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travelling abroad with kids with different surname to me

(31 Posts)
chris89 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:25:34

my children have their dads surname and is on the birth certificate, he hasnt been in contact for nearly 4 years tho. i was meant to be going on holiday this year , before i booked it i checked i could take them away and the travel company TWICE on different occasions told me yes just bring their birth certificates and it will be ok, i called yesterday to triple check and they said no i needed permission letter. i explained we dont no where he lives etc etc. and how due to the past hes caused me to have PTSD and anxiety, so even the thought of finding him will be a problem for me and id rather cancel the holiday. (luckily the kids dont no were going). once i looked it up it says i have to go to court to get permission or somethings. has anyone had a similar problem, im really worried!!

OP’s posts: |
ifanciedanamechange Thu 22-Feb-18 12:26:27

If all you need is a permission letter anyone can write it?

GaraMedouar Thu 22-Feb-18 12:30:23

Definitely take the birth certificate. How old are the children? They will probably ask the children directly if they are concerned if you are Mum. I have read other threads where people say officially you need a letter but in practise they don’t normally have a problem.

danTDM Thu 22-Feb-18 12:30:40

No, I have never needed this and been abroad with DD hundreds of times. In Europe it is normal that we have different surnames. Just take birth cert.

malvinandhobbes Thu 22-Feb-18 12:31:16

The birth certificate should be fine so long as you both have passports from the same country.

I just arrived back from USA with my kids who has a different surname. The border agent was being trained, and the trainer had me give the both certificate. I take about 2 overseas trips a year with my kids and this is only the second time I have been asked.

danTDM Thu 22-Feb-18 12:31:46

Yes to a PP, DD was asked if I was her mum in Morocco! That is all.

Branleuse Thu 22-Feb-18 12:36:41

All my kids have different surnames to me. The only time ive ever been questioned and asked to prove my relation to them was at the dover calais ferry. I was not impressed. I do not need my ex husbands bloody permission for anything. I told them that all my details and relationship to the child was given when applying for the passport, so i dont see why it needs to be provided again seperatly every time.

The eurotunnel have never asked, and I didnt get asked when flying recently either

bananaberyl Thu 22-Feb-18 12:42:47

it can depend on the country you are going to.

endofthelinefinally Thu 22-Feb-18 12:42:48

It is to stop trafficking.
You take the birth certificates and marriage certificate and explain that the other parent is no contact.
Usually it is coming back into the UK that the relationship is checked.
Sometimes they immigration official will just ask the child who they are with and have a brief chat.
They are trying to check whether children seem frightened or anxious.

Machu Thu 22-Feb-18 12:43:24

The level of scrutiny depends on where you're going. When we went to South Africa last year (both parents and both sons - all the same name) we had to show their FULL birth certificates at check-in with BA. It was a nightmare as we had to go back home to find them and return to check in.

PerfumeIsAMessage Thu 22-Feb-18 12:46:14

Here we go with the anecdotes.

I travel 4-6 times a year with dd (different surname/Italian, it's usual here) and have been asked several times for letter of consent.

It is not specifically to do with different surnames, it's to do with one parent travelling alone with children who might be abduction those children cross-border.

For at least the last 30 years (since I worked in this field) border control are told to pay special attention to a single parent travelling with children.

You may be asked for a consent letter, you may not. Some countries (Canada and Mexico iirc) absolutely insist on it and it has to be signed and witnessed by a notary.

The children's b/certs are enough to establish parentage, they are not enough to establish consent. I imagine (and I asked an officer last summer when we came into Gatwick and he said he couldn't possibly comment but possibly) that sooner or later, there will be clearer guidelines about this, as at the moment checks are done on an ad-hoc basis.

Dd is now a teenager and on the last 4 entries into the UK has been asked where we are going. They ask her, not me. Up to her being about 10 they asked her if I was her mother. That's their preliminary check to asking for the docs.

Only twice have I been asked for the actual consent letter.

I think if you are no-contact, or the absent parent has no residential order thingy or is deceased, then a letter stating those things usually suffices if you are asked.

