Passports and Massachusetts Child Custody Disputes

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Children |

Are you involved in a Massachusetts child custody dispute?  Are you concerned that your child may be taken abroad by the other parent without your knowledge?

Here are some resources for you.

If your child has been abducted internationally, contact the Office of Children’s Issues (1 888 407 4747 or [email protected]) and appropriate law enforcement officials immediately.


Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)

Enrolling your child in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is very important. This allows us to tell you if your child’s passport application before the passport is issued.

  • This is not a system for tracking passport use. Once a passport is issued, we can’t track its use. There are no exit controls for U.S. citizens leaving the United States.
  • Information about a child’s passport is available to both parents, regardless of custody rights. The only exception is when the courts have terminated requesting parents’ rights.
  • The alert system remains in effect until the child turns 18.
  • To enroll, the parent, legal guardian, legal representatives, or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request. Include a copy of a document such as a birth certificate or court order of custody or guardianship that shows the relationship between the child and the parent.
  • You should update us in writing of changes to contact information and legal representation. If you don’t, a passport may be issued for your child without your consent.

Dual Nationality for Children

Your child, although they were born in the United States or abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, might also be a citizen of another country. A child may acquire another nationality without the consent of the U.S. citizen parent.

A child may acquire citizenship by the child’s birth abroad, by a parent born outside the United States, or a parent who acquired a second nationality by naturalization.

Enrolling in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program does not stop a dual national child from getting (or traveling) on a foreign passport. If your child has, or might have, another nationality, contact the country’s embassy or consulate directly to ask about denial of that country’s passport.

Getting your Child’s Passport Records

Parents or legal guardians may request their child’s passport records. The mailed request must contain:

  • A notarized letter that includes:
    • Full name, date and place of birth of the child
    • Address and telephone number for the requesting parent/legal guardian
    • Reason for needing the child’s passport information.
  • Appropriate Fee
    • For a copy of their issued passport application, there is no fee.
    • For an authenticated copy of the passport application, the fee is $30.00 for the first copy and $20.00 for each additional copy.

Mail your request to:

U.S. Department of State
Law Enforcement Liaison Division
44132 Mercure Cir
PO Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227

Requests for passport records take 4-8 weeks. For more information, call 202-485-6550.

Should you be in the midst of a divorce or paternity action, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.


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