Travelling with Children
Fathers and mothers with different surnames to their children sometimes have problems during identity checks at airports if they are travelling alone with their child or children.
When travelling within the Schengen area (i.e. most European countries), there are no identity checks; identity checks are conducted, however, for flights to and from countries outside this area. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee then often has to check whether the accompanying adults of minors actually hold parental authority. This is particularly the case if a child is travelling with just one adult and there are serious reasons for investigating whether the child has been illegitimately taken from the persons with parental authority.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee has access to information registered in the Municipal Basic Administration (Dutch abbreviation: GBA) of municipalities within the Netherlands. This information is used by the RNLM to establish who has parental authority of children living in the Netherlands. If no clear information is gained from the GBA, further investigation may be carried out. Other countries apply their own rules for border control; the Netherlands has no say in this.
The Netherlands does not expect parents to be in possession at all times of a declaration showing their parental authority or showing that their child has permission for cross-border travel. Documentation regarding parental authority can, however, assist in enabling smoother border crossings. The RNLM advises parents to be in possession of the following documentation:
- a declaration of consent for a holiday from the other parent (see example form NLD/UK);
- a recent extract from the parental authority register;
- a recent extract from the Municipal Basic Administration (GBA);
- a copy of the passport of the other parent, who has given consent;
- if present, a statement regarding parental authority and visiting rights;
- if present, the parenting plan;
- if present, the birth certificate.
These documents can assist the RNLM in carrying out identity checks more rapidly.
The RNLM works in cooperation with the International Child Abduction Centre (Dutch abbreviation: CIKO) at the prevention of abduction of children from parental authority. If you are concerned about the return of your child after the holiday, contact the International Child Abduction Centre before giving your permission for the aforementioned holiday. The contact details of the International Child Abduction Centre can be found at www.kinderontvoering.org.