Can I use a court order from the judge granting us permission to travel with children?

Passport Frequently Asked Questions and AnswersQuestion:  My husband and I have 3 children whom have a termination of parental rights status. Before we are able to adopt them, they will have to live in our home for 3 months. We are traveling to Europe for Thanksgiving this year. I was wondering, can we use a court order from the judge granting us permission to travel with children? We have done it in the past with our foster. Also, if we get passports, can we change their names when the adoption process is over. Or, will we have to obtain new passports?

Answer:  If you travel by air, which will be the case when going to Europe, you as Americans must all have passports. If you were to go to Canada and are able to travel by land then you will have to carry passports for those who are 16 years or older. Age 15 and younger places you in the minor’s category and they will be able to travel with evidence supporting their U.S. Citizenship. For example: Photo Identification and a birth certification.

In some cases, Border service agencies can sometimes require adults that are traveling with minors that are not their own children to provide a consent to travel from the legal guardians or parents of the children. In this case, since it is a termination of parental rights, a court order will be sufficient evidence.

Now, after you have finalized the adoption, you will be able to apply for a name change. Minors will have to appear with both parents or legal guardians for them to apply for a passport. If legal guardianship is obtained, then there should be no problem with receiving passports. However, complications may come up before adoption with attaining a passport if legal guardianship was not complete.