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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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paneer Sun 12-May-13 21:02:22

When coming back into the UK on the boarder control, the UK immigration offical at the counter asks - "is this your child" or "what's your relationship to this child"

At that point I pass them the birth certificate and tell them she's my daughter. This has always satisfied them and they check on their computer and then get welcomed back home.

Never been physically wisked away to another room.

Be prepared with your DCs birth certificate that shows your name as the mother/father.

I read somewhere that you sholuld get letter (legal=cost) from other parent, but my DD has no residential court order and things are amicable with xp and relations regarding DD so there is nothing to flag us up.

nextphase Sun 12-May-13 21:11:57

Long haul, but I've been questioned, and the kids have the same surname.
meglet, no, not taken anywhere, just some questions like
* is this your child
*does his father know he's travelling
*whats his full name
and then let us through. He was too young to reliably answer questions. I'm fairly sure they wouldn't take you anywhere unless there was a major concern flagged.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sun 12-May-13 21:43:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairylea Sun 12-May-13 21:47:11

Nope never.

Dd has totally different surname to all of us and we have been all over the world and never been asked in ten years.

LineRunner Sun 12-May-13 21:49:08

No, never.

QueenofWhatever Sun 12-May-13 21:51:59

I wonder if it depends on the airport. I fly in and out of Bristol, which is fairly small and doesn't get that busy so they have a bit more time for a chat.

I figure they're just doing their job and am polite and friendly. I don't have a letter from DD's dad and, as the resident parent, don't see why I should need one.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 13-May-13 06:22:01

No airport is smaller than the one in deepest southern Italy that I fly out of, and that's where I was first stopped. And dd and I have been stopped more than once coming into the UK on British passports, but never out (which seems illogical to me too!)

I used to work for the Immigration dept many moons ago, and although I don't now I contacted a mate of mine who is still airport immigration though no longer front desk and he told me: it is, at the moment, discretionary, which is why some lone parents will be stopped and others not. It's a precautionary thing like customs used to be. If you are stopped and they have reason to believe that you don't have permission from the other parent to travel, then you can have as many documents as you want, but without that notarised consent letter you could be in trouble. Obviously, in 99 cases out of 100, a quick phone call from them to Dad/Mum will sort the situation out.

As for parents with no contact, then you should get a notarised letter saying that there is no contact.

All the relevant information/advice is on the Border Agency website.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 13-May-13 06:50:26

Actually, scrap that last sentence, the BA website is spectacularly uninformative (or at least the bit I've just looked at) and I can see now why people are concentrating on the different surname thing. (because that seems to be mainly what the BA website goes on about)

Which means they should be stopping all Italian and Spanish children......

giantpenguinmonster Mon 13-May-13 07:03:14

I've been asked flying out of Amsterdam. I had a letter and birth certificate and flight details to show DH was joining us later.

But I did see a man and child refused entry to the US because he was not related to the child. I suspect in most countries this would have been done privately but in New York they gave him a bollocking in front of a big room full of people and insinuated he was up to no good with the child.

sanityseeker75 Mon 13-May-13 10:21:12

I have two DSC who I have the same name as and have travelled abroad and never been questioned even though they are not my kids but always get asked if my DS is mine as he has his fathers last name

IndiansInTheLobby Mon 13-May-13 10:23:47

I was when going to Italy but I had his birth certificate. God I wish I'd picked my surname for ds.

3mum Tue 14-May-13 03:58:09

Yes twice (my children have my ex's surname) but only on returning to the UK. I don't carry any additional documents and don't see why I should. My usual response is to point out that they hold UK passports so can come into the UK anyway and the questions are therefore pointless (they love me at immigration control!). My children are old enough to answer questions for themselves although my sarky 12 year old last time said "never seen her before - stranger danger". Serves them right. It doesn't take long for them to decide we are more trouble then their job's worth and wave us through.

Lemonylemon Tue 14-May-13 12:58:04

Yes, but only "what relationship do you have with these children".

DS - has late XP's surname;
DD - has late P's surname;
I have my maiden name

HauntedNow Thu 16-May-13 22:28:10

Agree with Paneer. The border control officer advised me to carry a copy of his birth certificate and not to be surprised if my son is asked who he is travelling with. Has happened several times mainly coming back into the UK but also elsewhere. Nothing frightening for my son so now always carry it to make sure there is no problem

myfriendflicka Fri 17-May-13 13:25:34

Yes, coming back into the UK on the Eurostar from Paris with my 14-year-old DS last month.

