From December, gay parents applying for passports for their children will not have to list themselves as ‘mother’ and ‘father’.
The Identity and Passport Service said the amendments would be made to accommodate gay and lesbian parents applying for passports on behalf of the children.
Currently, they must fill in details in boxes marked ‘mother’ and ‘father’, despite being the same gender. When the changes come into force, they can fill in boxes marked ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.
A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service told the Daily Mail: “IPS is planning to amend the application form and associated guidance to deal with same-sex parents applying for a passport on behalf of a child.
“Currently, the application form provides the relevant boxes of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to be completed. The new form to be introduced by December 2011 will in addition provide for ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.
“It is essential that any parent provides the necessary information on their status as parents or guardians when applying for a passport on behalf of their child.
“This protects the interests of the child and ensures that IPS is able to issue passports securely and safely to the right person.
“The passport application form is therefore being updated to incorporate same-sex parents.”
Last month, it was reported that the Home Office is considering changes to make passports gender neutral.
Currently, transgender people can obtain passports in their new gender. But intersex people – those born with chromosomal or genital ambiguity – must pick whether they are male or female.
Supporters of gender-neutral passports say there is little need for passports to list gender and argue that other forms of ID do not state the information.
However, some transgender advocates say they prefer to have their gender on their passports, to help ensure their safety when travelling abroad and using gender-specific facilities such as toilets.