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to be unaware I needed my husband's permission to travel with kids?

(220 Posts)
SidekickSally Mon 01-May-17 19:49:24

I've just come back from a weekend in Amsterdam with my 2 DDs, both under 16. We wanted to see some museums and my DH isn't keen so we went with my mum instead. At Amsterdam airport I was asked alot of questions by passport control and the guy said I needed written permission from DH to take my kids away without him. He was asking "how do I know your husband has given you permission to take the children without him". He accepted my return tickets as proof in the end but said next time get written proof.

I can see why he was asking and that this could be an issue but it never occured to me. What do lone parents do? What kind of permission is accepted? Surely a letter could be faked too. Seems a bit of over kill, or is it? Just be interested to hear from others about whether this is usual or unusual.

Euphemia Mon 01-May-17 19:52:29

I'd heard this was the case so I made sure I had notarised letters from DH when DD, my mum and I went to the USA.

We've been four times and not once have I been asked for the letter!

Took DD's friend to Spain last year, no questions asked as well!

Having a letter with me gives me peace of mind, though. One less thing to fret about at the border!

Dogivemeabreak Mon 01-May-17 19:52:29

If you husband takes you kids away, he'll need you permission too.

There's all kinds of letters online you can copy and use.

LockedOutOfMN Mon 01-May-17 19:52:33

I've heard about this before and that was also in Amsterdam. Do your kids have your name or your husband's?

Trb17 Mon 01-May-17 19:54:55

I work in travel and I've only heard of this if your surname is not the surname of the children. Is this the case here?

SidekickSally Mon 01-May-17 19:58:10

DDs surname same as mine and DHs. Think next time I'll just get a standard letter then as it was a bit hairy! It's not as if a return ticket really proved anything, but he let me off. Maybe they were looking for someone as also the auto passport section had a handwritten sign for no Under 16s.

TinselTwins Mon 01-May-17 19:58:12

I took a letter when I travelled without DH, don't see the point though a letter is easily faked.

SidekickSally Mon 01-May-17 19:59:38

I did say to him that he could phone my husband and that's when he said bring a letter next time.

RhodaBorrocks Mon 01-May-17 20:02:09

I got challenged on returning to the UK, but it was because DS has XP's surname. I just whipped out his birth certificate and said XP is NC with us and it was fine.

WhooooAmI24601 Mon 01-May-17 20:04:49

We've never experienced this, but when we went to Sharm el Sheikh with the DCs 5 years ago we were fine going but on the way home passport control stopped us. DH and DS2 were allowed through and DS1 (not DH's child so different surname to the rest of us) were pulled to a separate room. If they'd had a heart monitor on me at that point it would have blown up.

They asked why I was travelling with a child whose surname was different to the rest of the parties and I explained that he was from a previous relationship; the man then stood and pointed to me to leave the room and leave DS1 (who was 5 at the time) in there. I refused and explained that I'd got a letter of consent from Ex that DS1 was permitted to leave the country.

Since then I do everything by the book because I am constantly terrified that we'll be stopped again. We went to Paris and Milan without DH last year and each time I had the documents from Ex and DH stating their consent.

Orlantina Mon 01-May-17 20:05:53

We have a double barrelled surname - so never had any issues even though we are separated. Been to Europe with DS many times.

SidekickSally Mon 01-May-17 20:11:01

Whoooo sounds scary!! Next time I will do it by the book but it never had occured to me!

StorminaBcup Mon 01-May-17 20:11:53

I have a different surname to both dh and dc's (they all have the same surname), I've never heard of this either OP.

WhooooAmI sharm airport is a complete shambles. Your poor ds, he must've been frightened.

Malermalergoni Mon 01-May-17 20:13:25

Certainly Belgium, Holland, Germany are all quite hot on this. Always take the letter. I actually think it's more of a legal requirement to people from countries in the Schengen? im not sure that we legally need it, although most places in Europe will ask.

2ducks2ducklings Mon 01-May-17 20:14:29

My parents often take our children on holiday abroad, they always take a letter if permission from us. This includes our passport number. I'd say they've been asked for it twice out of ten visits. It's worth having though.

onethousandandonepapercuts Mon 01-May-17 20:14:44

This is the sole reason I intend to keep my married name after my divorce.

I was stopped from entering Canada with dd who was 5 months at the time. Granted she very pale in comparison and obviously couldn't confirm we we're related. I went from shit scared to pretty hacked off after 30 minutes of being questioned. They did let me through in the end.

JolieColombe Mon 01-May-17 20:16:48

Thanks for the heads up OP! DD1 and I are off on a short trip later this year (leaving DH with the toddler grin), it wouldn't have occurred to me to take a letter, one more thing for the list to pack confused

DoesHeWantToOrNot Mon 01-May-17 20:19:32

If I go without my dp I'll need to take dds birth certificate and my divorce certificate as my passport is my married name but the name on her birth certificate is my maiden name. As I was divorced when I had her but I've not changed my passport yet.

dementedpixie Mon 01-May-17 20:22:48

https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad - those with parental responsibility need to give permission regardless of surname

cherish123 Mon 01-May-17 20:24:31

Strange. I have been abroad many times with DC without hubby and this has never happened.

Orlantina Mon 01-May-17 20:28:13

How though do the authorities know if someone has parental responsibility?

I know what PR is. I know who gets it. But if a child turns up with 1 parent, how do they know who the other person is? If the person is widowed, NC, had a child as a single parent by IVF etc?

I've never been asked for permission - but we do have a shared surname as it's double barrelled in DS's name. Done loads of trips to Europe.

megletthesecond Mon 01-May-17 20:31:46

rhoda that's good to hear. We're NC with xp too (8 yrs) and the dc's don't have my surname. If I ever take the dc's abroad I'll probably end up taking loads of back up paperwork with me.

itsgoodtobehome Mon 01-May-17 20:33:25

I've never heard of this. I have travelled on my own with ds5 loads, and I have never been asked about having DH's permission. It would never have occurred to me that this was a thing.

ginswinger Mon 01-May-17 20:33:32

I'm a single mum of a 6yoDD. She's been to 12 countries and I have never been challenged! We have the same surname and look alike but there's never been an issue. Occasionally she will get asked a few questions at passport control (along the lines of what did you do on holiday?) but nothing further.

DD is a bit of a chatterbox so when asked about her travels, will regale the officer with stories of elephants and lions until they smile and wave us through.

Bumply Mon 01-May-17 20:33:43

I've been stopped before as don't have the same surname as ds1 and ds2.
The irony is that their Dad doesn't have parental responsibility (just shares a surname), so according to that gov website I don't need a letter.

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