I received an email from a mom with a donor-conceived child who was reeling from being publically embarrassed when trying to get a passport for her 17-month-old son. She asked that I spread awareness of this situation.
Jodi is a single mom of a 17-month-old son conceived via donor sperm. Prior to his arrival, she was a frequent traveler, and is now looking forward to sharing her wanderlust with her son. First he needed a passport.
The “authorized passport application acceptance facility” where she lives is the post office. She made an appointment, then showed up with her baby, the passport application, and a copy of his birth certificate, and waited in line, along with others mailing letters and parcels, to submit her application.
Where’s the Dad??
When she finally got to the head of the line, the Post Office employee said “Where’s the dad?” In fact, the passport application for a minor requires that both parents must appear with the child. If one parent cannot be present, they must submit a notarized “Statement of Consent” form. The reason for this requirement is to prevent one parent from “kidnapping” the child to another country without the other parent’s permission. However, in Jodi’s case there was no father—ever. There was no person to fill out the Statement of Consent.