Parents, children with different surnames must carry birth certificates when traveling, according to new rule

Passports will no longer be enough to confirm the relationship and birth certificates will now have to be provided to prove that the child you're traveling with is yours

                            Parents, children with different surnames must carry birth certificates when traveling, according to new rule
(Source:Getty Images)

Parents on Twitter are outraged by the new traveling policy set by the UK Home Office. According to the new rule, parents with different surnames than the child need to carry their birth certificate . The parents are expected to produce the certificate wherever necessary.

The passport will no longer be enough to identify their relationship and, thus, they must produce the documents. While the Home Office has said the stringent rule is meant to prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation, Twitterati is still pretty enraged over the matter.  

The Home Office tweeted, "If your family has different surnames, please bring birth or adoption certificates to help get through passport control quicker. We have a duty to safeguard children and to prevent people trafficking, child sexual exploitation and other crimes. That is why Border Force officers sometimes need to ask additional questions."

Additionally, the office says, "If you are travelling with children who have a different surname, you may be asked questions at the border to prove your relationship. You can help by bringing with you the following documents: a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child, divorce or marriage certificates if you’re the parent but have a different surname from the child" and or "a letter from the child’s parent or social worker giving permission for the child to travel with you"

Parents feel that this requirement doesn't take into consideration many social factors. Many parents don't share a surname with their child for various reasons, the most common being not taking up the father's name at the time of marriage. Often, the parents of a child may not even be legally wed. There is also the case of children traveling with their guardians. They feel it is an additional process that is backward and "appalling".

One Twitter user wrote, "I am fundamentally against this. My husband and I have different surnames. And our son bears my husband's. Not unusual for parents to have different surnames in the 21st Century. Appalling stuff by @sajidjavid and the Home Office." Another one wrote, "Seriously? I am not taking my entire family's birth certificates with me every time we go abroad. What exactly is it that you are trying to establish? Surely all that matters is that we have valid travel documents?"

A third one chimed in, " can we not ask HMPO to try harder. Safeguarding children is crucial, but vilifying those who make a choice not to take each other's name is not the answer. 1.13m children have co-habiting, unmarried parents. An outmoded view of family is out of touch."