Have any of you been stopped and questioned while travelling with child with different surname?

(68 Posts)
MNBlackpoolandFylde Sat 11-May-13 20:02:59

While flying in EU?

Bvlgari Sat 18-May-13 09:40:30

OK, put it another way
If, god forbid, my child was abducted I'd like to think that someone somewhere at a passport control would ask the question, what is this persons relationship to this child
Wouldn't you?

Bluepenny Sat 18-May-13 22:23:42

It's becoming more common and worth checking the UK Gov site for countries you are travelling to, as some like Canada and Mexico need letter of absence parent authority (or relevant paperwork) and USA is following suit. I'm not saying they will ask or they won't let you in, it's an element of risk you decide to take really.

We've been questioned before (DS has same surname) and it took me aback as hadn't even thought of it. I put a post on here autumn last year about this subject as XP had moved abroad. Cue lots of responses about just take the risk and go anyway.

In the end, I had half hour free with a solicitor and the choices were to go to a court and get an official bit of paper (XP doesn't have PR so straight forward) or get XP to complete an off the net travel consent form witnessed and sealed. Luckily, XP did the latter, so we now take DS's birth certificate and the travel consent form, which is open ended until DS is 18.

I appreciate the difficulties in getting consent in alot of single parent situations, but it is worth looking at the risk of being asked dependent on the countries you may be going to. I am too risk adverse and we're going to the USA so chances of us getting asked are higher than say France.

The abduction numbers have risen dramatically apparently in the last few years, hence more countries bringing in such border controls.

Travelledtheworld Sun 19-May-13 00:09:11

Yes, flying from London to Toronto with my two children who have different names to me.

Travelledtheworld Sun 19-May-13 00:11:31

I have also been asked for letter of authority by US airlines prior o departing the USA.

pippibluestocking Sun 19-May-13 00:19:25

Yes, on the way back into the UK (at Gare Du Nord). Officers were English. Suggested that I carry children's birth certificates with me if travelling again abroad without DP.

No and I've travelled quite a bit back and forth every year EU, however I have noticed for this year I'm not allowed to check in online like I used to and have to go to the desk. After reading some of the threads on here am going to bring ds's BC and maybe get his dad to write a quick note saying he knows and allows him to be taken out of the country as a precautionary measure.

I might even do the same for dd who has the same surname as me.

moldingsunbeams Mon 21-Oct-13 01:55:15

I know this is an old thread but has anyone had this issue going into Berlin?

Thinking of going next year and had terrible problems in Greece.
We won a holiday, was pulled aside and questioned on the way into Greece but they let us go, leaving Greece they pulled us aside, took our passports and travel documents and made us go to another area while they checked somewhere. DD who has sen was terrified.

I did have letters and proof but they would not let me show them, never had problems before but its put us both off tbh.

probablyparanoid Mon 21-Oct-13 10:11:22

This happened to me too. A friend has her name in her passport as '[maiden sir name] also known as 'married sir name]' - she never had an issue . I was thinking of doing that when I next renew my passport. Because you can put anything in the 'also known as'

Does anyone know however - do you always have to have a letter from the father? Would a copy of your marriage papers and divorce papers and the children's birth certificates sufficient or do they have to establish you have permission of the father. I really don't want to have to ask dad for anything.

Lucyccfc Tue 22-Oct-13 21:54:41

DS and I travel 4 or 5 times a year and have done for a number of years. He has been asked at customs/immigration on the way back to the UK, if I was his Mum, his name and how old he is. Never a big deal.

We went to Brazil in June and I had a copy of our birth certificates and his Dads, as well as his Dad's passport and a letter from his Dad giving permission for our DS to travel. Not only did a lovely customs official pull us out of the queue and took us right to the front, but no one asked us for any of the documentation we have.

We are going to New York next April and I will do the same again, just to be safe.

nkf Tue 22-Oct-13 21:56:36

No, but my children look like mini versions of me. Or maybe it's just never happened. I suppose I could carry their birth certificates.

Yes.
Dd brought her best friend on holiday with us in the summer. Dh and I have different names, dd has dh's.
My Mum and her husband were also with us but they don't share the same name either.
So altogether 4 different names confused

We were stopped in the UK airport and asked to explain the relationships between each passenger. No problem though. Dd's friend had a letter from her parent giving consent to travel but they never asked to see it. This was a flight to Portugal, so yes, EU.

exexpat Tue 22-Oct-13 22:08:28

Moldingsunbeams - I flew into Berlin with the DCs last year, and was not asked anything - it's always coming back into Heathrow/Gatwick, or boarding the Eurostar in Paris that I get asked about the children. I think it may be becoming more common everywhere, so take the paperwork, but don't worry too much about it.

Shortbutsosweet Wed 23-Oct-13 22:33:54

Molding sunbeams
I flew to Berlin in September from London City airport.
When I was due to board the plan the airline rep told me I couldn't fly s my DS had a different surname, they needed proof.
I didn't realise this and if I had been told this when I checked in my DP could have gone home and got passport or birth certificate, as my child carries his surname.
They let me fly, no problems at at in Germany.
Yet when I got back to England a lecture from cocky immigration woman.
I thought the new passport which asks for both parents details and you both have to sign was a good way to stop child abductions.

exexpat Wed 23-Oct-13 23:11:23

The different surname thing as a reason to stop people really annoys me - I'm sure a pretty high proportion of child abductions (after family breakups) are carried out by parents who share the same name as their children. And the number of women who have different surnames from one or more of their children is pretty high.

Either they should stop and check anyone travelling with children, including couples - nothing to say child traffickers can't work in pairs - or have something better to base suspicions on than just having a different surname.

What makes it all worse is that this has all started happening with no publicity - no one tells you you need to carry extra documentation until the first time you are stopped, and as far as I know there are no official guidelines anyway, at least not in the UK. Does anyone know if there is actually anything on an official website or leaflet anywhere that spells it out that lone travellers need to be able to prove they are related to their children and have the other parent's permission to travel?

exexpat Wed 23-Oct-13 23:25:29

I just googled and found this - Children Travelling to the United Kingdom. It only seems to apply to children entering the UK, which has also been my experience - I've only ever been asked about my relationship with the DCs on my way back into the country.

So it seems you are free to leave the UK with children who may or may not be related to you, without any check of paperwork, but when you are coming back into the country, with British passports, you need extra paperwork - which of course you would have needed to know about before you left the country in order to get copies of birth certificates etc. Crazy.

whatsnext2 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:49:56

I know this is an old thread but am planning to travel to Brazil in Summer. Ex and I are not on cordial terms to say the least so I doubt I can get him to do a notarised letter as Brazilian consul seems to suggest. DD and I have same surname, anybody travelled there as single parent with minor and know if they enforce it? Can see a lot of problems with World Cup if they do ....

financialwizard Tue 04-Mar-14 18:54:51

Only coming back into the UK have I ever been questioned. Had to produce residency order, decree absolute for dissolved marriage, birth certificate for Mstr FW, new marriage certificate for me, birth certificate for me and passports for us both.

Had to do that several times.

Benzalkonium Sat 08-Mar-14 16:34:11

bvlgari Yes I would be really happy to show my documentation on departure from uk, as this represents a procedure which would be protective of uk children. Showing documentation on arrival to uk demonstrates a far greater priority in preventing the illegal migration of children to the uk. Whilst Im not making a stand about this issue, I think it is representative of the governments priorities that almost all the people on this thread who have been stopped have been stopped on entry and hardly anyone on exit.

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