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ladybug May 25th, 2005 02:36 PM

regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission letter
just read responses to mother daughter documents and letter needed from dad. i am taking my daughter on cruise. i am not married to dad and never have been and we have not seen him for a very long time. my daughter is 14. i do have legal custody of her. he had visitation rights, which is also called shared custody. of course he never really honored that in the way he was supposed to. sad to say i do no know where he is at this time. impossible to find actually and before cruise he will not be found. what happens in this case. i have her birth certificate, i can have copies of the custody agreement which gives me 95% of the time having her living with me and 5% of the time involving his visitation hours. it was done when she was a little baby and never changed.

what happens if a childs father is deceased or vanished. are you supposed to bring the death certificate with you. in the latter or in my case there is no proof or paper to show the situation. please out there, how many of you have dealt with this getting on board and what did you do? i would appreciate as many responses as possible. i am now getting concerned about this. thank you so much for your help.

Tink63 May 25th, 2005 05:15 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Just type a letter stating that her father is no longer around and you don't know where to find him. Have it notorized. You will be fine. Works for my boyfriend every time.

Jim Bragg May 25th, 2005 09:07 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Well, let's just say it "might" work if they are in a very generous mood and you get the right person that really doesn't care. What you actually 'need' is something from a judge stating that the absent parent does not have any rights and you are allowed to make any and all decisions, including taking the child out of country, without his consent. That is the "Legal" way and the way it is supposed to be done by the rules. To be sure that you will not face being turned away see the Judge.

bjkeen May 26th, 2005 05:39 AM

Legal Guardian
If you have a lawyer, perhaps the lawyer could draw up a legal doc. stating everything you said above. If not, I would at least type something up and have it notorized.

Some countries have a problem with children being bought and sold, which creates the need for extra documentation. I have heard that Mexico is particular about this sort of thing.

Have you tried calling the cruise company and asking for a Supervisor? They should be able to tell you what is necessary.

phoebe May 26th, 2005 06:29 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
I've been on several cruises with my children and without their father. I've taken my children's friends with different last names and neither of their paretns. I"ve taken grandchildren with different last names and without their parents and have NEVER EVER even been asked about missing parents let alone any letters or documents. The last cruise I was on was last August.
The only time it mentions a missing parent letter at Carnival is if you're in Mexico more than 24 hours and none of the ships are so I'd like to know where people gather all their information from.

Darcy May 26th, 2005 07:27 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let

I guess you've just been lucky on who's checking you in. I've been asked for the letter, although not every time we've cruised. Luckily my ex and I get along so its never a problem to get the letter.


LisaK May 26th, 2005 07:40 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Phoebe, don't press your luck. On our last cruise my husband and i each had to sign a paper stating that we were taking our son with us on the cruise. Its a safety net for the children.

ladybug - bring a copy of your custody papers with you, go to your lawyer and have them draw up a letter, make it all nice and legal and bring it with you.

jhp May 26th, 2005 10:15 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Don't spend the money on a lawyer. Just type one up and go to your local bank and have it notorized.
This document now is a legal document.

and hey


Jim Bragg May 26th, 2005 12:48 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Ya know, what would be great is if one of our posters who is an attorney would be kind enough to post a generic form right here so that others could copy and print it out. We might even be able to put it on the website for everyone. What do you say, any attorneys out there that would be willing to do this pro bono?

nolou525 May 26th, 2005 01:47 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
check out the chit chat forum. someone did post a generic copy there.

Darcy May 26th, 2005 01:50 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let

I'm not an attorney, but a paralegal that works for a family law attorney. This is the form I use:

I, ________________________, hereby give my permission for __________________ to take my son/daughter, ____________________ (fill in name or names), Date of Birth:____________________ out of the country from ________________________ to _______________ (fill in dates) on __________________________ (name of ship) stopping in ports ______________________________ (fill in name of ports and dates).

