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Single parent and holiday abroad - clarification please?

(13 Posts)
SemiNormal Wed 26-Apr-17 14:19:09

DS is 6. Father not on the scene and had no contact for about 3 or 4 years now. I have a rough idea of where he lives (hundreds of miles away) but no address. I want to take DS abroad but my understanding is I need permission from my ex? He has parental responsibility as he's on the birth certificate.

I went to the family court today to ask about seeking permission and was told that if we're going for less than 28 days I don't need permission, even without a child arrangement order ... however looking at the GOV website my understanding is it's child abduction if I don't get permission? www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad

I know plenty of parents who have taken their children abroad and taken a birth certificate just in case they get questioned over having a different surname but I've heard stories of people not being allowed to fly as they have no permission from the other parent!

Does anyone know what the actual law is regarding this as I am so confused?

donajimena Wed 26-Apr-17 14:21:29

I'm a single parent and I've flown abroad over 8 times and I've never been queried. They have different surnames and I haven't been asked for BC's either.

Hissy Wed 26-Apr-17 14:24:35

I've only ever been queried when coming BACK into the uk, which is strange...

I do take DS birth cert tho as we do have different surnames

SemiNormal Wed 26-Apr-17 14:27:47

I've only ever been queried when coming BACK into the uk, which is strange... - Were they fine once you proved you were a parent or did they question about permission from the other parent? The thing is I know so many people who've just gone without a letter containing permission but it's just a handful of horror stories that worry me, I'd be beyond devastated if we were told we can't fly until I somehow track down his dad and seek permission (which I wouldn't feel comfortable with as he'd likely burgle my property if he knew it was empty - long story)!

3xcookedchips Wed 26-Apr-17 17:39:18

Technically, where there is no court order for allowing a child to be taken out of the jurisdiction of England & Wales then the permission is required from the other parent with Parental Responsibility(PR).

Otherwise, as others have said - you take the chance.

Alternatively, make an application to court for a specific Issues order - but then you may need to prove you have made best efforts to seek that permission. Take the BC and order with you

newfor2017 Thu 27-Apr-17 08:28:25

ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk/traveling-children-different-surname/

This might be helpful OP.

needsahalo Fri 28-Apr-17 14:57:54

I've only ever been queried when coming BACK into the uk, which is strange

Yes, this is my experience. I have a different surname to my children so I travel with the court order and all our birth certificates. I have never had to produce them but on two separate occasions (same airport), my children were asked by the passport control guy whether or not I was their mum! They all said 'yes' and that was the end of the matter!

Where are you planning on going? You shouldn't have problems in Europe, that's for sure.

Gallavich Fri 28-Apr-17 15:07:02

It's only child abduction if someone makes a complaint that you have abducted their child
If the father isn't on the scene then he's unlikely to do so and precisely nothing will happen.
I'm basing that partly on dozens of trips with my DS with nothing more than a photocopy of his birth certificate, and a conversation with a police seargent who explained how the law is applied. It is only applied if someone makes a complaint to the police after the fact.

Gallavich Fri 28-Apr-17 15:08:11

The reason you are only asked on the way in is because they aren't trying to find out if you're allowed to take the child out of the country, they are trying to make sure you aren't smuggling a child INTO the U.K. They also only do that if you don't share a surname.

Hissy Fri 28-Apr-17 16:17:16

I know, but if you both have uk passports... seems daft!

The fact that I'm never asked is concerning and makes me concerned for child safety tbh.

Far too many children go missing from the uk.

TheRollingCrone Fri 28-Apr-17 16:27:18

I have been questioned so I always take dd birth cert and mine, what a faff. Dd was asked by an immigration officer at

Birmingham Airport (worst airport ever) "is this your mummy?" -she was 3 ish and started to play "that's not my mummy, she's

too.." at every other woman in the queue! fuck those books. TBF I'm half black and she's half Asian and we were coming back

from a Greek Island where many refugees had fled to, and we don't look anything alike.

Eventually she turned to me and said "that's my mummy her hair's all frizzy" hmm

exexpat Fri 28-Apr-17 16:28:43

I've never been asked on the way out of the UK either, only on the way in. I'm a single parent, different surname from DCs - I carry birth certificates and DH's death certificate, but I think I have only once actually had to get them out (at Eurostar terminal).

Usually they ask the youngest DC a question or two about who I am etc, and apart from the Eurostar, and once going from the US into Canada, I've never actually been asked where their father is.

I would take whatever paperwork you have, particularly birth certificates, and be prepared to be questioned, but you will probably be fine if you are travelling in Europe. Some countries (I've heard US/Canada/Mexico) are particularly strict and may want proof of permission to travel from the other parent.

TheRollingCrone Fri 28-Apr-17 16:32:17

Actually, she just came back from Belfast with her Granny (no problems), but her rucksack was "swept" for explosives shock

She's on a watch list isn't she ?

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