Travelling abroad with a child who has a different surname to you?

July 25, 2019

Family Services

Travelling abroad with a child who has a different surname to you?

Here’s what you need to know if you are travelling abroad with a child that has a different surname to you.

If you are travelling abroad with a child and your are not the child’s parent or have a different surname to that child then you may need to bring extra documents with you to establish your relationship with that child when travelling abroad. This is to protect against child abduction. Having evidence of your relationship to the child or evidence from the parents of the child that they are happy for you to take them on holiday is not always compulsory, but it could avoid any lengthy holdups at the airport.

Regulations that apply at the UK border are on the UK Border Agency website and the Home Office website.

Letters of Authority or Consent

You will need to get permission from everyone who has parental responsibility for the child, usually a letter is enough to show you have permission to take the child abroad. This letter will need to state that the child has permission to travel abroad with the person accompanying them e.g. grandparents, a divorced parent or single parent. However, be aware that sometimes a consent letter will not be enough at some border controls, each country has their own requirements, so make sure you check before you travel.

If the other person with Parental Responsibility will not provide you with permission to travel with the child, then you may need to consider getting permission from the Court.

Court permission

You will need to make an application to the Court called a Specific Issue Application. You will need to provide the Court with the details of the planned trip and the Court will need to consider whether there are any safety concerns with the child going on the planned trip. Most courts will however want a child to enjoy a holiday.

If you require assistance with making an application to the Court, are having difficulty getting permission to take a child on holiday or are unsure whether you require permission to take a child on holiday take legal advice as soon as possible, it enables more time for the matter to be resolved in a straightforward and amicable way.

At HMG LAW LLP we offer all our new clients a no obligation fixed fee appointment and letter of advice for £100 + VAT.

Please contact our Family department on 01869 252244 and ask to speak to Alexandra or Christina.


posted by Alexandra Smith | July 25 2019