Sun | Feb 19, 2017

Adopted and applying for a passport

Published:Thursday | April 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q: My adopted daughter is now 21 years of age and wishes to apply for her passport for the first time. Would the application procedure be different for someone who is adopted?

A. The application procedure for someone who is adopted and who wishes to have a passport is in many respects the same as with someone who is not adopted.

The only difference would be that the adopted person must present an adoption certificate when applying. The birth certificate for an adopted person is, therefore, not required, as the document does not provide all the necessary information.

Note, however, that an adoption certificate may not state an individual's place of birth. Therefore, in completing a passport application form, the applicant will record his or her place of adoption in the space provided for place of birth.

However, if someone is adopted after obtaining a passport using his or her birth certificate, upon renewal, information related to his place of birth will simply be transferred from the previous passport to the new document.

Persons adopted overseas

Some territories, like the United Kingdom and some American states, issue a certificate of foreign birth to persons who are born in Jamaica but adopted in their country. If, in later years, these persons wish to apply for a Jamaican passport, they would need to submit this document along with a Jamaican birth certificate.

The Jamaican birth certificate is required to provide proof of nationality. If the applicant is not in possession of a birth certificate, he or she may wish to consult the Registrar General's Department (RGD) about obtaining one. If the applicant is not able to acquire a birth certificate from the RGD, he or she should make contact with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency's customer service unit for further advice.

Some Jamaicans who were adopted overseas have also sought to gain citizenship in their adopted country. If, however, their citizenship is in a territory that does not recognise dual citizenship, they would need to renounce citizenship of their adopted country in order to apply for a Jamaican passport.

In addition to providing an adoption certificate, your daughter will simply follow the ordinary procedure for applying for a passport. That is, she will need:

a completed application form accompanied by two passport-size photographs (the form and only one of the photographs must be certified by someone authorised to do so), and

a valid photo ID.

It is important to note that laminated or photocopied documents will not be accepted.

If your daughter is married, a marriage certificate is also necessary.

Send questions, comments and suggestions to editor@gleanerjm.com and the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency will respond.