5. Adopted or fostered children
If your child was adopted in the UK
Your child can get a British passport if either adoptive parent is British and was usually living in the UK (‘habitually resident’) when you adopted your child.
You must send your child’s adoption certificate showing the British parent’s details.
You must also send one of the following:
- the British passport details for either parent
- a UK birth certificate for either parent
- a Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation for either parent
- the passport that was valid at the time of the child’s birth for either parent
If your child was adopted overseas
Adopted before 1 June 2003
Your child doesn’t automatically qualify for a British passport - even if one of the parents is a British citizen.
The adoption may be recognised for parental responsibility purposes, but not for nationality purposes, depending on the country the adoption took place in.
Adopted on or after 1 June 2003
Your child can get a British passport if either parent is British and the British parent was usually living (‘habitually resident’) in the UK when the child was adopted.
Only adoptions conducted under the Hague Convention are recognised for nationality purposes. You must send the child’s full Hague Convention adoption certificate showing the parents’ details.
You must also send evidence of the British parent’s nationality status, such as a British passport issued before the date of adoption - put the passport number on your application.
If you don’t have a British passport, there are other documents you can send.
Foster children and children in care
You must contact the Passport Adviceline if you want a passport for a child who’s in care. This includes a child you’re fostering.
Contact the Passport Adviceline if you aren’t sure what documents you need or if your circumstances are more complicated.