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Travel with minor child not related to adult travelers

My husband and I are flying from the US to London later this summer. Accompanying us will be our eighteen-year-old nephew and his sixteen-year old friend. Will we encounter difficulty leaving or entering the US or England with a minor child unrelated to us? Is there a specific form we need to have the child's parents sign or notarize giving us permission to leave and enter the US and England with their child?

Posted by
14647 posts

You will need some type of letter from the friend's parents giving you permission to travel with the child. it would be best to check with both the U.S. State Dept. and the HOme Office in the U.K. as to the requirements.

You might want to check with the airline you're flying on as they may have this info.

Posted by
12157 posts

Essentially you will have to prove to the satisfaction of whoever checks your documents that you aren't kidnapping anyone.

When my inlaws took our children to another country we gave them a notarized letter signed by both my wife and I with permission to travel and authorize medical care.

We also gave them copies of our passports and the kids' birth certificates. The kids had their passports but we wanted to show that we were their parents and that the signatures on the notarized documents belonged to us.

It may have been overkill but they never had any problem.

Posted by
658 posts

There is no specific form. All you need for the UK end ( both entering and leaving ) is a letter written by the minor's parents giving a) authorisation for their child to travel b) authorisation of you and your husband to act in Loco Parentis c) full contact details ( address, telephone number and if possible email ).

That's it. That is all the UK end will require.

The best ones are short and to the point.

To whom it may concern:

I hereby authorise ( minor's name ) to travel in the custody of ( your names ).





Relation to ( minor's name ):


Posted by
11507 posts

No one will think you are kidnapping two huge boys,, that is funny. One boy ( the 18 yr old is old enough to travel without you and is not a minor anyways( yes I know Americans think anyone under 21 is a minor unless they are arming them to go to war, then all of a sudden 18 is adult enough) .
The 16 yr old should have a medical permission form , signed and notarized giving you permission to act in case of medical emergency( although its not like they are going to let him die if you don't have a form)
I have travelled alone with my 14 yr old son, and hubby has done same with our next son when he turned 14 , and no one questioned either of us asking if we were kidnapping our 6 foot sons,, LOL

Now, just so you know , I would answer differently with younger kids, say under 13. It still is a good idea to get a letter from the 16 yr olds parents, but I wouldn't get a thing for the 18 yr old, but make sure both boys have proper out of county medical insurance or you will be paying.

Posted by
14647 posts

U.S. law is different than Canadian law and different from British law.

In the U.S., any parent taking a child under the age of 18 out of the country must have written authorization from the other parent unless they can prove sole custody.

Since you are taking someone else's child under the age of 18 out of the country, you must check with the U.S. Passport Agency to find out the rules.

Without the proper paperwork, the airline you fly to London will not let you on board. And it doesn't matter what country it's from. While in the U.S. they must follow U.S. law.

The size of the minor has nothing to do with it. However, if he is not a U.S. citizen, then the rules change.