According to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, all U.S. citizens must possess his or her own passport if they plan to travel outside of the United States (well, with the exception of Canada and Mexico – there are other options for those two). I get that and it makes total sense, not only in a governmental “We need to know where all our citizens are at all times” way but also in a “We need to know the identity and nationality of all visitors to our country” POV.
That being said, there’s one thing you don’t want to do with any of your family’s passports.
Don’t give them to a young child. Here’s why:
The photo is said to have been posted by a man named Chen. He and his family, who live in China, were visiting South Korea but because his 4y/o son drew all over dad’s passport, Chen couldn’t leave the country to go back home because the document was then considered to be unrecognizable. Chen was asking for help in the matter, hence his posting it on Weibo, a microblogging website that’s one of the most popular social media platforms in China.
This photo actually came out a few years ago and several social media outlets claimed the photo was Photoshopped and the story was a hoax. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t, but I’ve known enough 4-year-olds in my life to know that something like this could be a distinct possibility.
So yeah…if you have a young child and passports, it’s probably best to keep them separated. You know, just in case ;-).
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary