Taking a child abroad with a different surname 

Now that the summer holidays have begun, you may be planning for a family holiday abroad. For most families in the UK with children, planning for a holiday involves taking certain precautions to ensure that they do not encounter any issues whilst travelling. This is particularly important for those parents that will be travelling with a child that has a different surname to them. Here Weronika Husejko offers her top tips for traveling abroad with a child who has a different surname.

What is the current situation?

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to travel abroad as a family in these circumstances. Many countries are stricter when it comes to parents travelling with children that do not have the same surname as them. Whilst this is a welcome change which promotes the safety of children all over the world, if you are not aware of this, a trip abroad can quickly become more stressful than anticipated.

How can I prepare?

There are some documents that you can bring with you which will reduce the likelihood of you and your family being held up whilst travelling.

Your child’s birth or adoption certificate. This can verify that you are in fact the child’s parent.

Proof of your change of surname such as your marriage certificate, deed poll or decree absolute which can demonstrate the reason for the difference in surname.

Written consent from the other parent. Asking the child’s other parent to sign a written form of authority demonstrating their consent to you taking then abroad can be useful as in most circumstances it is illegal to take a child abroad without the consent of every person with parental responsibility of that child.

Existing Court Order. If your child is subject to an existing Court Order such as a Child Arrangements Order, this is another document which may verify the connection to your child.

And finally…

Make sure to do some research as the rules can vary. It is always a good idea to look into the guidelines of the specific country that you are travelling to. Most airlines should also be able to provide you with some basic advice for your trip.

If you have any questions about this issue, or any other family law matter, please contact our team who would be happy to assist.


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