The Passports Act 2008 (the “2008 Act”) does not deal with the attribution of legal parentage for the purposes of Irish law. The 2008 Act deals with the issue of passports by my Department to Irish citizens and sets out a number of conditions in this regard. The 2008 Act contains a number of provisions in relation to the issue of passports to children. In particular section 14 of the 2008 Act deals with the requirements governing the consent of guardians to the issue of a passport to a child. Section 14 requires the consent of a child's guardian(s) before a passport can issue to the child, subject to very limited exceptions. In line with Section 2 of the 2008 Act, guardianship is a term with a defined legal meaning.
For the purposes of Section 2, a 'guardian; of a child means a person who:
a) is a guardian of the child pursuant to the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, or
b) is appointed to be the guardian of the child by: (i) deed or will, or (ii) order of a court in the State, and has not been removed from office.
The purpose of Part 10 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 was to introduce a number of amendments to section 14 of the 2008 Act in relation to the requirements concerning the consent of guardians to the issuing of a passport to a child. Part 10 introduced amendments relating to the number of guardians required to give consent to the issuing of a passport to a child. It also introduced provisions to enable my Department to issue a passport to a child who is ordinarily resident outside the State on application by a guardian of that child, without the consent to such issue by the other guardians(s) of that child, where that child is ordinarily resident in a state which is a party to the 1996 Hague Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children , where a court or competent judicial or administrative authority of the state in which the child is resident has taken a measure directing that a passport can be issued without the consent of the other guardian(s), or where by operation of the law of that state, the requirements relating to consent of the other guardian(s) have been fulfilled.