What you should do if you’re going on holiday with your kids and they have a different surname to you including the documents you need to bring

Airport security may have to conduct extra checks while travelling through.

FAMILIES who are travelling abroad together but don’t share the same last name could face extra security checks at the airport.

The checks are in place to prevent child trafficking – but the extra delay could mean you might miss your flight if you don’t have the right paperwork.

The government advises parents to bring along a birth or adoption certificate alongside their child’s passport to prevent any confusion.

Mumsnet have compiled a helpful guide for what to be aware of and what else to pack to allow a smooth journey through the airport.


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 children does not apply for other nationalities, regardless of whether they are travelling into or from the UK.

Check with the relevant embassy for the requirements of the country you’ll be travelling to.

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.

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 in the UK, 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 notarised.

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.

What should someone do of the parent can’t reach the father or mother

You’ll need to apply to a court for permission to take a child abroad if you don’t have permission from the other people with parental responsibility.




If you have any questions or concerns regarding International Parental Child Abduction feel free to contact CARI Child Abduction Recovery International 24/7. We are always available at info@childabductionrecovery.com or by calling our CEO Adam Whittington directly +46 707385598

We don’t just talk, we actually recover children!