Traveling with Minor Children Outside the U.S.

Question: If only one parent of a minor child is traveling internationally with the child, does the other parent need to give consent? What is the form my spouse needs to sign so I can travel with my child overseas?

Answer: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises:

If the child is accompanied by only one parent, the parent should have a note from the child’s other parent. For example, “I acknowledge that my wife/husband is traveling out of the
county with my son/daughter. They have my permission to do so.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection advises:

Children must have their own passport, visa or other international entry documentation required of adults. In addition, certain countries require children leaving that country
without both parents [or] a legal guardian to have a letter of consent, in some cases notarized.

The U.S. Department of State advises:

If a parent or other relative is traveling alone with the child, the best way to smooth the journey is to fill out and bring to the airport a “consent for traveling with minor
abroad” form. Travelers should also bring a copy of the authorizing adult’s passport or identity card.

Since there are no official forms, a parent may create one. A letter of consent to travel needs to state that the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) acknowledge and give consent for
their child to travel with a specific individual. It should include:

– The child’s name, birthplace, birth date, home address, phone number, and, in the case of international travel, their passport number;

– The name(s) and contact information for the non-traveling parent(s)

– Who the child has permission to travel with (name and passport information), the dates of the travel window (to clearly show that consent is temporary) and the destinations
that will be visited.

The letter must have the proper notary wording to be notarized. If the letter does not contain the proper notary wording, you should ask permission to add it to the letter in order
to complete the notarization.