Dated:__________________ By:_______________________

STATE OF ___________________
COUNTY OF _________________

On this the _______ day of _______________, 2005, before me, the undersigned officer, personally appeared the above-named ________________, known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he/she/they signed the foregoing for the purpose therein contained.

Before me:

Notary Public/Justice of the Peace
My Commission Expires:

Jim Bragg May 26th, 2005 01:52 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Thanks Darcy, you are a sweetheart!

TNmomx2 May 27th, 2005 10:24 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
Since when did this become a requirement? I have read where the new passport requirements become effective on December 31, 2005 therefore, I thought all you needed was your child's original birth certificate.

For the ones that are asking.....when are you departing? But I also see where some have already been asked that and I have not read nor have I been told that documentation from the other parent was required.

We are leaving in October 2005 on Carnival Conquest. I do not have contact with my children's father in about 3 years and do not know his whereabouts. And because he basically didn't show up for the last 3 court dates back in 2002, nothing has ever been officially done. It would cost me literally an "arm and a leg" to get my attorney to draw up any kind of letter - heck, I still owe him from years ago!!

Darcy May 28th, 2005 06:55 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let

With all the cases of one parent taking children out of the country and not returning with them, I think immigartion officials have tightened up security measures when only one parent is bringing a child out of the country. When my ex had the kids last summer and tried to cross into Canada, the border guards actually called me and I had to ok it for him to take them across. That was the first time that happened going to Canada. He was told that after that, he had to have a notarized letter from me. I've been asked for it on some cruises and not on others. I think it depends on who is checking you in. I would go to the Court and do it myself. The Courts in our area have general petition forms (fill in the blank kind). Just explain what you want and why. This isn't something I'd pay a lawyer to do either.


hockeyluver May 30th, 2005 05:19 PM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
My daughter recently went to mexico for spring break she was 13 with a friend and her family. We were told by a judge friend to make sure we gave them a notorized letter giving them permission to take her out of Canada and into the states then mexico. It had everything on it including flight numbers, departure times and the hotels they were staying at. I would rather have gone through all that crap then have them get to one of the borders and be refused!! They were asked for the letter twice once going into mexico and once going into the states from mexico.

dynomite May 31st, 2005 07:42 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
In my situation- my child's father is not listed on the birth certificate. My question is will I still need any kind of documentation since he is not on the birth certificate.

Kmorris May 31st, 2005 09:50 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let

This has been a requirement for years and has nothing to do with the new passport rules...It's just that they haven't always asked for the letter. If they do ask, and you don't have it, it could prevent you from boarding for your vacation. I also think that security is getting tighter all around, and wouldn't risk losing my vacation. It would behoove you to have some kind of legal documentation stating that your daughters father is absentee.

luv2cruise May 31st, 2005 10:33 AM

Re: regarding mother daughter documents, dads permission let
You stated that you were never married to the father. Is his name on the birth certificate? If not, than you don't have to worry about it since as far as the cruiseline is concerned she has no legal father.

Also, you mention that you have custody of your daughter. Do you have legal custody of her or only physical custody? If you have sole legal custody than you do not need anything from the father unless the court paperwork specifically prohibits travel without his consent. Generally, sole legal custody gives you the right to make all decisions regarding the child (including the right to travel). Physical custody only determines who the child lives with.

If you do not have sole legal custody than you can go to court and ask a judge to authorize the travel. Being that the father isn't around to oppose it, the judge should grant your request easily. You might also want to look into having the original agreement changed to give you sole legal custody if you don't already have it. Again, being that the father isn't around to object, this probably wouldn't be that difficult to do, although it is a little more involved then just getting a judge to grant travel authorization.

All that being said, based on my experience, there is a very good chance that you will never be asked to produce any documentation at all. I have been on many cruises (including 2 this year) with my single-parent sisters and their kids and never have they been asked to produce any evidence that they have the right to take the kids out of the country (although they did have the evidence with them). This is true even though the kids all have different last names than their mothers and even though one of the kids is black and the rest of the family is white (she's adopted).

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