MINOR DETAILS - Taking a child aboard a flight with a different surname? How to travel when you don’
MINOR DETAILS - Taking a child aboard a flight with a different surname? How to travel when you don’t share the same last name
This guide details who to contact before the trip and what documents you will need to show authorities
By Caroline McGuire, Digital Travel Editor
11th July 2018, 5:00 pm
Updated: 11th July 2018, 8:53 pm
Travelling with a child that doesn’t have the same surname as you can be extremely difficult, because of the strict security rules needed to combat child trafficking.
So if your offspring carry the other parent’s name and you’re taking them away alone, you need to be prepared.
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 [American] children does not apply for other nationalities, regardless of whether they are travelling into or from the UK [United States].
Check with the relevant embassy for the requirements of the country you'll be travelling to. If your offspring carry the other parent’s name and you’re taking them away alone, be prepared
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. Home Office warns parents with different surname to kids to bring extra ID.
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, 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 notarized.
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.