Change in passport language undermines mothers and fathers

To my four young children, I am proud to be known as “Daddy.” But if I took one of my children overseas, I would be “Parent Two” if a State Department proposal announced Dec. 22 had been left unaltered.

On a busy travel day just before Christmas, the State Department issued a statement announcing its plan to rewrite passport applications for minors under 16.

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services. “They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’”

Even though this proposal was announced on the same day that President Obama signed the law repealing the military’s ban on homosexuals in the armed services, it was hardly noticed for weeks by the national press. Here’s why: Even though reporters are among the least religious of professions today, they still take vacations at Christmas time.

The passport changes were scheduled to take effect in February, but have since been modified by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. When new passport applications are printed next month, they will ask for the name of the child’s “Mother or Parent 1” and “Father or Parent 2.”

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  • Phil

    Think of all the times, as a child, that you pored over your passport application to determine the nature of your relationship with your parents.



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