The following information is from the website of the U.S. State Department:

The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is a service for the parents and legal guardians of minor children. It enables the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues to notify a parent or court ordered legal guardian, when requested, before issuing a U.S. passport for his or her child. The parent, legal guardian, legal representatives, or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request for entry of a child’s name into the program to the Office of Children’s Issues.

Request Entry of a Child into CPIAP

Passport Issuance to Children

A person applying for a passport for a child under 16 must show that both parents consent to the issuance or that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain the passport. Passport applications made in the U.S. and at consular offices abroad will both be covered by the new law. Exceptions to this requirement may be made in special family circumstances or exigent circumstances necessitating the immediate travel of the child.

Once a passport is issued, its use is not tracked or controlled by the Department of State. There are no exit controls for American citizens leaving the United States. If you believe that your child may be abducted internationally, immediately contact the Office of Children’s Issues and inform appropriate law enforcement officials.

Information regarding the issuance of a passport to a minor is available to either parent, regardless of custody rights, as long as the requesting parents’ rights have not been terminated. The Department of State’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program is a program to alert us when an application for a United States passport is made. This is not a program for tracking the use of a passport. This program can be used to inform a parent or a court when an application for a United States passport is executed on behalf of a child. The alert program generally remains in effect until each child turns 18. It is very important that parents keep us informed in writing of any changes to contact information and legal representation. Failure to notify CA/OCS/CI of a current address may result in a passport issuance for your child without your consent.

Passports – General Information

A passport is a travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer’s origin, identity, and nationality, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country (8 United States C 1101(3)).

Under United States law, U.S. citizens must enter and depart the U.S. with valid U. S. passports (8 United States C 1185(b)). This requirement is waived, however, for travel from countries within the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba (22 CFR 53.2). However, each foreign country has its own entry requirements concerning citizenship, passports and visas.

Information regarding those requirements may be obtained from the appropriate foreign embassy or consulate. The addresses and telephone numbers for the foreign embassy or consulate near you are found in our Foreign Entry Requirements .

The Privacy Act and Passports

Passport information is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act (PL 93-579) passed by Congress in 1974. Information regarding a minor’s passport is available to either parent. Information regarding adults may be available to law enforcement officials or pursuant to a court order issued by the court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with (22 CFR 51.27). If you want us to forward to the Foreign Embassy the information contained in your request to the Office of Children’s Issues, please complete and sign the Foreign Embassy Contact Form. That form contains a waiver of your Privacy Act Rights and the rights of your minor children. For further information regarding the issuance or denial of United States passports to minors involved in custody disputes, or about international child abduction, please contact us at (888)407-4747 (this is a recorded message which provides access to country officers).

General passport information is available on our home page. While we make every effort to be of assistance, the Office of Children’s Issues can assume no legal responsibility for the services provided.

Dual Nationality for Children

Many children, whether born in the United States or born abroad to a United States citizen parent, are citizens of both the United States and another country. This may occur through the child’s birth abroad, through a parent who was born outside the United States, or a parent who has acquired a second nationality through naturalization in another country. There is no requirement that a United States citizen parent consent to the acquisition of another nationality.

The inability to obtain a United States passport through the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program does not automatically prevent a dual national child from obtaining and traveling on a foreign passport. There is no requirement that foreign embassies adhere to United States regulations regarding issuance and denial of their passports to United States citizen minors who have dual nationality. If there is a possibility that the child has another nationality, you may contact the country’s embassy or consulate directly to inquire about denial of that country’s passport. The addresses and telephone numbers for the foreign embassy or consulate near you are found in our Foreign Entry Requirements .

More information about the child-related services available to parents through the Bureau of Consular Affairs is available by calling the Office of Children’s Issues at (888)407-4747 and speaking to an officer who deals with a specific country. There is more information about the prevention of International Parental Child Abduction .

SOURCE: U.S. State Department