My husband is dead so they would have a lot of trouble getting him to write a letter.

Perhap they would expect me to carry a death certificate as well as my son's birth certificate?!

Load of bollocks. They seem to ask women about this more than men, if this thread is anything to go by.

exexpat Fri 17-May-13 14:48:01

myfriendflicka - I do carry a photocopy of DH's death certificate, just in case, along with the DCs' birth certificates. I started doing that after a Canadian passport control person asked me where the children's father was. Luckily he believed me, and I haven't been asked that directly since, but you never know.

I've been stopped, again coming back into this country. I was furious when the woman asked my son (then aged 5) if I was his mummy. He's clinging to me , hiding behind my leg because of course, as a good parent, I've warned him about talking to strangers. He's immature o doesn't get subtlety that its OK to talk when Mummy and Daddy are there. My son has my surname as a middle name and it is very unusual - there are only about 200 of us in the country.

It is the coming back into the country that I don't get. if I was taking him I would long gone.

thanks for the tips tho - very useful

lottysmum Sat 18-May-13 00:10:32

Stopped 9 times out of 10 always when coming back....(weird) dd is now 11 so they dont seem to have such an issue anymore...I think one of them asked my daughter who I was a few months ago when we came back from France and daughter gave them my full name rather than mum! My dd used to get annoyed ..its funny because I am the parent with full parental would help if passports were linked to show mother/father ..

myfriendflicka Sat 18-May-13 05:57:06

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr at this, quite frankly. They are going to detain me if I say: "I am widow and my husband, my children's father, is dead, which is why he isn't with us", and then don't produce a death certificate?!!!!!

They can do that if they like, one short phone will verify I am telling the truth, and it will be very instructive for my son to realise not all authority is benevolent.

I won't be carrying a death certificate or my children's birth certificates (my daughter is 18 and an adult now anyway) just in case some official wants to get over-officious. Seems like another way of attacking single parents.

Words fail me actually.

And don't bother coming on to say they have to do it because some partners kidnap their children. As has already been said, why would I be kidnapping my son by bringing him INTO the country, rather than when leaving?

LtEveDallas Sat 18-May-13 06:22:12

I have a friend that is mixed race, her ExDP is white, their son is blond haired and blue eyed. She was stopped at passport control despite her DS having the same surname as her because of the colouring issue. It didn't help that her DS was 3 or 4 at the time, and his passport was a baby one.

They let her through eventually, but only after she pointed out the amount of white people that adopt black children and vice versa. She laughs about it now, but was bloody furious at the time.

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 18-May-13 06:35:01

Perhaps more mothers are stopped because a) more mothers travel alone with children b) this thread is being posted on by more mothers.

Statistically more fathers travelling alone are stopped because statistically more fathers (sadly) do abduct their own children.

Child traffickers rather than abducters abducting their own children statistically more likely to want to bring a child they have no right to into the UK.

Remember Adam? Headless torso of an African child brought into the UK for I dread-to-think what reason and found in the Thames? That sort of thing is why children are brought into the UK. And had the people bringing him in been more vigilantly checked he might not have ended up in the Thames.

But hey, what does that matter as long as we don't have to go to the trouble to carry a piece of paper with us?

myfriendflicka Sat 18-May-13 07:56:16

No, I will not be carrying a "piece of paper" with me because you say so, NotreadingGrapes. And guilt tripping me about an extremely unusual case isn't going to work either.

myfriendflicka Sat 18-May-13 07:58:59

Oh, and if you think all lone parents coming in to the country should carry all their documents with them at all times, or be fined or imprisoned, because you think that alone will end child trafficking, do feel free to write to your MP, or actually do some campaigning in the real world, rather than making a random self-righteous comment to someone on the internet that will do fuck all.

myfriendflicka Sat 18-May-13 08:05:06

And do put lots of significant words in italics in your letter to make sure he/she notices what you deem to be important, incase they don't notice hmm

Bvlgari Sat 18-May-13 08:41:21

None of these officials are trying to make you feel bad or trying to be awkward, they are trying to make sure that no-one is brought into this country illegally, kidnapped, trafficked, sold,anything else

Bloody hell, amazed at these attitudes
They are trying to protect the children

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