If you are planning a family trip outside of the United States, each person travelling must have a passport, including a children’s passport. The application process that you will need to follow and the supporting documents that you will need to provide depend on whether you are applying for yourself or on behalf of a minor who is below the age of 16. A minor who is 16 or 17 years old may apply on his or her own but must supply proof of parental consent.
The U.S. State Department has information available for parents and legal guardians who fear that their child is in danger of being wrongfully removed from the United States. Information is also available to assist in the recovery and return of a minor who has already been wrongfully removed.
Preventing the International Abduction of a Minor who is the Subject of a Custody Dispute
A parent or legal guardian may file an application to enter a minor below the age of 18 into The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. This program is designed to inform that parent or legal guardian if an application is, or has been, submitted for the issuance of a United States passport for a minor or if a United States passport has already been granted. The program is intended to verify consent, enables an objecting parent or guardian to register his or her opposition.