Parenting Time & Decision Making

New Proof of Parentage Requirements When Travelling with Children

Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

New Proof of Parentage Requirements When Travelling with Children

In my previous blog Top Five Things You Should Know About Passports for Children  I wrote about some of the basics relating to Canadian passports for children.

In a related vein, it’s important for parents to know that effective December 1, 2011, there are new proof-of-parentage requires for applications relating to travel by a child. These requirements are aimed at protecting Canadian children against child abduction, and designed to further enhance the security of the Canadian passport system.

New “proof of parentage” documentation required.

After December 1, 2011, for standard passport applications respecting children under the age of 16, the change involves a new requirement:  every application must be accompanied by “proof of parentage” documentation, consisting of either:

• A detailed birth certificate indicating the name of the parent(s) issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial vital statistics agency if the child was born in Canada. This document will serve as both proof of parentage and proof of citizenship.   (Note that for a child born in Ontario, an original and certified copy of birth registration will suffice; for a child born in Quebec, an original copy of an act of birth issued after January 1, 1994 by the Directeur de l’état civil of Quebec is also acceptable);

• An order of adoption indicating the name of the adoptive parent(s); or

•A foreign birth certificate indicating the name of the parent(s) (documents in a language other than English or French must be translated to either English or French) if the child was born outside of Canada.
Parents (or legal guardians) who intend to apply for passports for their child must factor in additional time to acquire the proper documentation.  A failure to provide the documentation will result in the child’s travel documentation application being rejected.


There are certain exceptions to these new requirements; no “proof of parentage” documentation is required in case where all of the following criteria are met:

•A Canadian travel document has previously been issued to the child in his or her name;

•The previously issued travel document is still valid or expired for less than one year; and

•The previously issued travel document accompanies the new application.
Separation or divorce by child’s parents

In cases where the child’s parents have divorced or separated, any legal documents that refer to the custody, mobility, or access to the child must be provided along with the application and proof of parentage documentation.

If the child’s parents have formally divorced, a copy of the divorce judgment or order must also be provided. Similarly, if a separation agreement exists between the child’s parents, it must also be provided with the passport application.

Russell Alexander Family Lawyers work exclusively on divorce law and family related matters, including custody, spousal support, child support, alimony and separation. We are located in Ontario, and serve the communities of Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Markham, Brooklin, and City of Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay).

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.