I have three children and two of them have a different surname to myself. It wasn't until I went to book a holiday abroad for us all, that I discovered that taking your own children out of the UK can pose problems, if their name doesn't match yours.
No-one wants to miss flights or have their holiday ruined because of red tape at Passport Control, nor want the nightmare of not being able to return to the UK.
Whilst we appreciate that people are stopped and questioned when this situation arises for the right reasons, to prevent trafficking, it can still be nerve-racking and stressful.
In this day and age, many of us don't share the same surname as our children so, what can we do to stop any problems with Passport Control?
1. Carry a 'Letter of Consent' with you
That's right, a letter from the 'other' parent if applicable, to say that you can leave and re-enter the UK with your child. The letter should state the other parent's name, contact details and give reasons for why you're leaving the country. This letter has to be signed. You can find a 'Letter of Consent' template here.
2. Take your Child's/Children's Birth or Adoption Certificates
If you aren't in contact with the 'other' parent, or you would like to exercise your right to take your own Child on holiday without 'asking' your child's other biological parent, then this is what to do. It'll have you named on it and proves the two of you are linked.
3. Speak to the Airline you are flying with
If the Airline Operator is strict about the travel of Children with a different surname, then it's best to find out so you can satisfy their criteria for leaving the country or else you may encounter problems.
4. Take Marriage/Deed Poll Certificates
If you had your children before you got married and your surname is now different to that stated on their birth certificates, then you'll need to prove who you are. So, you'll need a Marriage or Deed Poll Certifcate to show that your name has changed along with their Birth Certifcates, as evidence of your relationship to the child or children.