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Travelling with your child who has a different surname when unmarried?

(22 Posts)
kdoc Thu 25-Apr-13 20:33:21

Expecting in July. Still some debate about surname. I already have a double barreled name and am unwilling to "pick one". So three surnames is never going to happen. All the same, I am slightly worried about the hoops I may have to jump through to travel with my child if unaccompanied by his mother. I read on a US site that a notarized letter would be required from his mother any time I travel without her. Does that seem right? Would a copy of his birth cert be sufficient? There's a Guardian article about mother's with different surnames getting questioned by Border Control and being able to prove a child is theirs.

duchesse Thu 25-Apr-13 20:52:35

We chose to put my surname as third first name if you see what I mean. I didn't change my surname when I got married so have always had a different last name to my children. Having my name as their 3rd first name has made travelling a lot easier. hth

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 25-Apr-13 21:03:34

When I brought DD to Canada without DH I brought a copy of her birth cert, a signed letter from DH saying he was happy for me to take her and a copy of his passport for signature comparison.

Didn't go to a solicitor but they usually only charge a nominal fee to witness something like this.

In the end no one asked to see it.

Yika Thu 25-Apr-13 21:08:35

I live in Belgium and my DD has Belgian nationality (and her dad's surname). When travelling with her I've often been asked to prove she is my daughter. Easy enough in my case because her Belgian ID card carries the name of both parents. So, yes, I think you'd need some kind of documentation.

duchesse Thu 25-Apr-13 23:10:05

In Quebec no women change their surname on marriage, so most children have either two surnames (as in Spain) or don't have the same surname as their mother. Not sure about other provinces. But not at all unusual in Canada.

I once travelled with my mother, aunt, cousin and ds2... 4 surnames between us, both minors had separate surnames to their respective mothers.

It didn't even raise an eyebrow when we were checking in.

That was only between Ireland and the UK.... I think it can be trickier if you're travelling intercontinental.

narmada Fri 26-Apr-13 15:08:48

When coming through passport control recently, the border guard advised me in future to carry a copy of my children's birth certificates with me as my surname differs from theirs.

TBH I am not sure what this achieves, as I mightn't have parental responsibility for them but hey ho.

cestlavielife Fri 26-Apr-13 15:43:47

i take copies of birth certs...have ben asked at uk border when coming from france several times on ferry - they just say - are they your kids? i say yes. they say tks and bye ...

Ooopsadaisy Fri 26-Apr-13 15:52:28

This has never even occurred to me before!

DCs are 17 and 14. They have their Dad's surname. Despite 23 years together we have just never got around to getting hitched.

We've never been questioned.

Had honestly never thought of it being an issue.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Fri 26-Apr-13 15:54:48

I have been asked every time I have travelled with my child alone. But never needed to produce anything - tbh, wouldn't take anything unless I was travelling somewhere really unusual. Normally now, they ask Dd as she's older.

Never once been a problem!

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 26-Apr-13 15:55:04

Names are irrelevant. The travelling parent needs (or will need as other countries fall into line with US/Canada) a notarised letter of consent from the other parent when travelling abroad. (all Italian children for example have their father's surname, not their mothers)

Check the Border Agency website for their advice.

It will be Europe-wide over the next few years.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 26-Apr-13 15:56:20

The birth cert is certainly useful to carry, but does not give the consent which is the important thing.

(it's to stop cross-border child abduction by a parent)

middleagedspread Fri 26-Apr-13 15:58:00

My DS regularly travels abroad with my Dad, his grandfather (solicitor).
He takes a letter from me with his passport number, my passport number & a letter of authority stating the dates of departure & return. It's often been read & accepted.

khaleesidragon Fri 26-Apr-13 15:59:59

I get questioned. They ask to see a birth certificate, I always forget then they say to bring it next time. I think I took a picture of it on my phone once as I didn't want to take the original and that was okay.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Sun 28-Apr-13 19:13:58

What happens if the other parent is dead? Utterly bonkers rule (if it does come in Europe wide...)

NotTreadingGrapes Sun 28-Apr-13 20:07:15

It's to stop cross border abductions.

Chubfuddler Sun 28-Apr-13 20:10:35

Is your maiden name on a child's BC? It's just that I am thinking of changing my surname when I get divorced but I don't want it to cause issues as to proving I am their mother.

sleeton Thu 02-May-13 10:38:03

To Chbfuddler Depends on the country of birth/registration and whether it is a full or abbreviated certificate. In the United Kingdom the full certificates do show the mother's Maiden Surname in the full certificates but not in the abbreviated.

dufflefluffle Thu 02-May-13 10:41:26

I only recently changed my name (after 15 years of marriage!) and before that never had a problem travelling with dc who have dh's name. So long as their tickets are booked in the name that's on their passport and yours matched your tickets then there shouldn't be a problem. I used to keep a copy of my marriage certificate in my passport though - just in case.

MrsBrianODriscoll Thu 17-Apr-14 08:10:47

I got pulled over in Dublin yesterday, I totally see the point for younger children, but there is no way you could get a soon to be 13 year old with attitood to travel with you unwillingly.

My DH was behind me in the queue, and he was called forward to verify that my son was my son. angry

TBH, It made me feel like DH's chattel.

MrsBrianODriscoll Thu 17-Apr-14 08:11:24

And yes I know this is a Zombie thread.

Laineylou10 Wed 18-Jun-14 00:05:34

I have problems as my married name is on the birth cert, but my passport is in my maiden name different from my daughters and I'm divorced and can only find the divorce certificate not marriage :-( I'm doomed.

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