Adopting a child is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, it can be a rather bureaucratic process even under the best of circumstances. Compared to biological parents, adoptive parents often have to deal with an extra layer of red tape, especially if they adopted their child from overseas. If you need an expedited passport for your internationally adopted child, here’s what you need to know before you apply.

Make Sure Your Child is a Citizen

In order to get a US passport, your adopted child must have US citizenship. Per the The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, most children adopted by parents who are American citizens gain citizenship automatically once the adoption is “full and final.”

Usually, if your child came to the US on a IR-3 visa, that means that the adoption process was completed in the foreign country and the adoption is considered “full and final.” If your child came in on an IR-4 visa, you will need to have the adoption finalized in the US before you can apply for a passport.

Gather All Relevant Documents

To get an expedited passport for your internationally adopted child, you will need the following documents:

  • The adoption decree
  • Both adoptive parents’ US birth certificates OR the child’s Certificate of Citizenship.
  • 2 passport photos.
  • For children under the age of 16, both parents must appear with their child, bring proof of identification, and provide consent for the child to be issued a passport.
  • If both parents are unable to appear at the acceptance agency to give consent, read this post on getting a child passport to learn about other options for meeting the parental consent requirements.
  • Minors age 16 and 17 only need one parent to appear with them when they apply for an expedited passport.

Apply for an Expedited Passport

There are two ways to apply for an expedited passport. You can apply directly through the US Passport Agency by paying an additional $60.00 when you submit your child’s passport application and writing “Expedite” on the application envelope. However, the government’s expediting process still takes at least 2 weeks, even if you overnight the application and pay for overnight return shipping for your child’s passports.

An easier and faster way to order an expedited passport for your child is to use a private passport expediting company. Not only will you get your child’s passport more quickly, you’ll also get a higher level of customer service from your own personal case manager.

Check out our different passport options and cut through the red tape by ordering an expedited passport from today!