Traveling outside the US with children

Jul 15th, 2005, 05:03 PM
  #1  
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Traveling outside the US with children

Just happened to notice this from a US Govt website:
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Traveling with children

Question
If a child is traveling with only one parent or someone who is not a parent or legal guardian, what paperwork should the adult have to indicate permission or legal authority to have that child in their care?

Answer
Adults traveling in or out of the U.S. with children under the age of 18 should be aware of the following: because of increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases and as possible victims of child pornography, Customs and Border Protection strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, or friends, a note signed by both parents) stating "I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter. He/She/They has my permission to do so."

CBP also suggests that this note be notarized. While CBP may not ask to see this documentation, if we do ask, and you do not have it, you may be detained until the circumstances of the child traveling without both parents can be fully assessed.

If there is no second parent with legal claims to the child (deceased, sole custody, etc.) any other relevant paperwork, such as a court decision, birth certificate naming only one parent, death certificate, etc., would be useful.

Adults traveling with children should also be aware that, while the U.S. does not require this documentation, many other countries do, and failure to produce notarized permission letters and/or birth certificates could result in travelers being refused entry. (Canada has very strict requirements in this regard.)

All children who are U.S. citizens should also have a certified copy of their birth certificate or baptism record for ID. Children over the age of 14 are also required to have a photo ID. If traveling outside of the Western Hemisphere, a Passport is required.

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jsmith is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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platzman is offline  
Jul 16th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Thank you for this information. My husband and I were just discussing this last night. Does anyone know what extra information might be needed as I don't use my husband's name on passport or driver's license. My children use my husband's name on their id's and passport. What other information would I need to take when traveling to Europe with one of my children. Thanks.
benitakaren is offline  
Jul 16th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Interesting informations..
I have taken my grandchildren to Europe since they were 7 years old and never had anyone asking me for the permission slip or any other papers, although that their last name is different from mine.
kismetchimera is offline  
Jul 16th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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I'm glad this information was posted by jsmith. On past trips, my wife and children were with me.
Early next year, I'm considering taking my oldest child (along with my parents) to Paris and Normandy.
I'm going to get a notarized letter.
platzman is offline  
Jul 16th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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I think the letter may need to be notarized also. My niece was travelling with her children to Canada without her husband and had a problem. Have forgotten how it got worked out now. And a friend was taking her grandchildren on an Alaskan cruise and passing through Canadian customs. Had a really difficult time.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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jsmith is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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I just came back from London Monday night with my kids ( husband stayed behind on business) and was not asked either in London or New York for anything other than their passports.
Weadles is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Hi benitakaren, if you take your childrens birthcertificate your name as the mother will be on it (as well as the fathers). That will prove that you are their mother.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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I am a single parent and have had to deal with bringing along all the additional paperwork for years.

Although there have been instances that I was never asked for anything other than my daughter's passport, I've always had the added documentation. I would say half the time I was asked. Better safe than sorry.

benitakaren - does the name on your passport/drivers license match the name on your daughter's birth certificate?

My last name is different than my daughter's - everytime I travel out of country with my daughter I bring certified copies of my
divorce decree (indicating sole custody), daughter's birth certificate and change of name document (showing change of married name back to maiden name).

Also be aware that your child may be questioned briefly - the officer asked my daughter what her name was, who I was (i.e. your mother) and what my name was. My daughter was a bit startled and had this deer in the headlights look.
chepar is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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Weadles, Kismetchimera and others may proclaim that they have never had to provide the documentation the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) advises you have, it is stupid to ignore this admonition from the government site:

"While CBP may not ask to see this documentation, if we do ask, and you do not have it, you may be detained until the circumstances of the child traveling without both parents can be fully assessed."
jsmith is offline  

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