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18 February 2022

Travel consents for children

If you’re taking a child abroad and you are not their parent or legal guardian, you need consent from the person/s that are.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If you’re taking a child abroad and you are not their parent or legal guardian, you need consent from the person/s that are

Taking a child abroad

To take a child abroad, you must get permission from either everyone who has parental responsibility for the child, or from a court. Permission must also be granted before you take the child out of the country. 

If you take a child out of the country without the relevant permissions, you could be charged with child abduction.

Who has parental responsibility?

If you’re a mother or father, you have legal rights and responsibilities for your child. This is known as ‘parental responsibility’. 

The responsibilities you have as a parent include:

  • Providing the child with a home
  • Protecting and maintaining the child
  • Providing the child’s education


A mother always has parental responsibility for their child from birth. A father normally also has parental responsibility if they’re either married to the child’s mother or listed on the birth certificate. If you don’t automatically have parental responsibility, you are able to apply for it.

Learn about parental responsibility in the UK and how to apply for it here

Getting travel consent from someone with parental responsibility

To prove you have permission to take a child abroad, a simple letter is normally enough to satisfy the relevant authorities. You may be asked to present the letter at a UK or foreign border. It should include other people’s contact details and details about your trip, as well as:

  • Evidence of your relationship with the child (eg, birth certificate)
  • A divorce or marriage certificate (if you surname is different from the child’s)

Getting permission from the court

If you haven’t got permission from the people who have parental responsibility for the child, then you will need to get permission from a court. In your application to the court, you will need to set out specific details about the nature of your trip. These details include:

  • The date of departure
  • The date of return
  • The method of transport
  • Contact details of people with responsibility in the UK

READY FOR ASSISTANCE?

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.