Special circumstances

If you are unable to obtain the consent of all persons with parental responsibility for your child, you must complete form to explain why you cannot obtain consent and request that the child's passport application be considered under the special circumstances provisions in passports legislation, namely section 11(2) of the Australian Passports Act 2005 and section 10 of the Australian Passports Determination 2015.

Special circumstances can include, but are not limited to:

  • inability to contact a non-consenting parent for a reasonable period of time
  • the existence of a family violence order against the non-consenting parent
  • the child being the subject of a child welfare order.

Even when considered under the special circumstances provisions, there is no guarantee that an application without full consent will be approved. The delegate assessing the application can decide to:

  • issue a passport, or
  • not issue a passport as special circumstances do not exist, or
  • refuse to exercise their discretion because the matter should be dealt with by a court.

Of these possible outcomes, only one – a decision to refuse to issue a passport because special circumstances do not exist – is a reviewable decision. If a passport is not issued to the child, the application fee is generally not refunded.

Foreign court orders

Certain foreign court orders make it unnecessary to provide the consent of a person with parental responsibility. These are:

In all other cases, even if foreign court orders remove the parental rights of a person, the consent of a person with parental responsibility is still required. You can choose to provide foreign court orders (with translations if they are not written in English) if you believe they are relevant to your child's individual circumstances and support their claims for a passport to be issued.