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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Default fyi for grandparents and guardians

Hi guys

Maybe this is a silly post but just in case thought I would share. I have custody of my three grandkids and booked a cruise for next February. I started the passport process the end of February of this year because first of all I'm a bit anal and secondly I knew it was going to be tough.
Needless to say it took almost 3.5 months to get them. Not only did I have to send in BC and custody paperwork I also had to get their mother to sign a letter stating that it was alright for us to take them out of the country.
When I leave with them next year I will also be bringing my custody paper work with me in case of any questions.
So if anyone is in the same boat as I am be prepared for the passport process to take quite a while.

Elaine
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Old June 6th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Elaine,

Thank you for sharing that with us. One of the reason, so much paperwork is required, is to keep people from removing kids out of the country.

When the boys and I had our passports renewed, there was a man there with a pre-teen boy. He admitted to the clerk that it was not his son, but someone who had been left in his care. When they told him he could not have a passport for a child not his own, he left very upset. They called the police.

This process is a pain to go through the paperwork, but if it stops a kidnapping, then it's worth it.

If you are divorced, and have joint custody, you need a letter from your ex saying you are taking the child out of the country. It needs to be notarized. Before someone comes along and says they didn't ask them for one. Remember, if you spend all this money, get to the port, and they ask you, and you don't have it, you will be denied boarding. This applies to call cruise ships. has nothing to do with them. Completely Customs.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
If you are divorced, and have joint custody, you need a letter from your ex saying you are taking the child out of the country. It needs to be notarized. Before someone comes along and says they didn't ask them for one. Remember, if you spend all this money, get to the port, and they ask you, and you don't have it, you will be denied boarding. This applies to call cruise ships. has nothing to do with them. Completely Customs.
Do you still have to have a notarized letter for a 16 year old even if she has a passport? I was told the passport would cover this and that is why I got her one. I have no idea where her father is and I am the custodial parent.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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You should be fine, but even with the passport, I would bring paperwork related to your being granted custodial guardianship.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Luanne

Thank you for the input.. I'm going to ask the same question. I have complete custody. Mother is homeless and father is incarcerated. I was planning on bringing the custody paperwork with me and also their passports that I signed for the kids. Do you think I'm still going to need a notorized letter? Or should I contact customs?

I don't want to get there and have them stop us. I would be sick
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Old June 7th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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If the child is under 18 you will need a letter from the parents, (note both parents) regardless if the child has a passport or not.

If you have custodial care of a child and the birth parents are unable to issue a letter giving their consent to take the child out of the country, even if they have a passport, you will need a court document granting you permission. Obtain it and have it with you when you board.

The notarized letter for any minor, who is not your child, needs to grant you permission to take the child (full name, that matches the passport or birth certificate) outside of the country and authorizing you to give permission for any medical needs of the child.

Take care,
Mike
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Old June 7th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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I am a foster parent and if I want to take a child out of the country, I have to get a court ordered document from them. BIG pain.

I would contact customs to make sure - not sure what your custodial papers say.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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thanks again
from what I understand since the father is in prison he has no legal rights but the mother is gonig to get me my letter.
the custody paperwork states all the medical stuff.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
If the child is under 18 you will need a letter from the parents, (note both parents) regardless if the child has a passport or not.

If you have custodial care of a child and the birth parents are unable to issue a letter giving their consent to take the child out of the country, even if they have a passport, you will need a court document granting you permission. Obtain it and have it with you when you board.

The notarized letter for any minor, who is not your child, needs to grant you permission to take the child (full name, that matches the passport or birth certificate) outside of the country and authorizing you to give permission for any medical needs of the child.

Take care,
Mike
I didn't have a letter last year nor was I ever asked for one. Never asked to see divorce decree showing custodial parent.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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wow, we (me, my boyfriend, and my 2 children) are leaving for our cruise on the 28th of this month and I don't have a letter. My son is 18 so I am assuming I don't need one. My daughter just turned 17 last month, but I wasn't told I needed one.
I am in the middle of a divorce. My lawyer hasn't been able to locate my "ex" and we (the kids and I) haven't seen or heard from him in ohhhhhhh I would say 10 years. He just upped and left one day. So, technically I am their custodial parent, but don't have court documents saying so.
I hope this isn't going to be a problem

**oh, editing to add: we are not going out of the country - we are leaving from our home state of NY and going to the caribbean (san juan, st. thomas, and tortola)......we are only using birth certificates and photo IDs (except BF, he has a passport)
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