Applying for a Passport for a child under a Special Guardianship Order
When you have a special guardianship order for a child, applying for their passport can be a lot more challenging than applying for a passport for your own child. Hopefully, by sharing my experience it will help you to have a smoother process than I did.
We are going on holiday soon and I had to renew a couple of our passports, but for Summer we are applying for her first passport. We booked our holiday in April, and started the passport applications in April. As her special guardians, I knew it was not going to be so straight forward, so I read as much information as I could from other guardian experiences. After reading lots of advice and tips I rang the passport office and asked for their advice.
Confident I had everything prepared, and with the advice from the passport office, I sent her passport application off, along with her birth certificate, her birth mother's birth certificate, and the court documents proving we were granted full legal guardianship.
After a couple of week's, we received a letter requesting Summer's grandmother birth certificate. This is not what we were originally advised and this is when we hit a brick wall.
Unfortunately, 18 months ago Summer's mum had disappeared without a word to us, no warning, and no way to make contact with her. After speaking to the passport office to explain this, they gave me some advice on how to find out and get a birth certificate for Summer's grandmother. So with this advice, and with a name from Summer's mum's birth certificate, I started ringing around registry offices to try track down the right one. Some were very helpful, others not so helpful. As we only had the grandmother's full name, and no Date of Birth, this is what caused us the biggest challenge. One registry office had two with the exact name, but very different birth dates, and I had no clue how old Summer's grandmother was. After a very frustrating week, I contacted the social services to ask for their help, to try and contact Summer's mum, but they explained as the case was closed, they cannot help and explained I would need to hire a solicitor to track her down.
Panic ensued, how much would this cost, how long would it take.
I rang the passport office once more, and this time I spoke to someone who was definitely more clued up, and she suggested that I do the paternal route - I get Summer's dad's birth certificate, and paternal grandmother's and to return those. We also need the details of the paternal great grandparents full details in order to obtain Summer's paternal grandmother birth certificate - are you lost yet? it's complicated. Anyhow hubby rang his ex-mother in law who helped us with this information, and shortly after all the birth certificates were ordered.
They were sent off, and within a week..... We got Summer's birth certificate! Phew. Overall from start to finish it took approx. 10 weeks.
If you are reading this and wondering why we didn't get the paternal route first, this was because when we spoke to the first lady at the passport office, she said as the grandparents weren't married it wouldn't work, so she advised we have to get the maternal grandparents birth certificates - however, after ringing the passport office at a later date, I spoke to a different lady who told us differently. A little frustrated we weren't given this information to begin with, but it is sorted now, and that is the main thing.
And Summer is super excited to be going on holiday.