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Are Legal Documents still needed if traveling abroad with child without father? (he's not on the birth certificate)

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I am hoping to travel with my 1 year old to Europe (only a week.) in the Fall & have been pondering some things.

If her father's not on the birth certificate, do I still need to mess with getting legal documents? I read that the solo parent would need notarized approval from the father or court documents saying I have legal custody of my daughter. But, that info was saying it, as if the missing parent is always on the birth certificate.

So would it apply the same since he's NOT on it? When I went to get her passport, I have "sole authority" since my names only on it. So I didn't need him to get her passport. I am not sure if that would count the same for actually traveling with her though. All this "sole custody" stuff is confusing! Don't know who to contact to get the right info.

Yeah, I sue me. :P

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