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!

AuntieStella Fri 10-May-13 12:32:06

What changes to passports are you lobbying for?

This is a fairly recent measure. I have never had same name as DC, and when they were small such enquiries weren't made. I think it is now advisable to carry a copy of BC to demonstrate they're yours, until they're big enough to answer robustly for themselves if asked by an official about the adult they're travelling with and purpose of travel.

liger Fri 10-May-13 12:35:40

I find this frustrating. I know the system links us all together, but not every passport officer in the country's I'm likely to travel to have a computer next to them. I was asked for the birth certificate at check in a few weeks ago.

I had a moan about it with my Italian friend, and she looked baffled as the parents names are printed in her DS's passport. Seems a simple enough solution.

SavoyCabbage Fri 10-May-13 12:37:16

I travel with birth certificates, my marriage certificate and a letter from my dh saying that he knows that I am taking the dc out of the country. And I have the same names as my dc. So it might be nothing to do with your name and just be that you are on your own with your dc.

RugBugs Fri 10-May-13 12:39:04

I've never been asked, screwed if I'm asked to show her BC because my passport is still in my old married name (too tight to change it yet again) but I always travel with her Dad anyway.

TheWave Fri 10-May-13 12:42:06

So has anyone ever been refused entry for not having "proof"?

I've always had my name different and travelled alone with them lots. If they occasionally ask I say they are mine but not had any proof with me as such and never been asked for any further proof apart from my word.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 10-May-13 12:51:23

I was only ever even asked once, out of maybe a dozen trips abroad. Is it that big a deal? Has anyone ever not been allowed into a country because of differing surnames?

GrandPoohBah Fri 10-May-13 13:06:27

We've only taken DD abroad once and I was stopped bringing her back into the country - my passport is still in my maiden name and she has her Dad's surname. Luckily DH was right behind me so he could confirm that she's ours!

Mine are teenagers and I've never been asked about the fact that their surnames differ. Travel abroad twice a year, all EU.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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 17:47:27

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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

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.

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 I do know how you 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...

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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?

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

*has anyone no-one has

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.

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