travelling with children who don't share your surname

(34 Posts)
helenperry Fri 10-May-13 12:27:27

I am frequently stopped at borders and asked to prove that my children are mine as, following my divorce, they don't share my surname. I think this is unfair and its also quite unsetting when it happens.
I wondered what other people thought about this as I'm keen to lobby parliament to change passports
Thanks for any stories people wish to share!

drinkyourmilk Wed 05-Jun-13 22:52:46

I can't see anyone would be stopped.
I'm a nanny and have travelled all over the world with my charges alone. Never been questioned, although I always have their birth certificate and a signed letter from both parents giving permission to fly.

TheWave Wed 05-Jun-13 11:28:47

*has anyone no-one has

TheWave Wed 05-Jun-13 11:27:35

You see that lots have been asked on this thread and answered and been let through (as I have been). Has anyone no-one has actually not had bc etc and been refused entry?

Vagndidit Wed 05-Jun-13 11:21:54

I find it ridiculous as well as many kidnappings involve children being taken away by a parent/relative who shares a last name.

Ds and I were pulled aside at Schiphol last week for the same issue. He has his dad's last name; I kept my own after marriage. We got a very stern "How do I know he's your son?" line of inquiry from the agent. Luckily he took my suggestion of "You could ask him..." Thank God DS decided to be truthful at that moment and not launch into a tangent about being a dinosaur/Darth Vader/an Angry Bird, etc

Gooseysgirl Tue 04-Jun-13 21:01:09

I've been stopped twice in the last year with DD (still a baby). The first time was at Stansted where they took her passport from me and asked what her date of birth was, I was so taken aback (and sleep deprived) that I had to concentrate hard to remember the date!!!! The second time was in Dublin airport but DH was with me so it was fine... both times I was advised to carry a copy of her BC with me in future.

minipie Tue 04-Jun-13 20:19:24

Is there actually a rule that says you need proof?

if so, I think this is ridiculous. many mothers don't have the same surname as their children. and on the flip side, a child could be kidnapped by someone with the same surname - paternal relatives for example taking a child to their country of origin without the mother's permission.

either everyone should have to prove parental permission to take a child abroad, or no one should. basing it on surnames is just daft.

but is there a rule?

I have been asked more than once at UK Border at LHR if DS is actually ours. DH and I travel together with him. Never had any such questions asked on visiting the US though.

Lucyhanco Sat 01-Jun-13 23:27:50

Yes I've been stopped twice at Gatwick in the past year, b****y ridiculous! They have told me that I should travel with her birth certificate as surnames are different. My other DS is 15 and we travelled extensively and have never been asked.

lottysmum Fri 17-May-13 21:02:36

I travel 6/7 times a year and I cant remember a time when I wasn't asked...so I do know how you feel....my daughter is now 11 so its allot easier now...because they normally ask her who I am...and she's at an age where she is old enough to speak up...although when they asked her who I was the first time she said my name...not that I was her mum... what I find amusing is that normally they ask the question when we are coming back into the country...not when we are leaving...

undervalued Fri 17-May-13 16:00:00

We were stopped in the States with my 8 year old Grandson. We had packed the court order (that gives us parental responsibility) in suitcases but didn't have them on us. He was asked a series of questions about us and we were let through.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 17-May-13 15:48:25

It could be that DD is a splitting image of me.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 17-May-13 15:47:26

Really do they ask? I have only travelled with DD on my own once, going to Spain. Neither the UK or Spanish customs asked any questions.

As for the Italians having both parents name in their passports. I believe it's the norm for Italian women to keep their surnames. It'll never be done here as it's the norm for women to change their names. (Hence why the mother's maiden name is a security question in many computer system).

Alligatorpie Wed 15-May-13 14:30:52

I have a different surname and am different nationality than them (dd1 is dual citizen, dd2 was born in another country so right now has just the one passport - not the one I have) i have been stopped a few times when flying without dh.
Once at Heathrow they asked dd1 some questions about why we were travelling, and we are always asked in Vancouver. I usually carry a letter from dh saying he gives his children permission to travel without him and I carry their birth certificates too.
Never heard of anyone being refused entry, but have heard about lots of hassle.

ripsishere Tue 14-May-13 02:37:23

I travel often with my DD. We don't have the same surname. No one has ever stopped us. She looks nothing like me. Non EU countries too.

Roshbegosh Sat 11-May-13 17:47:27

Maybe it's because we are obviously not his parents. We are too old and unattractive and if anyone thought he was ours they would think he had been switched at the hospital.

I've never been asked and I travel once or twice a year with ds since he was a baby (EU). I can't use the quick online check-in and have to go to the desk however. Never carried his birth cert or letter from his dad either.

Only one I know getting stopped was my uncle when travelling to the US with their nieces and told they had to have evidence of permission from the parents to leave the country.

Roshbegosh Sat 11-May-13 17:25:47

I get asked every time coming into Gatwick but no where else. That is with our foster child.

MousyMouse Sat 11-May-13 17:23:58

never been refused entry, but once refused to board by the airline when I didn't have the bc with me (hence they are stapled in now). dh had to fax the bc to the airline and we got on the next flight for an extra fee.

Notfluffy Sat 11-May-13 17:23:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MousyMouse Sat 11-May-13 17:21:19

I stapled a copy of the birth certificates to the passports.
often get quizzed but not had a problem so far.

rosy71 Sat 11-May-13 17:18:26

Does this really happen? After all, in plenty of other countries it's the norm that parents don't share their chilren's surnames. Do they all get refused entry? It's also quite possible for a child to be travelling with people with the same surname who aren't their parents at all.

FWIW I think parents names in passports is a good idea.

LillyofWinchester Sat 11-May-13 15:10:58

Oh and we have different surnames hence why they were asking for proof me & the baby were related

LillyofWinchester Sat 11-May-13 14:37:35

I got asked and handed over my sons birth certificate all smugly thinking how glad I was that i'd packed it. The customs official looked at it for ages, spoke to her colleague shoqing him the BC and eventually let me through. Back home I was wondering why she spoke to her colleague so I had a look at the certificate. It was then I realised it was the short version that doesnt contain parents names on it. What an idiot. Glad she waved me through or we'd still be stuck at the airport.

TheWildBeastofPontypandy Sat 11-May-13 14:13:57

I don't use my husband's surname and have travelled solo with the children loads and never been challenged.

TheWave Fri 10-May-13 16:43:25

So it's a rumour so far and no-one has actually been refused entry?

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