Can I get a passport for my child without the consent of the other parent?
When an application is made for a child to procure a passport, the written consent of all parties with parental responsibility must be gained. This means that if one party does not agree to the passport, you will not be able to get a passport for that child.
In this case, you will need to make an application to the Approved Senior Officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs for a passport under ‘special circumstances’.
Where this request is denied, you may be able to apply to the court for permission to allow the child to travel internationally, provided that the travel is in the best interests of the child.
What if I have concerns about another party taking my children overseas?
This is a complex issue that requires legal advice, and to be sure that your concerns are addressed you should see a lawyer. However; generally, you have three possible options regarding orders to prevent your child from being taken out of the country:
- An order preventing the child getting a passport
- An order to deliver the child’s existing passport to the court
- An order preventing the child from travelling internationally.
I want to take my child overseas but the other party won’t agree. What can I do?
You can apply for an order from the court allowing the child to travel internationally. In doing so you will need to file an application and an affidavit outlining (but not limited to) the following:
- The purpose of your travel
- Where you intend to travel
- Whether the country you are travelling to is a party to The Hague Convention
- The immigration status of the individuals travelling with the child
You may also be required to provide a financial security before being allowed to leave.
The Family Law Airport Watch-list
If you have serious and immediate concerns about a child being taken from the country, you should contact police. You also have the option of requesting to have the child placed on theAirport Watch-list which exists to monitor the movements of children. These requests are processed by the Australian Federal Police and require that you:
- Have a court order limiting the child’s travel overseas OR
- Have applied to the court for such orders limiting the child’s overseas travel OR
- Filed an appeal against orders pertaining to the international travel of the child
- AND complete a Family Law Watch-list Request Form
If you have concerns about your child who is overseas, you should contact the Attorney General’s Department for help. There are some countries with which Australia has an agreement to return child who have been abducted from Australia.