We have a number of resources detailing traveling with a minor without the other parent:
- How To Obtain A Passport for A Minor
- Do THIS Before You Plan An International Trip with Your Family
- Consent to Travel With A Minor
- What To Do When You Can’t Get the Other Parent’s Approval for A Passport
But you may also be wondering why in the world you have to get permission from the other parent in the first place. The reason is that the justice system and most country’s immigrations and customs departments are attempting to address International Parental Child Abduction.
While the process for obtaining a passport for a minor or entering another country with a minor can be very frustrating and exponentially so if you’re a not married to the other parent, the process is not in place to be difficult for the sake of being difficult. It’s in place to ensure the safety of as many children as possible.
We’re not trying to scare you but the truth is, according to the 2010 Hague Convention Abduction Report 2,109 children were abducted from and to the United States. Additionally, with human trafficking on the rise and 1 in 4 trafficking victims being children, you can see why governments around the world want to be careful that the person your child is traveling with has every legal right to travel with that child.
Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction is a treaty between multiple countries and was officially signed on December 1, 1983. The purpose of the convention is to ensure the prompt return of a child who have been abducted from their country or wrongfully retained in another country.
The Convention aims to preserve the child custody arrangement that existed at the time of the alleged wrongful remove or retention of the child and hopes to prevent the parent from crossing international borders.
The Convention only applies to children under the age of 16.
Currently, 101 of 195 countries are part of the Convention.
If you are concerned about possible parental abduction, please visit the US Dept of State’s Website for information on abduction prevention and what to do if a child has been abducted.
We hope this sheds some light on why the process is so involved and gives you some peace of mind that the system is attempting to work on our behalf to keep our children safe.