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Canada ‘Don’t feel pressure to sign your child’s passport’: Kingston mother warns

02:06  18 january  2020
02:06  18 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Answer to questions about passports for children obtained without the consent of one parent. Question: My daughter lives with her mother in Wachula, FL. I recently learned that she has a passport and has been out of the country without my legal permission?

When it comes to child passports , there are a couple of other important things to remember. If you do need to get a passport for your child in a hurry, RushMyPassport can help. We’ll walk you through the paperwork, step by step, to help prevent common mistakes that could cause delays in processing.

a close up of a piece of paper© Global News

Melissa Biggs, a Kingston mother of two, is warning other parents about her travel experience last year to Florida, where she says she was made to sign her son's passport, rendering it invalid for future use.

"I remember travelling last year in the States and the TSA agent had made me sign the passport in order to continue on boarding our flight" Biggs told Global News.

READ MORE: 5 travel tips for parents flying with young kids

It wasn't until the arrival a new passport for her infant daughter nearly a year later that Biggs realized the grave error.

"You know travelling with a child you're just trying to keep everything status quo, calm, get to and from without any issue" Biggs said.

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Welcome to Passport Q&A brought to you by US Passport Service Guide! The question we want to answer in this video is: What do I do if my child is Print your child ' s name and sign your own name in the space provided for the signature. Then, write your relationship to the child in parenthesis next

Do not sign your child ' s application until instructed to do so by the acceptance agent. You must provide your child ' s Social Security number, if they have been If you don ’ t submit a photocopy or a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, your passport processing could be delayed.

Biggs says when she inquired about the signed passport with Service Canada she was told she would need to get a new one despite it having two years left before it expired.

"When someone approaches you that you've done something wrong or you need to do something,'" she said "I wasn't about to argue, I don't have the passport rules memorized."

According to the Canadian government, "every passport needs to be signed by the person to whom it is issued." Children even aged 11 to 15 are encouraged to sign their passports.

READ MORE: Here’s where Canada ranks on list of world’s most powerful passports

However, they go onto say "if not signed by the child, the signature block must be left blank."

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirmed to Global news that Biggs isn't alone in being pressured to sign her son's passport.

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If your child is still working on their penmanship, it is a good idea to sign their passport on their behalf. Remember, if your child will ever be traveling without a parent or legal guardian, having your own signature on the passport will provide an extra level of security for your child and safeguard

Many fathers (and mothers too; let’ s not be sexist) refuse to sign a passport application form for their children . There are many reasons why they may do The good news is, that unless your ex has an extremely good reason why your child should not have a passport (such as if there is a risk that the

"There are still occasional cases where border officials insist that a child’s Canadian passport must be signed by either the child or a parent/guardian" they wrote in a statement.

"In response to these difficulties, the passport program has made available a summary of its policy with respect to signatures on children’s passports, which can be printed from the government of Canada website and carried by parents/guardians when travelling internationally," the ministry statement continued.

The PDF, which Biggs says she was informed about by her local passport office, is something she carries with her every time she travels now.

"I hope we don't run into this problem again," said Biggs.

"It is however slightly inconvenient carrying around an additional piece of paper that says I can't sign my child's passport."

Luckily Biggs says she caught the mistake in enough time that their upcoming trip won't be affected, however, she is now out the $60 cost of a new passport and photos for her son.

Biggs hopes that by sharing her story, it prevents future headaches for others.

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