I need to give permission to my child to go abroad
- you will need to let me see the instructions or requirements you have been given as
- to the contents of the permission document you are to sign; and
- to what I need do as a notary
- you must not sign the consent document before you see me
- you will need to sign the consent document in my presence
- if neither parent is travelling with the child, both parents should sign the consent document
Other essential things you need to know when you use a notary
In all the notarial work I do there I things I have to do including:
- identifying you (Click here to find out more)
- usually preparing a separate document (called a ‘notarial certificate’) which I attach to the document you sign, and then I bind that certificate to the power of attorney and add my signature and seal. (What does notarial certificate contain?)
- recording the details of what I have done for you. (Why do I have do this and what does it involve?)
Points to note
- Getting the details right If you are provided with a consent form to sign you should check carefully the details of the child(ren) and other parent (or persons with parental responsibility). Ensure:
- that the details match those found in official documents (such as a passport, birth certificate);
- that any differences in names etc are explained and supported by documentation.
Possible consequences or not getting details correct (or not having the same details in all documentation) Notaries report that some persons who travel with consents which do not record details correctly of the children (or other aspects of family relationships) find that:
- they cannot enter into the destination country; or
- they cannot leave the destination country; or
- an airline will not allow the parent and/or the child to board an airplane; or
- that an organisation (such as sport activity company, summer camp, etc) refuse to allow the child to enrol or participate
- Particularly where there is a family dispute (separation, divorce) etc Where one parent gives permission to another to take their child abroad, it is obviously on the assumption that the other parent will return with the child. If there are any difficulties in the relationship between the parties (such as a breakdown, separation, divorce started or completed) the party wish to consider
- what will happen if the child is not returned by the parent who has taken the child (i.e. keeps the child in another country);
- whether it is possible to have the child returned from the other country (whether the law of the other country makes this possible, whether the other country has signed international treaties to facilitate the return etc)
In such situations the parent giving consent should seek independent family law advice before giving any consent or allowing the child to depart with the other parent or another person.
- One type of consent may not be sufficient Consent to travel is sometimes required:
- by each airline on which the child is to travel;
- by ‘border’ airlines/airports (e.g. from the country where the child is leaving, arriving or returning);
- by airlines or airports for internal flights;
- by the organisation (such as a summer camp, etc) that the child is going to or attending;
- by the travel agent;
- by a government or regulatory authority
A parent is unlikely to be able to check for every possible situation where consent is necessary. However, if a travel agent is being used then it might be possible to ask them if the parent(s) need to give their consent. The same is possible with an airplane as to whether a consent is necessary. * What activities etc can the child take part in? If the child is only to travel from their home in England to a destination country to visit a relative then a simple permission to go with another parent or person may be sufficient. However, often a child is involved in situations or wishes to take part in activities. For example, a child may fall ill or be involved in an accident. Or is going to a summer camp or travelling on a form of transport where sports, visits etc are to take place (e.g. a cruise). If the consent form does not give permission to the person accompanying the child then they may be able to given consent to the treatment of the child or if the consent form does to mention that the person accompanying the child can allow the child to participate in (sports) activities then the child may be refused permission to do so.
- I have been told to sign a parental consent form, but I have not been given a form, can you provide with one? I have standard templates available which I will be happy to provide.
- I believe I will need to give permission several times for my child to be taken abroad, and I want to avoid having to sign (and pay for) a consent form each time, is this possible? Usually parent consent forms are written in a way which refers:
- to the specific trip that the child is taking;
- to specific dates when the child will be going or returning; and
- to other relevant details for the specific trip
It is possible for the parent giving consent to sign a form which does not make reference to any specific trip or date. However some notaries find that a ‘generic’ consent is not accepted in some situations, by airlines, governmental authorities and so on. Also consent form signed two years ago but used now may also be unacceptable as the people/organisation requiring it may say they have no way of knowing that parent who gave consent two years ago continues to do so. *Do I need to have one or more copies of the consent document notarised? If the child is likely to be involved in extensive travel (whether from one country to another or internally or involved in a range of activities) then it usually a good idea to have sign and have notarised several copies of the consent document. This is because the organisation (airline, authority etc) may want to retain an ‘original’ not a photocopy for its record. If you have only one ‘original’ you will not have it available for future use.Last updated: 6 August 2013.