission or sign something to say he can or because he's on the bc he can just do it? I have never been abroad so I do not have a passport so have no idea how it all works. Thanks for reading.
M4nn13 - 18-Mar-17 @ 5:46 PM
Hi, We are separate five year ago. We did separation with our muchial understanding. Now I would like to apply my son passport. He already signed application but passport office required some written document for separation and custody. My husband say no for that. Document...now he force me to sign divorce on his condition then he will give me addition document . Please suggest what I can do in this situation. Thanks,
Donna - 13-Feb-17 @ 6:45 PM
Can you help. My son Co parents his daughter and is on her birth certificate although was not married to his daughters mother. UK resident and by birth. Can my son apply for a first passport for his daughter with out the mothers Co operation? He is concerned the mother may get a passport and take his daughter away with her new man and not return. Advice would be appreciated
Tra - 12-Feb-17 @ 5:28 PM
I have Parental Responsibility and my son stays overnight regularly. My son lives with his mother, he has a British passport as do I. I wish to take him on holiday, but needless to say this is proving difficult asking his mother to put me on the passport. Can I apply for the passport myself and have it delivered to my address so I can have a holiday abroad with my son? It will be less than 2weeks and during school holidays
Lambert - 2-Feb-17 @ 5:55 PM
Hi, i got a passport from my dad but i wasn't born in TCI can he block this passport???
Genie - 28-Jan-17 @ 4:10 AM
Hi, i'm 19 years old i wasn't born in TCI i got the passport from my dad, can he blocked this passport???
Genie - 28-Jan-17 @ 4:08 AM
I have a daughter with a British citizen but I am not British and my daughter lives with her Mum and she sometimes comes for overnight stay every two weeks but I do have parental responsibility since my name is added on the birth certificate .. I want to know if I can apply for a British passport for my daughter without the consent of daughter's mum? She is refusing to apply for the passport when I last asked her to do one... please I need your advice many thanks
Jay - 16-Jan-17 @ 4:53 PM
Hi, my step son came to live with me and his dad a while back, we have booked a holiday for this year to Spain his mum got his passport and has given it to us for him to come as like I said he lives with us however do we need anything else my partners son has his mums surname so has not got the same name as any of us he is 12that ks in advance
Char - 9-Jan-17 @ 5:35 PM
Hi, I was wondering if I get a passport for my son (Philippine Passport) his dad being british (we are unmarried) would he still be able to get a UK passport? He is being acknowledge by his dad of course and we are not separated. We are together, only separated by distance as he is in the Uk i am in the Philippines and we need to sort our our papers and what have you. My fiance's dad (who is british) immigrated to South Africa and wants us to visit, the reason why I will need to get a passport for our son (which is almost 3 months this month). Would he still be issued a Uk passport requested by his dad or would he just get the Philippine passport that i will be requesting for him for the purpose of travelling to SA? Answers will be much appreciated. Thank you.
Kath - 9-Jan-17 @ 4:19 AM
I have looked after my son alone for9 years. His mother walked out at 9 months old and has never shown up to any arranged visits in the year after that. I have never received any support financial or otherwise and have not had any communication from her since that time. I am named on the birth certificate. I am applying for my child's passport as I have PR but I don't know his mother's details to put on the form. Can I still apply? Also will his mother still have PR after abandoning him and never trying to make contact?
Bbug - 8-Jan-17 @ 8:54 PM
My Fiancee has a 5 year old boy with her ex. He applied for his passport a while back and now will not hand it over so we can go on holiday. All the passport office say is we need legal advice which costs a lot in the end. Is there anything to stop us applying for a new one saying the old one is lost? will he be informed in any way and be able to stop it? We are his legal guardians, he spends one night a week at his dads. He is just being awkward. He would not of taking any legal injunctions or anything. Please help!
S&S - 10-Nov-16 @ 12:06 PM
Nash - Your Question:
Hi I need a help my son live with grandparents and his dad so I hade the custody before they again file the case and this time they got his custody now the grandparents are traveling international so they want to take him to but they want the passport is don't want to give them what she'll I do

Our Response:
The granparents have to have your authority to take your child out of the country. You do not have to consent to this. The option the grandparents have will be to take the matter to court and the court will decide whether it thinks it is in your child's best interests.
SeparatedDads - 7-Nov-16 @ 10:10 AM
Hi I need a help my son live with grandparents and his dad so I hade the custody before they again file the case and this timethey got his custody now the grandparents are traveling international so they want to take him to but they want the passport is don't want to give them what she'll I do
Nash - 6-Nov-16 @ 2:40 AM
I forgot to say that my grandaughter is 10 years old. Also her mother is happy for her to come to England.
Kaz23 - 3-Oct-16 @ 5:31 PM
Hi, I have a grandaughter in Thailand. My son never married her mother but we are on good terms. I would like my grandaughter to come to England for a holiday next year. A friend of my granddaughters mother who lives in the UK but travels to Thailand a lot has offered to bring her here for the visit. How do I go about getting her here.
Kaz 23 - 3-Oct-16 @ 5:27 PM
Zee - Your Question:
Please I seriously need an advise. My name is zee am a Nigerian citizens I had a child with a British citizen. But he ran off and abandoned me and my son my son will be 5 these December and he neevery had from his dad. Please I don't know if there is anyway he can pay child surport for my boy. But I don't know how possible that is since I was not married to these man. Please I realy need your advice please. Thanks alot

