Passport applications forms are getting a makeover in March. What’s changing? So far, the major change that’s been announced is changing the “mother” and “father” fields to ensure that same-sex couples and people in other non-traditional family structures can more easily apply for a child passport for their children.
The current application just says “Mother” and “Father.” But not every family has a mother and a father. Same-sex couples often struggled with how to fill out the forms, having to cross out the incorrect word and replace it with a more appropriate designation. The experience often made them feel like second-class citizens, like their families weren’t real families in the eyes of the government.
According to deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services Brenda Sprague, the old forms were “imprecise. It just didn’t capture the reality of their situation. Clearly, we want to be sensitive to the feelings of other people, but we are also very conscious of our need to introduce the greatest degree of precision to the process.”
Sprague further explained that “We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago.”
Originally, the Department of State planned to deal with this problem by replacing the terms “mother” and “father” with the gender neutral terms “parent one” and “parent two.” This caused controversy as some conservatives were outraged. According to Politics Daily, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped in with a common-sense solution. “Mother” and “Father” will remain on the new application forms, which will now read “mother or parent” and “father or parent.” The State Department can accurately capture information about applicants, nobody has to cross out parts of the application, and mothers and fathers won’t have to bicker about who gets to be “parent one” and who gets to be “parent two.” Everyone wins!
The new forms will be available March 01, 2011. Child passports take about 6 weeks to arrive if you apply with normal processing and about 3 weeks if you apply with the Department of State’s expedited service. An expediting company like RushMyPassport is the easiest and most convenient way to get your child’s passport more quickly, though you also have the option of making an appointment and traveling to the nearest passport agency office.
Let us help you apply for a child passport today!