The irony of all this is that I take groups of Italian teenagers to the UK. Am I ever asked if I have permission to take them? Nope. Because they're all over 14. My own daughter? Yep. Because I may be using the school trip as cover for a cross border abduction. confused

badhairday43 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:47:50

My son has a different surname to me and I've been taking him abroad since he was 4 years old. He's now 13 and I've never experienced any issues or questions. As a previous poster said, if you've applied for a passport for your children and had to show your relationship then why do you need to keep proving it when travelling. Unless there is a court order in place I can't see why you'd need a permission letter for them to travel.

PerfumeIsAMessage Thu 22-Feb-18 12:48:40

I have never been checked leaving the UK (obviously because there are no exit controls at the border although I imagine the advance info you give to the airline, plus the check in control would flag you up if there was a ports block on your exiting) but about 4-5 times when entering the UK. Been checked once at exit, never on entry.

expatinspain Thu 22-Feb-18 12:50:34

You need the birth certificate, that's all. I get asked every time I enter the uk. Never get asked leaving the UK.

DextroDependant Thu 22-Feb-18 12:51:48

I travel as a single parent with my three children, the oldest two have my surname and the youngest has his dad's.

Usually when they see the passports they will call my youngests game to see if he responds to it, then ask him specifically where he has been and who with. All done in a friendly conversational way, you wouldn't know they were checking up, just chatting.

Carry the birth certificate but don't cancel your holiday! Xx

chris89 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:52:08

thank you guys, my children are 10 and 5. i dont no if i should get a court order or not anyway because of my anxiety i know theyll be something that will go wrong. thompson keep telling me itll be fine but ive never travelled with them so i dont no. and im worried if i have to go to court he will find out and turn up on holiday. lol like i said he hasnt seen them in 4 years anyway but i dont want to do anything wrong .

OP’s posts: |
RebeccaCloud9 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:52:55

I took my 2 children (different surname) to Germany last year and was asked on the German side out and back if I was their parent and to show the letter. I was prepared but don't know what would have happened if I didn't have the letter.

We researched it though and it's to do with 1 parent rather than the different name - although I do imagine it is flagged up more with different names.

RebeccaCloud9 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:53:58

Our letter was typed out by my partner - but could have been written by anyone and they wouldn't have known.

WitchesHatRim Thu 22-Feb-18 12:55:31

I can't see why you'd need a permission letter for them to travel.

It's due to the fact you legally have to.

What is one parent is abducting the DC?

WitchesHatRim Thu 22-Feb-18 12:55:43

*if

PerfumeIsAMessage Thu 22-Feb-18 12:55:53

I went with Thomson for the first time last summer, and as usual took the kit and caboodle (b/cert, declaration of family unit (Italian thing confirming we all live together) and dp's consent letter. I thought I might be more likely to be asked as she travels on an Italian ppt and I don't, and we were going with a UK company.

I wasn't asked for anything- but that might not have happened. It's best to just take everything in case.

Have a lovely time!

chris89 Thu 22-Feb-18 12:58:13

sorry also we are going to menorca. so i dont no the laws for getting back to the uk either

OP’s posts: |
Machu Thu 22-Feb-18 12:59:58

It's the random nature of these checks which makes it difficult. SA is crazy - why birth certificates when both parents are travelling. Double checked to make sure I remembered correctly, and found yes - that's what they demand. If you are travelling with one parent, you need a Parental consent affidavit. Wouldn't mind so much if my kids were tiny but they're practically men!

PerfumeIsAMessage Thu 22-Feb-18 13:03:17

I went to Menorca. The Spanish side was very relaxed iirc.

If you are asked, it will be coming back in.

Have a wonderful time, it's one of my favourite places in the world. I almost booked again for this year but dd wanted something different. Thomson are good though. I love them.

danTDM Thu 22-Feb-18 13:04:28

Ah Yes! Good point there by Perfume my DD has a different passport as well as surname. Honestly, you'll be fine with your BC. I have been everywhere with DD with no probs, just the friendly chat mentioned above, in Morocco, once.

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