Safeguard A Child With Travel Consent

In today's world where millions of people take to the skies every day and millions more use land travel to get to a destination, it is bound to happen that a child will at some time be traveling in the company of someone other than a parent. That makes it essential that the arrangement is protected by a "Child Travel Consent Form."

Such a form assures that the minor child is in the company of a person or persons approved by the legal guardian. When properly authorized by a notary, it lets airline officials and others know that all is on the up-and-up. In a day when child abductions, particularly in cases where custody issues are being contested, are taking place more frequently, that's important.

Among situations in which a travel consent should be considered are: A teacher traveling with students; a family member other than parent is traveling with a minor child; you are a parent but not the legal guardian, such as a non-custodial parent; you are the parent, but have a last name different from the child; the child is traveling unaccompanied; you are a temporary caregiver of the child and plan a trip.

The information must include the name, birthplace and date and passport information if available. It should clearly state the names and contact information for parent/parents, again including passport information and specific details of where and for how long the anticipated travel will be. The signature of the person who is receiving permission to accompany the child must be included, along with identifying details.

The consent form clearly details where the minor is going and for how long. It assures that the parent/guardian knows and approves of the travel. Contact information should be included. Airline personnel are aware of the provisions and may ask questions at boarding, so if you are the temporary custodian, have the papers properly prepared and notarized and keep them handy. If there is any chance of a medical emergency, you may want to have a "Child Medical Consent" document as well. That is a separate document that also must be authorized by a notary's seal.

As the legal guardian concerned with letting a child travel with someone other than yourself, remember that the documents granting temporary custodial authority are only valid for the stated term. If there are any special considerations about your child, be explicit about them when you grant another person chaperone rights and be certain they are spelled out in the document.