Holiday Travel with Your Own Children? – see a Notary
I have blogged before about the risk of delays and difficulties when travelling abroad with children – in terms of the documentation which border guards and airlines are increasingly concerned about.
In all cases the concerns of the authorities are to avoid assisting in the kidnap of children. Therefore the papers are most closely scrutinised – and the lack of them causes the biggest problems – when a child travels with only one parent or with an adult or adults who are not parents of the child.
It is of course only logical that, when a child travels with two adults who say they are the parents of the child, the Authorities should not take the parents’ word for it. That is exactly what kidnappers would say, wouldn’t they!
If the Authorities are doing their job right, they will need real proof of this. Increasingly this proof is indeed being requested.
Most recently the South African government has addressed this issue and has specified that as from 1st June 2015 South African border officers will be requiring production of documents which were previously not needed and these regulations will apply to all travels into South Africa regardless of the travellers’ nationality.
I can give you more detail of the precise South African requirements if you would like to contact me but the importance of this new rule as I see it is really International and not only limited to South Africa.
The fact of the matter is that whenever a case of child kidnapping hits the news headlines, the customs officials and also airlines tighten up their act all around the world. Then, suddenly, what they would have accepted the day before is no longer deemed sufficient. Rules can be applied ad hoc, and without any prior warning.
I would therefore strongly suggest that all parents travelling with their own children should take with them the original Birth Certificates of their children. Wherever your destination.
The certificates should be the full form Birth Certificates – the ones which show the names of both parents. This means that you will be able quickly to satisfy any inspections and prove that you are indeed the parents of the child you are accompanying.
See my earlier blogs or get in touch with me direct to discuss the situation where your child is travelling with only one parent, or with family friends, or where your child is travelling unaccompanied.
Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certifications or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me or Louise on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)