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Passport Consent when Parent's Location is Unknown.

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Edit: Apologies if this is in the totally wrong area!

Hi All,

I've stumbled upon this forum trying to get information on Passport Consent so perhaps someone here has the knowledge I am after.

Summary: I am trying to find out a way I can contact my son's parent to get him to give consent for my child's passport.  Apparently this is far harder than I imagined it would be and I have just been passed around a daisy chain of government departments.

Background: My son is 6 years old.  His father left when I was about 3 months pregnant and left to who knows where.  I listed my son's father on the Birth Certificate and I went through the process of CSA engaging Legal Aid to find him and get him to sign an acknowledgement of paternity.  Since then he occasionally pays child support, however I have never heard from him nor have any real idea of where he is. 

Dilemma:  I wish to take my son on a holiday to Alaska, however as far as I am aware I need his father to sign consent for the passport.  As I have no idea how to contact him, I contacted the CSA to see if they offered any service which allowed them to contact him on my behalf.  They said they couldn't and referred me to Family Relationships Australia Services who then referred me to Legal Aid.  Their advice was to pull out a phone book and start calling people who could be him, which seems rather odd to me.

Additional Thoughts:  I am particularly keen to find him as I also wish to find out if he wants to have any participation in my son's life.  I've never heard from him but I know at some point my son will ask about his dad and I would like to tell him that I extended the offer to his father. 

I could probably find out where he is from a casual acquaintance however I really don't wish to just turn up on his doorstep unannounced and would prefer to use more "official" channels. Additionally I think the casual acquaintance can only really point me in a general location. Not an address that I could send a letter to.

Is there some sort of mediation service that can get his contact details from CSA and facilitate the signing of the passport consent forms for me and open the door for further communication (if he is interested)? How do other people go about this process?

Any help would be gratefully received!

~ G.

What happens if you cannot get consent?

If the consent of anyone with parental responsibility for the child cannot be obtained after all avenues have been exhausted, and there is no court order permitting the child to travel internationally, a written request for 'special circumstances' under section 11(2) of the Australian Passports Act 2005 may be made. An Approved Senior Officer, an officer delegated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will consider the statement in support of the request to determine if a passport may be issued without the other person's consent.

In such cases, the passport application must be accompanied by:

  • a statement made on Form B8 or B9 in which you state why the necessary consent has not and cannot be obtained, and explain the special circumstances relevant to the application, and
  • the child's full birth certificate, and
  • the originals of all court orders affecting parental responsibility for the child.

that is from the governments passport website. Basically you'd need to fill in details and then send it off to see if they will approve the passport.

as for finding him to see if he wanted to be involved in your sons life I would assume/take it that after so many years of knowing he is alive and knowing he is around and he still has not contacted you then he does not want to be involved.  It sucks for your DS but at the end of the day the father is a grown man who unless he is disabled- physically or mentally- should be able to locate you/make contact to see his child if he wanted to, you don;t need to go chasing him maybe if you do feel you need to do something contact him give him a photo of two and your email address and say that you wont change the address so if he wants to see him the doors open…

as for findign him- facebook is an excellent source for this or I recently came across
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