Our Response:
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 15-Sep-16 @ 2:13 PM
PleaseI seriouslyneed an advise. My name is zee am a NigeriancitizensI had a childwith a Britishcitizen.But he ran off and abandoned me and my son my son will be 5 these Decemberand he neevery had from his dad. PleaseI don't knowif there is anywayhe can pay childsurportfor my boy. But I don't knowhowpossiblethat is since I wasnot marriedto these man. PleaseI realyneed your adviceplease.Thanks alot
Zee - 15-Sep-16 @ 12:06 AM
I'm concerned that the father of my granddaughter can apply for a passport fraudulently as we believe that he is claiming benefits for her and doesn't need to provide proof, can you please advise
jet - 14-Sep-16 @ 11:51 PM
I seperated from kids partner year and half ago and weren't married he been talking about taking kids away on holiday but only needs to get my 5year old a passport . Does he have the rights to do that or do I need to do it for him and also I have heard mothers need to give permission to allow the father to take the kids out of the country ?
Jennie - 17-Aug-16 @ 11:28 AM
I have seperated from my husband and I think he has applied for my sons passport which I didn't consent to, however will he need my birth certificate to get it ?
Emznemo - 7-Aug-16 @ 10:41 AM
Hello all, I am in need of some advice regarding passport for my son. I have had sole custody of my son for 3 years that was set up by a mutual agreement and not through court. He was born in April of 2003 so I don't have PR because we wasn't married. I was there when his birth was registered but his Mother won't sign anything to allow me to have PR. Apart from a court order is there any other way to get him a passport given his age? If there is anything I haven't made clear please ask. Thanks in advance
DaveN - 21-Jun-16 @ 5:54 PM
I'm still married to the mother of my son, but been separated for years. I'm named on his birth certificate and so i applied for his passport, but now they are asking for his mothers birth certificate. He lives with me, why do they need her birth certificate?
wayny - 7-Jun-16 @ 10:17 PM
Hi I have PR for my 6yo daughter. She has a passport which her mother, obtained and I believe is still valid. Is there any other document I can apply for which will enable her to travelto france with me? As I understand it I can not apply for a passport while her mother still a has a valid one.And I her mother refuses to let me use the passport.I have a contact order which has no prohibited steps at all. Thanks
Vam - 6-Jun-16 @ 11:03 PM
Hi I'm trying to my children's passport they never ad passports before2 of my children are not my husbands but he brought them up since baby's there real dad's are on there birth certificatebut I was never married to them there dad as nothing to do with them since they was born have no ideawherethey are but I change there name by deed polloffice and got legalpapers off them for both girls how do I go about getting passports as I've all ways cared for children they never ad no contact since they was borncud you help me and tell me to how to go about it meny thanks
Ozzy - 28-Apr-16 @ 10:53 AM
i have a daughter aged 12 , who lives with her mum . i am on the birth certificate and we signed forms in 2003 to give me parental responsibility can i get my daughter a passport without her mum needing to sign it
112 - 26-Apr-16 @ 8:07 AM
I'm trying to get my daughter a passport do I need her dad permission unfortunately he is one the birth certificate but he hasn't seen her for 5 years and I have no idea where he is I've been told I need to get him to sign it or get a solitors letter which is guna cost me it has state that he hasn't had any contact I've also had her last name changed by deed poll was his surname it's now mineany ideas of what I can dothanks
Candz - 5-Apr-16 @ 2:28 PM
Please can anyone help me im a single who has a residence order and my child lives with me and has done for a number of years now I am also on named on my child birth certificate I applied for a passport but was told I have to have his mothers permission....can someone help me
single dad - 20-Mar-16 @ 7:24 PM
Bobs - Your Question:
Hi, please help. I have been separated from my children's father for over 5 years. We weren't married and he is registered as their father on their birth certificates. At the moment he currently has the passports which I don't mind as long as I can have them when the time comes. I have recently mentioned I would like to take the children on holiday, maybe later this year or summer next year. I have asked if I could have the passports well in advance. However he was very rude and said no and I would get them a week beforehand. Now unfortunately I don't trust him. Any suggestions on what I can do?

Our Response:
If he refuses to give them immediately, you can apply for a Specific Issue Order through the courts, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 10-Mar-16 @ 2:21 PM
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