This information is geared specifically to U.S. citizens. If you are planning on traveling internationally with baby, you will need a U.S. passport for him/ her. We knew that we had to travel with Veda soon after her birth (at 6 weeks to Paraguay), so I did research and filled out as much paperwork as possible before her birth so that after her birth we could expedite the process. You can get the U.S. passport process expedited to 1-2 days if you are traveling soon.
You will need standard passport photos taken of baby at any passport photo service or pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreen’s with the service. We found this challenging having Veda’s done at 3 weeks since baby’s eyes have to be open and looking at the camera per the U.S. government passport photo requirements.
We were concerned because it takes a while for baby to get a social security number (it took us 3 months to get hers after registering for the SSN at the hospital), but luckily, baby does not need a social security number to get a U.S. passport.
However, baby does need an original certified birth certificate to get a U.S. passport. I would suggest getting in touch with the hospital where you plan on giving birth, as well as your county records department to ask them how the process works, how long it takes, and what you need to do to get a birth certificate if you plan on traveling shortly after baby’s birth. It took me several phone calls back and forth to the hospital and county, and I requested that they expedite the process for me due to upcoming travel, before I was able to go to the county office in person to pick up Veda’s birth certificate.
You may access the U.S. Dept. of State website information on applying for a U.S. passport for your newborn (which is valid for five years), and download the application for the passport. If you are a U.S. citizen that has given birth to a baby overseas, contact your local U.S. embassy for information on securing the paperwork and passport for baby.
If there are visa requirements for the country that you are traveling to, you will also need to secure a visa for your baby.
If you are enrolled in the U.S. Global Entry Program which allows you to bypass the long migration lines coming back into the U.S. and going to a self-serviced kiosk (a must for frequent international travelers), the bad news is that baby is going to put a wrench in this process. Children under the age of 13 are not eligible for enrollment in the program, so they have to be seen by an immigration official to be stamped back into the U.S. However, going through this several times in Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit, we have been told that we can still bypass the lines and go through a kiosk, and after my husband and I have checked in via kiosk we can take baby and her passport to an immigration official to stamp her in.