Depending on where you are traveling to, you may need formal consent to travel with your child/children if you are not also traveling with the other parent listed on their birth certificate. This formal consent is in addition to the passport also required to travel outside of the country.

There are quite a few countries that rigidly require additional documentation, such as the UAE, Ghana, Brazil, and until recently, South Africa. Note this list is not exhaustive, please note that before you travel to any country you should check to see what their requirements are on traveling with minors.

Regardless of whether the country explicitly states that they require additional documented consent for traveling with a minor without both parents listed on the birth certificate, we strongly recommend you always have a consent letter with you just in case. The fact is, any country has the right to request proof that you have the right to travel with this minor and they have the right to deny you entry into their country if you are unable to produce said proof.

That said, we typically recommend that before your travel internationally, you draw up an affidavit, have the other parent or the parents sign it, get it notarized, and keep it with your travel documents for any international trip.

We’ve provided two sample travel affidavits for you to use in your travels. Please note that we are not attorneys and should you feel the need to get official legal advice about traveling with your child, we suggest you contact an attorney.

Also, please check out our other resources on traveling internationally with minors:

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