Family holiday warning for parents of kids with a different surname to you | The Sun

FAMILIES heading abroad this summer should be aware of the extra rules they must follow if their kids have different surnames from their parents.

While introduced to prevent child trafficking, it could result in unaware families facing additional procedures and even missing their flight.

Charity National Family Mediation (NFM)'s CEO Jane Robey warned that some parents also face additional problems if they don't agree on their child travelling.

She said: “For couples in conflict, passports for the children and travel to another country can also be a contentious topic, and for a whole host of reasons.

“When one parent feels particularly strongly about the issue, it’s not uncommon for them to refuse to approve a passport application, which inevitably leads to further disagreements.”

Here are four things to check before you head to the airport. if you have different surnames from your kids or you have split up.

1. Check what the procedures will be in advance

Check with your airline – they deal with this daily and will have their own specific requirements.

Check with your embassy – what applies for British children does not apply for other nationalities, regardless of whether they are travelling into or from the UK.

Check with the relevant embassy for the requirements of the country you'll be travelling to.

2. Bring any document that could prove the relationship with the child

Ensure you have relevant documents: passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates.

If you're travelling under your maiden name with children of a different surname, a marriage certificate alongside your passport will 'prove' who you are.

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3. Pack a consent letter

Travel consent letters demonstrate that the child in question has permission to travel abroad from parents who aren't accompanying them.

They're especially useful in situations where the parents are divorced or separated, and one parent wishes to take the child on holiday.

Consent letters are not a legal requirement in the UK, but they may be requested by immigration when entering or leaving a foreign country.

The letter should give as much detail as possible and be signed by whomever is NOT travelling, dated, witnessed and preferably notarised.

Carrying a consent letter does not guarantee that children will be allowed to enter or leave a country though, so double-check with the relevant embassies.

4. What should someone do if the parent can’t reach the father or mother

You'll need to apply to a court for permission to take a child abroad if you don't have permission from the other people with parental responsibility.

Brits applying for their child's first passport may run into issues if they are a single parent.

If divorced, both couples must be named on the passport form, and if this is not possible then it must be explained why.


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