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Taking an unrelated minor child out of the USA

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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:33 PM
  #1
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Taking an unrelated minor child out of the USA

I will be traveling with my goddaughter this spring. What documentation do I need so that immigration officials in the USA and the UK will not be concerned I am kidnapping her?
Thank you.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:35 PM
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How old is your goddaughter?
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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I took my daughter to Europe this summer without dad so I had him sign and notarize a letter allowing me to do so. Search on this board for this information--there was an excellent post last spring linking to a Canadian site with an official document used in Canada. I wasn't asked at any point for the letter (daughter was 13) but I felt better having it.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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I believe you will need a notarised declaration from the girl's parents giving you permission. If they are divorced and share custody you will need one from each parent.
It is also a good idea if they give you parental consent whilst you are travelling - so that should anything happen you can make the decision not have to try and contact them. God forbid you should need it but it could be life or death.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Thank you very much.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:55 PM
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The first time I took my daughter's friend over the border with us I was surprised no one asked about the blonde child in our midst. The second time we at least had a letter from her folks and info regarding her health insurance. No one asked about it then either.

This was before 2001 however.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 02:56 PM
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You probably won't need it, but it is a good idea to have a parental authorization form. I'm a lawyer and here's a form I used when we took a 16 year old friend of our son's to Europe last year. It is not a fill-in-the-blanks form, but an outline for typing up a consent to travel authorization for the parents to sign.


PARENTSí CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILD TO TRAVEL TO ___________ [COUNTRY]

I (We), ________________ (full name(s) of parents) are the lawful custodial parents
of
Childís full name: ____________________________________
Date of birth (DD/MM/YY): _____________________________
Place of birth: ____________________________________

United States/Canadian passport number:___________________________

Date of issuance of passport(DD/MM/YY): ______________________

Place of issuance of child's passport: __________________

________________ [childís full name], has my [our] consent to travel with

[Full name of accompanying person]_______________________________

[Adultís name] passport number: _____________________

Date of issuance of [adultís] passport (DD/MM/YY):_________________

Place of issuance of [adultís] passport: ___________________________

to visit ______________ (name of foreign country) during the period of _____________ (dates of travel: departure and return).

During that period,
________________ (childís full name) will be residing with ________________ (name of
person where child will be residing in foreign country) at the following address:
Number/street address and apartment number: ______________
City, province/state, country: _____________________________

Child and accompanying adultís telephone number in [foreign country]: _______________________

Any questions regarding this consent letter can be directed to the undersigned parents at:

Number/street address and apartment number: ___________________

City, province/state, country: _____________________________

Telephone numbers (work and residence): ____________________________
___________________________ _______________________________

Sworn to under pains and penalties of perjury.

Signatures: ____________________________________
Mother
Date_____________

____________________________________Father

Date ____________

(Full name(s) and signature(s) of custodial parent,and/or non-custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s))
[parents should sign before notary public]

_________________________
Notary Public
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Dec 1st, 2007, 03:04 PM
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This is the official rule from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

http://tiny.cc/Vp8iC

The age of a a minor child (under 18 years of age) is immaterial.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 03:05 PM
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You should have a power of attorney, not just parental consent.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 03:14 PM
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I appreciate all the responses. Thank you.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Power of Attorney might be meaningless in the U.K. I have POA for my mother, and the French and German governments refuse to recognize it as valid when it comes to certifying that she is living.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 06:13 PM
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I think a medical power of attorney is a good idea and think it most likely that it would be honored in an emergency. I meant to add it to ours before we went but didn't get around to doing it. Also, fyi the parental consent we ended up with omitted lots of the info in the outline about where we would be every day & telephone numbers, etc.

To add in the medical power of attorney, add a paragraph before the line that begins "Any questions regarding this consent letter can be ...", that says

"In addition, we authorize _______[adult's name} to act in our place in the event of illness or injury to our minor child, and grant to her the authority to make all decisions regarding medical treatment of ___________ [the child.]"


Also, change the name of the document to:
PARENTSí CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILD TO TRAVEL TO ___________ [Country] and
POWER OF ATTORNEY TO ACT IN LOCO PARENTIS IN THE EVENT OF THE MINOR'S CHILD'S ILLNESS OR iNJURY

Finally, and belatedly, how wonderful that you're taking your goddaughter to England. Have a wonderful time!
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Dec 1st, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Thank you, especially AllieNC, you have been most helpful. And thank you, AllieNC for the good wishes. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce her to a favorite place!
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 12:52 AM
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I hope you get all the paperwork sorted. What a lucky girl to have such a great Godmother.
My youngest son flew as an UM to spend three weeks in California at age 12 He stayed with his American Godfather, all expenses paid, and and a whale of a time.
Have a wonderful trip together.
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Wow, Allie, great advice!
cmcfong - the legal requirements (must do) may vary from country to country and should be viewed as the minimum. Wherever you travel it is also prudent to have the sort of documentation that Alie suggests. Hopefully you will never need to exercise medical decision making, but it is better to have and not need than the reverse.
Another thing you should check well before departure is insurance coverage and procedures for your goddaughter. If she is covered as a dependent on a parent's policy she may not have an ID card of her own. You can request an insurance ID card be issued in her name or at least take along a copy of the parent's card. Also be sure you know about any medication or food allergies she may have.
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Great resources mentioned in this thread. You are very wise to ensure all the documentation is in place well before you need it. We travel with school groups internationally and the parents of each student under age 18 must complete a form nearly identical to AllieNC's. We have never been asked for them (probably because we are an easily identifiable school group), but it is a comfort to us to know we have them in our travel doc's. The authorization page should be stamped, sealed or embossed with the Notary's official seal.

If you travel to a country that does not use English as a first or second language, make sure you have the consulate phone number - or translate the page to the common language of your destination.

Our forms do not go into detail about our itinerary - just the countries we will be visiting and the approximate dates. I don't feel it necessary to detail the itin because it can change. All you really need to provide is parental permission to travel with an underage child.

Also great advice about medical insurance. Lucky goddaughter to have you as a godmother.
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Wonderful advice. Thank you all for taking the time to post it.
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Two years ago my husband, his son aged 12 at the time, and myself went to Europe.

My stepson's mom wrote a permission note and a medical permission note. We didn't need it - but when we showed passports, they did ask my stepson a few questions - they pointed to his dad and said "Who's that?" and then to me and asked the same thing. They were nice about it. I have a different last name from them so that might be why.

It made me glad that we had the papers just in case...
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