FAMILIES heading abroad with their kids this summer holiday could face additional checks at the border.
The UK government has updated the travel advice for parents travelling with young kids.
Families who do not share the same surname as their child, or are just travelling with one of the parents, may have to show extra documents at the border.
The strict rules are to prevent child trafficking.
The government website, which was updated yesterday, states: "If you are travelling with a child (under 18) and are not the child’s parent, or may appear not to be the parent (for example, if you have a different family name), we may ask you a few questions to establish your relationship with the child.
"We will always do this as quickly as possible and in a way which is sensitive to the interests of the child and the adult involved."
The website also explains what kind of documents are accepted, and should be packed alongside the passport.
It continues: "This evidence could include copies of:
- a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
- divorce/marriage certificates if you are the parent but have a different surname to the child
- a letter from the child’s parent/s giving authority for the child to travel with you and providing contact details if you are not the parent."
Lawyer Jennifer Moore, who specialises in divorce, backed this up and said: "The UKVI are alert to the risk of child abduction (the unlawful removal of a child from their country of habitual residence) and also child trafficking.
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"They will often now check that the adult travelling has the appropriate consent, particularly if the child does not have the same surname."
One mum found this out the hard way after she was nearly banned from boarding the Eurostar with her daughter while heading to Disneyland Paris because they have different last names.
Despite having no issues leaving the country, Eddi and her nine-year-old daughter Georgie pair were stopped when trying to board their Eurostar train home.
They were only able to board the train at the last minute when her partner, who shares the child's surname, sent them proof.
And mum of two, Catherine Lofthouse, says the strict rules are "ridiculous" in this day and age.
She said: "Why should parents who do have the same surname have less scrutiny?
"If there's an issue with child safety, there should be a blanket rule that applies to all adults, regardless of whether your surname matches that of the child.
"I can think of loads of families who might be disadvantaged otherwise.
"What if you're taking your foster child away for their first trip abroad? What if you're in a blended family and not everyone has the same surname?"
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