In an attempt to tackle child abduction, a number of countries have increased security measures for parents travelling abroad with children who have a different surname or where children are travelling with neither or only one parent. These countries now require specific documentation and certificates to be presented at border control before they will allow entry.
What do you need?
Evidence of your relationship to the child is not always essential, but recommended and can avoid lengthy delays at border control. Where you have a different surname to the child, you should take copy Birth and Marriage certificates and if applicable, a copy of Decree of Divorce. If the child is travelling with neither or only one parent, a Letter of Consent from one or both of the child’s parents, with contact details, giving consent for the child to travel with the person accompanying them is recommended.
Countries with specific requirements
South Africa, Botswana, Canada and the USA all have very specific requirements regarding the documentation required for child travelling alone or with only one parent.
For example, where a child is travelling in South Africa with only one parent, a notarised letter of consent of the parent/legal guardian who is not travelling with the child is required. If only one parent has parental rights, evidence of this must be produced. If the other parent is deceased or incapacitated, a Letter of Special Circumstances issued by Director-General of Home Affairs is required.
The family law team at Morton Fraser can advise you what documentation you will need for your trip and provide fixed fee quotation for drafting and notarising the required documentation. For further information please contact us directly on the details below.